Over 35 million people visit Canada every year to take advantage of the many opportunities our country offers, including visiting family and friends.

The temporary residence pillar of the Canadian immigration system consists of four major classes:

  1. First, the visitor class includes six programs: multiple entry visa, single entry visa, transit visa, electronic travel authorization or eTA, no visa, and super visa.
  2. Second, the Students class includes three programs: study permit, no permit, and post-graduation work permit program.
  3. Third, the Workers class includes four programs; Temporary foreign worker programs (T.F.W.P), International Mobility Program (I.M.P), Francophone Mobility, and Global Skills Strategy (G.S.S).
  4. Fourth, the Temporary Residence Permit holders’ class or T.R.P class has two programs which include; T.R.P for entry, and T.R.P for remaining in Canada.

Moreover, we cannot ignore the importance of “temporary residence to permanent resident pathway programs” that the government announces from time to time. Since these temporary policies are announced for a short period of time and have no fixed programs, therefore, we will encourage you to constantly check the government website for updates.

What is a temporary residence status?

As the name implies, temporary residents can enter Canada temporarily for temporary purposes, which could be visiting, studying, or working or after obtaining a temporary resident permit. According to IRCC, more than thirty-five million people come to Canada temporarily every year. Further details about these four types of temporary residents will come up one by one in the upcoming topics.

Once you meet the requirement for admission to Canada temporarily, you will get a visa counterfoil document on your passport, to show to the airlines and/or transit officials to allow you to enter Canada.

What is a Visa?

A total of 147 countries’ residents are required to obtain a visa for entering Canada whether they enter by air, land or sea. A visa is an official document issued by Canada’s foreign missions, which is usually stamped or glued inside a passport, giving you permission to enter Canada. Before applying for a Canadian visa, you should know whether you need a visa. Full list of visas required countries is available here: http://bit.ly/3FZRPxV

The visa counterfoil is just for entry, it has no other value. You should enter Canada before the expiry date of the visa. Since a visa neither guarantees your entry to Canada nor gives you status, therefore, you should still have and carry the proof with you at the time of entry to Canada that you still meet the requirement. Upon entering Canada, a temporary resident should report to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and must establish that they have a visa (meaning they meet the requirement) and that they have the ability and willingness to leave Canada by the end of their authorized stay.

However, residents of sixty-seven countries are visa exempt, they only need to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada by air (airplane), if they want to enter Canada by land or sea, they do not need eTA too. Check this link if you think you may be visa exempt and may only need an eTA:  http://bit.ly/3HNBkHz

Duration of Stay:

Once you are allowed to enter Canada either by visa or without a visa (for visa-exempt nations), you are automatically allowed to remain in Canada for up to 6 months, or otherwise up to the duration specified on your passport by a CBSA officer. At a non-automated point of entry, the border services agency will write a specific duration on your passport, with or without the entry stamp. This will become your authorized period of stay. If you entered through an automated point of entry, or if nothing was written on your passport, you can still stay for a maximum of 6 months in Canada. Since an absolute majority of the Canadian points of entries are automated, it is most likely your passport will not be stamped upon entry. If you also obtained a permit at the point of entry such as a study permit or work permit, then you can stay in Canada until the expiry of the permit.

Please note a visa is only an “entry permission” used for entry/re-entry purposes and does not determine the duration of your stay in Canada.

If you have a super visa, the authorized duration of stay is 5 years with the possibility of further extension for another 2 years at a time.

What is the difference between a Temporary Resident and a Permanent Resident?

There are major differences between temporary residents and permanent residents taken from rights to the duration of stay and the activities they can do in Canada. Though permanent residents enjoy many social, cultural and economic benefits, the following shortlist shows a few differences that are mainly related to immigration.

  1. Temporary Residents Must leave Canada by the end of their authorized stay in Canada. Permanent Residence Can live in Canada indefinitely.
  2. Temporary Residents Need a permit to work or study in Canada. Permanent Residents do not need permits for work or study.
  3. Temporary Residents Pay for most social and public services offered by the Government. Permanent Residents Do not need to pay for most social and public services offered by the Government.
  4. Temporary Residents Can not enjoy Canadian protection under most Canadian laws and government protection. Permanent Residents Enjoy full protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other laws.
  5. Temporary Residents Must have a visa or an entry permit to re-enter Canada. Permanent Residents Don’t need a Canadian visa to re-enter Canada (if they carry a valid PR card).
  6. Temporary Residents have to qualify for a PR program to get permanent residence. Permanent Residents Can apply for citizenship after spending 3 years in the last 5 years in Canada. This is his/her right, not a privilege to receive Canadian citizenship.

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    Canadian Immigration System

    Canada's immigration system is based on three pillars, each pillar includes multiple classes, and each class includes multiple programs. These three pillars include Temporary Residence, Permanent Residence, and Citizenship. This website contains all of these programs in various places, however, the followings are a few programs that we have selected for your ease of access.

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