Visitor visas for workers and students

How long can a visitor stay in Canada?

Most visitors can stay in Canada for up to six months.

The border services officer at the port of entry may allow you to stay for less than or more than 6 months. If that’s the case, they’ll stamp your passport with the departure date. They may also provide you with a document known as a visitor record, which will show the date you must leave Canada.

If you do not receive a passport stamp, you can stay in Canada for 6 months from the date you entered or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

If you require a stamp, you can obtain one from a border services officer. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border officer about the stamp once you’ve completed your inspection.

Check to see if you require a visitor visa before applying for one.

A visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization may be required. The entry document you require is determined by:

the type of travel document with which you intend to travel the country that issued your travel document

your nationality your mode of transportation to Canada for this trip

Declare your travel information at an airport kiosk or eGate: Save time at Canada’s major airports.

When you arrive at one of Canada’s international airports, you must verify your identity and make an on-screen declaration at a Primary Inspection Kiosk or eGate.

Kiosks are available at the following locations:

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG)

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) (Terminal 1 and 3)

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) Ottawa International Airport (YOW)

Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)

eGates are currently available at the following locations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ):Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Terminal 1)

what you have to do If you arrive at an airport that does not have a kiosk or an eGate,?

 you will be given a declaration card on your flight to Canada or one will be available when you arrive. Complete the card and present it to a border services officer.

Make your declaration at the kiosk or the eGate:

Step 1: Determine whether you prefer English or French.

(Depending on location, additional languages such as Arabic, Dutch, German, Hindi, Inuktitut, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, simplified Chinese, Ukrainian, Russian, and Spanish may be available.)

Step 2: Scan your passport.

Step 3: Take a photograph.

Step 4: If necessary, verify your fingerprints (only for select foreign nationals and permanent residents)

Step 5: Complete and certify your declaration by answering specific questions.

Step 6: Show your receipt to a border patrol officer.

It should be noted that up to five passengers can use a single kiosk to submit their customs and immigration declarations. Individual travellers are processed by eGates. Children under the age of 16 are unable to legally certify their own declarations without the assistance of an adult and are therefore unable to use eGates. Unaccompanied minors must speak with a border services officer in order to be processed in person.

Who is not permitted to use the kiosks and eGates?

For in-person processing, the following travellers must see a border services officer:

Travelers who have a travel document that cannot be read by a machine

Travellers who do not have a passport or a Canadian Permanent Resident card

Unaccompanied minors under the age of 16

Applicants for asylum

Kiosks and eGates are fully accessible in compliance with Canadian standards. Travellers requiring additional support or who are unable to complete their kiosk or eGate session may proceed to a border services officer for in-person processing.


Can you drive a car while on a visitor visa?

If you intend to drive in Canada with a foreign driver’s license, you must first obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in your home country. An IDP will translate your license into French and English for you.

In most countries, the IDP is valid for one year and can be renewed. The IDP is a translation of your foreign driver’s license into a variety of languages. To use an IDP in Canada, you must have a valid driver’s license from another country.

To drive on Quebec roads, you must have a valid international driving permit. You must always drive with both licenses – your Canadian driver’s license and your Canadian driver’s license.

The International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is valid in Canada, regardless of province, territory, or foreign country.

If you have a valid license from your home country, you should be able to drive in Canada for a short period of time after arriving. For more information, contact the government of your province or territory.

The process of obtaining a driver’s license in Canada is determined by the province or territory in which you reside as well as your driving history. It could include:

  • a written examination on traffic laws (you can get a study guide to help with this)
  • one or two road tests
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