Depending on your country of citizenship, in addition to a valid study permit or a port of entry (POE) letter of introduction, to enter Canada, you will need either:
If you are a Citizen of the United States, you don’t need an eTA or TRV.
When you apply for an initial study permit from outside Canada, your eTA or TRV will be processed simultaneously with your application.
A study permit is different from an eTA or a TRV. A study permit is a document that shows your status to remain in Canada as an international student. In addition to that, you must have a valid eTA or TRV to enter or re-enter Canada.
Please note that having a valid eTA or TRV doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. When you arrive, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will review all your supporting documents and decide whether you can enter Canada at your POE. They must be satisfied that you meet the requirements to enter Canada and that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
You may need an eTA if you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country to enter Canada by air.
Citizens of the United States are exempt from the eTA requirement. They must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.
An eTA may be valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. If you obtain a new passport, you also need to obtain a new eTA. Learn more about eTA validity by visiting the IRCC website.
When you apply for an initial study permit from outside Canada, the eTA number will be automatically issued and included in your letter of introduction.
If you are an international student from a visa-exempt country with a valid study permit, you still need to have a valid eTA if you want to leave and re-enter Canada. Therefore, ensure your eTA is valid. It is possible to check your eTA status online.
If you need one, you can apply for an eTA online. Usually, you can receive the eTA approval through your email within minutes; However, it can also take several days if they require additional documents. Ensure to include your passport number correctly while applying for one.
Please visit the Help Centre - Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for more details.
The Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also known as Visitor Visa, is an entry requirement for visa-required travellers entering Canada by any method of travel. The TRV is a counterfoil/sticker placed in your passport to show you meet the initial criteria to enter Canada.
You will need a TRV if you are a citizen of a visa-required country to enter Canada by air, land or sea.
Citizens of the United States are exempt from the TRV requirement. They must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.
International students are not required to hold a valid TRV while inside Canada. Still, it is highly recommended always to keep a valid TRV should you need to leave and re-enter Canada while studying.
A TRV is valid until the expiry date indicated on the counterfoil/sticker. If you apply for an initial study permit from outside Canada, your TRV will be issued with the same expiry date.
A TRV and a study permit will not be issued past the expiry date of your passport. Therefore, ensure your passport is valid to cover all your period of studies.
When you apply for an initial study permit from outside Canada, the TRV will be automatically issued, and the counterfoil/sticker will be placed in your passport.
If you are an international student from a visa-required country with a valid study permit, you still need to have a valid TRV if you want to leave and re-enter Canada. Therefore, ensure your TRV is valid in your passport.
If you are inside Canada with a valid study permit or applied to extend your study permit before it expires, you can continue studying even if your TRV is expired. The study permit is your status in Canada, and the TRV is the counterfoil/sticker that allows you to leave and re-enter Canada.
If you are inside Canada and have extended your study permit, your TRV will not be issued automatically. You will need to obtain your new study permit first and then apply for a TRV from inside Canada. VCC students will need a Confirmation of Enrolment and an official transcript to apply for a TRV from inside Canada. It is recommended that you do not make travel plans during this process, as you will need to submit your original passport with your TRV application. Please keep in mind that IRCC Processing times can take a long time.
If your passport that contains your TRV is lost or stolen, file a police report. Then, you should apply for a new passport with your consulate or embassy of your home country and apply for a new TRV, including a letter of explanation and proof of the police report.
Please visit the Help Centre - Tourist visa for students for more details.
If you are an international student with a valid study permit, you may not need a valid TRV to re-enter Canada if you are entering Canada solely from the United States, as you may meet visa-exemption IRPR, Part 9, Division 5, Section 190(3)(f).
Please note that you may need a valid United States entry visa to pass through the US Border Security before doing to the Land/Border Crossing (Flagpole).
The information on this page has been developed and endorsed by Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, the information may change without notice, and this is not a legal document. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up-to-date information.