Canada is the second-largest country in the world and consists of abundant natural beauty. It is known for its breath-taking landscapes, incredible wildlife, fantastic national parks, snow-capped mountains, gorgeous natural wonders, and outstanding historical landmarks. Millions of people apply for a Canada visitor visa annually to explore this beautiful nation’s remarkable attractions. But if you have a valid visa and are already in the country — and want to stay a bit longer, here is all the information you need about the Canada visa extension policy.
Canada Visa Types
You must apply for Canada Tourist Visa or Temporary Resident Permit [TRV] visa if you plan to travel to Canada for a holiday or if you are visiting family or friends. Single-entry visas and Multiple- entry visas are the two types of Canada visas.
If you have a single-entry visa, you can enter Canada only once. However, with a multiple-entry visa, you can enter and exit the country many times until the visa is valid.
Documents Required to Enter Canada
When you enter Canada as a visitor for the first time, you need one of the following documents to enter:
- a visitor visa (also known as a Temporary Resident Visa)
- an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)
- a valid passport or travel document
A visitor record is a document that provides you with the status of a visitor in Canada and allows you to stay in the country for longer. It consists of a new expiry date by which you must leave Canada. However, please note that a visitor’s record is not a visa.
A visitor record does not depend on how you entered Canada – such as on a visitor visa, ETA, or any other document. If you wish to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, you must apply for a visitor record.
Who can apply for a Canada visa extension?
You can only apply for your Canada tourist visa extension when you are already within the country. You qualify for a visa extension if you are:
- A visitor to Canada
- A work permit holder
- A study permit holder
Only individuals with valid legal status in the country can apply for a Canadian visa extension.
- Visa extensions for visitors: A visitor visa is either a single-entry or multiple-entry visa that allows you to stay in Canada for six months. But, at the end of six months, your legal status will expire, and you will have to leave the country. However, if you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for an extension at least 30 days before your current visa expires.
- Visa extensions for study permit holders: A study permit allows international students to stay in Canada for a specific duration, depending on their study program and other conditions. If you wish to extend your study permit, you must apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
It is always better to apply at least 30 days before your current study permit expires, failing which, you have 90 days to apply for a restoration permit. If you wish to change your institution, course, or the conditions on your study permit, an extension may not be enough.
- Visa extension for work permit holders: Canada offers several work permits having their respective application processes. However, if you wish to change any conditions on your work permit or apply for an extension, you must do it before your current work permit expires. You must file for an extension 30 days before your work permit expires.
Note: You are not allowed to extend your work permit past the validity period of your passport.
When to apply for a Canada visitor’s record?
If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor or change your status from an international student to a visitor, you must apply at least 30 days before your current visa status expires.
The expiry date for your status is usually stamped on your passport, study permit, work permit, or visitor record if you have already extended your stay. It is different from the date mentioned on your visitor visa. For any reason, if you don’t have a stamp on your passport, the expiry date is usually six months from the date you entered Canada.
Note: You will be allowed to stay in Canada if your visa expires while your extension application is being processed.
How to extend the Canada visa?
The best way to apply for a visitor’s record is online.
- Create an account: You must have an online account to apply for your visitor’s record.
- Fill out the form correctly and entirely with all the relevant details.
- Sign, and submit the application along with all the supporting documents.
- Pay the fees.
- Keep a copy of your records for tracking your Canada visa application.
Note: If you cannot apply online, click on the option unable to apply online and select the reason.
You can get the application package and apply it on paper. You must fill out all the forms, attach all the supporting documents, pay the fees, attach the fee receipt, and send the package to the address mentioned.
1. How long am I allowed to stay in Canada as a visitor?
The usual period for most visitors to stay in Canada is up to six months.
2. Is there a limit to the number of times I can extend my Canada visitor visa?
There is no limit to the number of times you can extend your visitor visa; it can be done several times. However, whether you get the extension or not will depend on your history, the purpose of your stay, and the reason to continue staying in Canada.
3. Is it possible for me to assist a family member or friend in applying for a visitor’s visa to Canada?
Your family member or friend must apply for a visa from outside the country. It depends on factors such as their nationality, travel document, the country that issued it, and mode of travel to Canada. You can give them a sponsor letter but getting a visa depends on all the above factors.
4. Can I stay in Canada while waiting for my visitor visa extension?
Yes, if you have applied for the extension before the expiry date of your visa, then unless a decision is made on your application, you are allowed to stay in Canada.
Applying for a visa and extending the same can be overwhelming if you are not sure about your eligibility and the documents required. But with the right kind of research and assistance, this can be a seamless experience. Hopefully, this Canada visa extension guide would have answered most of your questions.