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Visitor Visa (TRV)

*IMPORTANT* Holding a TRV alone does not authorize you to study or work in Canada, nor does it give you status in Canada. To enter Canada as a student you must have, in addition to your TRV, a valid Study Permit.

Only citizens of certain countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. A TRV is sometimes referred to as a Visitor Visa or Entry Visa.

Do I need to apply for a visitor visa (TRV)?

*IMPORTANT* U.S. citizens are both TRV and eTA exempt (i.e., they are not required to hold either a Visitor Visa or an eTA in order to enter Canada).

Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be required to have either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, also referred to as a “Visitor Visa” or “Entry Visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to enter Canada.

  • If you apply for a Study Permit from outside of Canada, your TRV or eTA will be issued automatically
  • If you will not be applying for a Study Permit, you will need to apply separately for a TRV or eTA.

If you require an eTA, see here for our eTA application guide.

Do I need to apply separately for my TRV?

Depending on where you are applying from, you may or may not need to apply separately for your TRV.

International students outside of Canada

If you will be applying for your Study Permit from outside of Canada, you do not have to apply separately for your TRV. Your TRV will be issued to you automatically once your Study Permit application is approved.

When your Study Permit or Work Permit has been approved, you will be asked to submit your passport to the Visa Office so that the TRV (a counterfoil) can be placed inside your passport. Before travelling to Canada, you should have obtained both your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction and your TRV from the Visa Office. In general, a TRV will be issued for multiple entries.

Upon arrival to your port of entry (e.g. airport or land border), you must show your TRV, your POE Letter of Introduction, and your CAQ in order to obtain your Study Permit. You can read more about how to prepare to arrive in Canada as a student.

International Students already in Canada

If, when you apply for your Study Permit, you are already in Canada as a high school student or as an exchange or visiting student, you will have to apply separately for your TRV. In other words, your TRV will not be automatically issued to you when your Study Permit application is approved.

You can read about how to apply for your TRV here.

1-Term exchange students outside Canada NOT applying for CAQ & Study Permit

If you will be studying at McGill for 6 months or less (e.g. one-term exchange), you are not required to have a CAQ and Study Permit. You may, however, wish to apply for CAQ and Study Permit depending on your plans.

If you are a one-term exchange student and you have decided not to apply for a CAQ and Study Permit and you require a TRV to enter Canada, see here for our guide on how to apply for your TRV. *LINK TO SECTION: ONE-TERM EXCHANGE WITHOUT A CAQ OR STUDY PERMIT (I.E. TRV/ETA ONLY)

What if my TRV has expired?

You may remain in Canada if your TRV has expired. However, if you exit Canada, you will need a valid TRV in order to re-enter Canada.

*IMPORTANT* If you leave Canada and travel to the U.S. only, you may request re-entry to Canada even if your TRV has expired as long as you will return to Canada before the end of your approved stay in Canada (e.g. before your Study Permit or Post Graduation Work Permit expires). You can read more about expired TRVs and travelling as a student here and here