Visitor Visa vs. TRV: Unraveling the Differences and Requirements

By | August 11, 2023

For those dreaming of visiting the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities of Canada, understanding the intricacies of the immigration process is crucial. When it comes to obtaining the necessary travel documents, the terms “Visitor Visa” and “Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)” often come up. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between the two. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the semantics of Visitor Visas and TRVs, exploring their purposes, eligibility requirements, and application processes. By unraveling these differences, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision about which option suits your needs.

What is a Visitor Visa?

A Visitor Visa is a travel document that allows individuals to enter Canada for a temporary period. It is issued to those who wish to explore the country’s numerous attractions, visit family or friends, or engage in business activities. This type of visa is suitable for tourists, individuals attending conferences or seminars, or anyone seeking medical treatment. A Visitor Visa usually has a validity period of up to six months, with the possibility of extension while in Canada. It is essential to note that a Visitor Visa does not grant the right to work or study in Canada.

What is a TRV?

On the other hand, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a specific category of a Visitor Visa. It is required for citizens of countries that are exempt from visa requirements and plan to stay in Canada for up to six months. The TRV is affixed to the passport, allowing entry into Canada. It is crucial to differentiate between a TRV and a work or study permit, as they are separate documents. While a TRV enables temporary residence in Canada, it does not authorize individuals to work or study without the appropriate permits.

Purpose of a Visitor Visa

The primary purpose of a Visitor Visa is to facilitate temporary stays for various reasons, including tourism, business meetings, family visits, or medical treatments. It allows individuals from across the globe to experience the cultural diversity, scenic landscapes, and warm hospitality that Canada has to offer. A Visitor Visa ensures that visitors can explore the country’s attractions while adhering to immigration regulations and maintaining their status as temporary visitors.

Purpose of a TRV

Similar to a Visitor Visa, a TRV enables temporary stays in Canada, but it specifically applies to citizens of visa-exempt countries. The purpose of a TRV is to ensure that individuals from these nations can enter and stay in Canada for up to six months. It is essential to remember that a TRV does not authorize any form of employment or study without the corresponding permits. Instead, the TRV serves as a permit for temporary residence, granting visitors the opportunity to explore Canada’s diverse landscapes and engage in various activities within the permitted duration.

Eligibility for a Visitor Visa

To be eligible for a Visitor Visa, individuals must demonstrate that they possess a valid passport, have sufficient funds to support their stay in Canada, and intend to leave the country once their authorized period ends. Additionally, applicants must have no criminal record, be in good health, and convince the immigration officers that they will comply with all Canadian laws and regulations. Eligibility for a Visitor Visa is not limited to a particular nationality, making it an accessible option for travelers worldwide.

Eligibility for a TRV

Citizens of visa-exempt countries who plan to stay in Canada for up to six months are eligible to apply for a TRV. However, they must satisfy certain criteria, including having a valid passport, proving sufficient funds to support their stay, providing evidence of ties to their home country, and demonstrating their intention to depart Canada once their authorized period ends. Eligibility for a TRV is a critical consideration for individuals exempt from obtaining a traditional visa, ensuring compliance with Canadian immigration policies.

Requirements for a Visitor Visa

When applying for a Visitor Visa, applicants must submit a completed application form, a valid passport, two photographs meeting specific requirements, proof of funds, and a detailed travel itinerary. Additionally, they may be required to provide a letter of invitation, a medical examination certificate, or a police certificate, depending on their country of residence. These requirements are in place to assess an individual’s eligibility for the Visitor Visa and ensure their ability to finance their stay without becoming a burden to the Canadian government.

Requirements for a TRV

The requirements for a TRV are similar to those of a Visitor Visa. Applicants must provide a completed application form, a valid passport, two photographs adhering to specific guidelines, proof of financial capacity, and a comprehensive travel itinerary. Depending on the individual’s circumstances and country of residence, additional documents such as a letter of invitation or a medical examination certificate may be required. Meeting these requirements is essential to obtaining a TRV and enjoying a temporary stay in Canada.

Processing Time Comparison

When it comes to processing times, both the Visitor Visa and the TRV follow similar timelines. Typically, it takes around several weeks to process an application, but this duration may vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications, the applicant’s country of residence, and the time of year. To ensure a smooth process, it is advisable to apply well in advance of the intended travel dates. Regardless of the chosen option, meticulous planning and timely submission of documents are vital to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Choosing the Right Option

Deciding between a Visitor Visa and a TRV depends on various factors, including the applicant’s country of residence and the purpose and duration of their stay in Canada. Understanding the nuances between the two options is crucial in making an informed decision. If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country planning a short visit to Canada, a TRV might be the best choice. However, if you intend to stay longer or engage in activities such as work or study, a Visitor Visa combined with the appropriate permits would be the more suitable option. Evaluating your specific needs and consulting with Canadian immigration authorities or legal professionals can help you determine the right choice for your visit to the Great White North.


Navigating the complexities of travel documents is a crucial step in realizing your dream of visiting Canada. By unraveling the differences between a Visitor Visa and a TRV, you can now confidently ascertain the purpose, eligibility requirements, and application processes for each. Remember, a Visitor Visa caters to a broader range of travelers, granting temporary stays for tourism, business, or medical purposes, while a TRV specifically applies to citizens of visa-exempt countries. Carefully evaluate your plans and requirements to choose the most suitable option, ensuring a seamless and memorable visit to the captivating land of Canada.