Entering and Re-entering Canada

It is to be expected that most foreign workers or foreign students will be required to hold work or study permits when in Canada. To enter or re-enter Canada for any purpose; however, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that most foreign nationals also hold additional immigration documents such as a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization.


What is a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)?

A TRV is a hard-copy visitor visa that has long been a requirement for citizens of many countries (called “visa countries”) who wish to enter Canada for any purpose.

What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

An eTA is a new entry requirement for many citizens of NON-visa countries, who plan to travel to Canada by air.

Who needs an eTA or a TRV?

The following link provides information about which individuals require an eTA and which ones need a TRV: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp

Do foreign nationals need both an eTA and a TRV?

No. Unless a foreign national is in an exempt category, s/he will need either an eTA or a TRV.

Are there any individuals who are exempt from the need for an eTA or a TRV?

Yes. Canadian citizens, American citizens and Canadian permanent residents are exempt. For a description of other individuals who are exempt, see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp

When will it be necessary for affected foreign nationals to obtain an eTA or a TRV?

Effective immediately, foreign nationals who will require an eTA are encouraged to apply for one. As of November 9, 2016; however, it will become mandatory for affected individuals to have an eTA if they wish to enter (or re-enter) Canada.With few exceptions, most foreign nationals who have historically needed a TRV, will continue to need one. There are however, some countries whose citizens historically needed a TRV but who will soon require an eTA instead. For information, see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp

How do foreign nationals apply for an eTA or a TRV?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers an on-line eTA application at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp For information about how to apply for a TRV, foreign nationals can access: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business/apply.asp

Does a TRV or an eTA allow a foreign national to work or study in Canada?

No. TRV’s and eTA’s only allow foreign nationals to enter (or re-enter) Canada. They do not replace the need for a study permit or a work permit.

What are the costs of eTA’s and TRV’s?

The processing fee for an eTA is $7.00 (CAD). The processing fee for a TRV is $100 (CAD). Processing fees are paid, by the foreign applicant, at the time of submitting an application for an eTA or a TRV.

After a foreign national submits an application for an eTA or a TRV, how long will it take to receive immigration’s decision?

In most cases, applicants will receive a reply within minutes of applying for an eTA. If; however, immigration requires additional time (and/or information) to finalize the decision on whether to issue the eTA, then within 72 hours, applicants will receive a notification of the upcoming delay.TRV processing time varies widely and is subject to frequent change. For information on TRV processing times, see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp

If an application for an eTA or a TRV is refused, is there an appeal process?

No, such decisions cannot be appealed. If; however, the foreign national has new or additional information that he/she feels might change immigration’s decision, he/she can submit a new application for consideration.

If a foreign national is only coming to Canada as a visitor, will he/she still need an eTA or a TRV?

Unless the foreign national is in one of the exempt categories, then yes, he/she will need an eTA or a TRV.

If a foreign national will only remain in Canada for a very short period, will he/she need an eTA or a TRV?

The need for an eTA or a TRV is not based on how long someone will remain in Canada. Unless a foreign national falls under one of the exempt categories, he/she will need an eTA or a TRV.

I know a foreign national who arrived in Canada before March 15, 2016 and he’s continued to remain here. He’s planning to leave Canada for a one-day seminar and then return to Canada after November 9, 2016. Will he need an eTA or a TRV to re-enter?

Unfortunately, the requirement to hold an eTA or a TRV does not include a “grandfathering” provision. Unless a foreign national is in an exempt category, then yes, he/she will need an eTA or a TRV to re-enter Canada.

For how long are TRV’s and eTA’s valid?

The validity period of TRV’s varies widely but will never extend beyond the expiry date of the foreign national’s passport. Alternatively, eTA’s are valid for either 5 years, or to the expiry date of the foreign national’s passport – whichever comes first.

Can foreign nationals use eTA’s or TRV’s to enter Canada more than once?

Yes. If an eTA or a TRV has not reached its expiry date, it can be used to enter (or re-enter) Canada an unlimited number of times.


Contact Us 

Immigration Services
Human Resource Services

Cyndi Killingsworth

Dallas Pelkey

Trisha Kasawski

Email: Immigration.Services@ualberta.ca

The information provided on this website is for reference only and is subject to change. Before you invite a foreign national to campus, it is recommended that you seek advice from Immigration Services, Human Resource Services.