How to apply for a visitor record in Canada

If for any reason, you are visiting Canada and intend to extend your stay, you need to apply for a visitor record in Canada. If you happen to find yourself in Canada as a visitor, it means you entered using one of the following documents;

  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA); or
  • a visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa)

It behooves you, the visitor, to apply to the Canadian Government for an extension of your stay.

apply for visitor record in Canada

When to apply for a Visitor Record in Canada?

The general rule is that Canada allows most visitors to stay up to 6 months in Canada. If you got into Canada through a Primary Inspection Kiosk, your stay would be terminated precisely 6 months from the date you came in or the date your passport expires (whichever comes first).

Please note that it is pertinent you apply before the expiration of your existing visa. What is a visitor record?

The first thing to note is that a visitor record is not a visa. It is the document that allows you to remain in Canada legally. Generally, your visitor record has an expiry date; you’re expected to have left the country or submitted the application for an extension before this date. Also, remember that a visitor record does not assure your re-entry into Canada if you choose to leave.

How do you Extend Your Stay as a Temporary Resident?

You can apply to renew your status if you are a student, temporary worker, or visitor. To achieve that, here are a couple of eligibility checks you need to tick off the box:

  • You must submit your application before the original document expires;
  • You must also keep to the initial requirements of your stay;
  • You must as well uphold the conditions of your status, i.e., not working without authorization;
  • You need to meet the requirements of the category under which you applied to be restored as a temporary resident.

How to apply:

You can make your application through the online portal. To apply for an extension of your stay in Canada, you must complete the application package online and provide the required personal information. You may also be required to upload some necessary documents.

Members of your family may also wish to extend their stay in Canada; they must apply separately.

Application steps:

  • Ensure you have all the necessary documents handy;
  • Pay the applicable fees;
  • Be sure to carefully fill in the forms as straightforward as possible; you can always make an extra copy for your records;
  • The next step is to sign and date your forms;
  • Then hit the submit button to send in your application, receipt of required fees, and all supporting documents online.

How long does it take to obtain a Visitor Record in Canada?

As is always the case with Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there is no time allotted to this process. The time frame is mainly dependent on the number of applications they have.

Next, if you have successfully applied, you will receive an immigration document that will provide you with a new expiry date and grant you the legal status to stay in Canada.


If your application request is refused, your stay in the country becomes the expiry date on your current temporary resident status; hence the opinion above is to apply before your current passport expires.

Afterward, you can apply for restoration at the expiration of 90 days from the date of the refusal notice.

With the above clearly stated, if your status expires but you’re yet to obtain a decision on your application, you have no right to stay back in Canada.

Always remember that you must remain in Canada before you can apply for the restoration of your temporary status. Once you exit the country, you’re considered a new applicant upon your return.

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