January 13, 2023

How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

A visitor visa (also known as a temporary resident visa) or an eTA (electronic travel authorization) is required for certain foreign nationals who wish to visit or travel through Canada. You may or may not require a visitor visa or eTA depending on your citizenship. If you do not require a visa or eTA to travel to Canada, a determination as to whether you will be allowed into Canada will be made upon your arrival to Canada at either the border or airport. For entry requirements by country or territory, please visit here. 

If you require a visa to visit or travel through Canada, a date of issue and date of expiry will be indicated on the visa. The expiry date is the date the visa holder must seek admission to Canada by and does not impact how long the holder can remain in Canada. 

How long you can stay in Canada as a visitor once you have entered the country is at the discretion of the Officer at the port of entry. In general, most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. However, there are cases where the border services Officer at the port of entry will authorize a stay of less than 6 months.  

If your passport was stamped when you entered Canada, an Officer may handwrite a date on the entry stamp indicating the date you must leave by. If you received a visitor record (note: a visitor record is not a visitor visa), you need to leave Canada by the expiry date listed on the visitor record. For more information regarding the difference between visitor visas and visitor records, please visit here. 

If your passport wasn’t stamped, you can only stay in Canada 

  • for up to 6 months from the day you initially entered the country, or 
  • until your passport expires, whichever comes first. 

If you wish to stay longer, you should apply for an extension before the expiry of the granted stay. For more information regarding extending your stay in Canada or any other immigration related questions, contact us today!