What is TRV?
Temporary visa to Canada, or TRV for short, is the document that allows its holder to cross the border and enter Canada for a limited period of time as a visitor.
Canada has only land border with just one country – the United States of America. Therefore, in most cases a TRV is required to board the Canada-bound airplane. One won’t be allowed to board without a visa (we’re not talking about citizens of visa-exempt countries today).
It is important to remember, that a TRV is absolutely required to enter Canada, but it does not guarantee that the holder will be allowed to cross the border and visit the country.
Temporary visas can be single- or multiple-entry. Quite self-explanatory: a single-entry visa is void once a holder enters Canada, and a multiple-entry visa is void on the day following its expiration date, allowing to enter Canada many times while it is valid.
In other words, TRV is necessary, but not sufficient to come to Canada. There are many circumstances that can result in denied admission to Canada for a visa holder. Some most common examples of denied admission include inability to demonstrate sufficient funds to cover expenses while in Canada, controversial answers to questions asked at the border etc.
So just remember: if you have a TRV, it does not automatically mean that you will be admitted to Canada. In very rare cases visa holders are denied entrance to Canada.
What can and can not be done with TRV?
TRV is a mere authorization to enter Canada for a limited period of time, and not much more. As such, it does not allow to stay in Canada for as long as you wish, to work or study in Canada (with certain exception to be mentioned later), to receive government-funded health care, welfare or other form of social assistance.
However, there are certain benefits that a TRV offers to its holder. First of all, if you come to Canada with a temporary visa, you are automatically entitled to study in Canada, if the education program of your choice does not exceed 6 months.
Also, for those seeking safe harbor for their financial assets, TRV allows to open a bank account in a Canadian bank, including the so-called Big Five: RBC, TD, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC. As you know, Canadian economy is very stable; among the G7 countries Canada suffered the least during the world crisis of 2008. Many people choose Canada as the country to keep and invest their money in.
Moreover, a TRV holder can buy or establish a company in Canada. Despite the fact that a temporary visa does not allow to work in Canada, it nevertheless does not prevent from owning a business, real estate or other property in Canada.
As you now see even a temporary visa to Canada has its own significant benefits.
Temporary resident visa validity
One common confusion about a TRV is its validity period.
Today Canadian government often issues temporary visas valid for many years – up to 10 years in fact.
We often receive calls from visitors in Canada who find themselves in a difficult situation, when they realize that they have stayed in the country way beyond the authorized period of stay, using TRV validity date as a reference.
Indeed, when a visa holder sees that the visa is valid until, say, December 20 of 2017, he or she can believe that it allows to stay in Canada until that very date. In this situation a visitor often understands that he is staying in Canada illegally only by accident, talking to other people or dealing with government officials.
Obviously, staying in Canada beyond the allowed period is illegal even if a visa holder did not realize him/herself doing it, and the consequences can be very serious, ranging from deportation to ban on entering Canada for several years.
So what does the visa validity date mean? It’s simple: the visa holder may enter Canada (cross the border actually) while the visa is valid. In my recent example if the visa is valid until December 20, 2017, it means that visa holder is entitled to enter Canada not later than December 20, 2017.
It’s very important to remember that visa validity date has nothing to do with the authorized period of stay in Canada.
So how do we know how long a visitor can remain in Canada?
When an individual is entering Canada with his TRV in hand, he has a brief conversation with a border officer. You know all these simple questions asked at every border when you travel the world: what’s the purpose of your visit? How long are you going to stay in Canada? Where are you going to live? And so on.
The officer asking all these questions is the one who determines until what date you will be allowed to remain in Canada.
He or she will stamp your passport and write the exact date, until which you are allowed to enjoy Canadian hospitality. It can be any date up to 6 months in the future, depending on your declared purpose of visit, the return tickets you have booked and so on.
However, in most cases you will see nothing but the border crossing stamp in your passport. If no date is written beside the stamp, it simply means that you are allowed to stay in Canada legally for exactly 6 months from the date shown on the stamp.
And once again: this period of authorized stay has nothing to do with the dates in a visa itself.
Temporary resident visa or tourist visa to Canada?
Another common misconception is expressed by people asking questions like “is it easier to receive a tourist visa or a guest visa?”.
Well, simply put, there is no such thing as a tourist visa, a guest visa or a business visa. They are all the same, called a Temporary Resident Visa. Everything else – desire to see relatives, to visit popular tourist destinations or attend a business meeting – is just different reasons to receive a TRV to Canada.
A businessman, a tourist and a relative – all of them will receive the same temporary visa.
What do I need to get TRV?
Now we came to the most interesting and the most complex matter of the topic: how to receive a temporary visa to Canada. We’ll touch upon it very briefly, because in-deep understanding of the matter requires much more time than we have today. However, we’ll be explaining some of these aspects in our upcoming articles.
So here’s the three key factors considered by immigration officers when processing TRV applications. Three major questions to be thoughtfully answered by every applicant in order to receive a TRV.
First, the reason for a visit. Every applicant must clearly demonstrate why he or she is applying for a temporary visa to Canada.
Second, the financial aspect. No application will be approved if an applicant fails to prove that he or she has sufficient funds to cover all expenses incurred with the trip, including flights to and from Canada.
Third, the most important and tricky one, is the motivation to return. Since the very purpose of a TRV is to allow a person to visit Canada temporarily, it implies that an applicant must leave Canada soon after arrival.
According to the Canadian immigration legislation it is the responsibility of every applicant to convince the officer that he or she will not stay beyond the authorized period of stay.
There is no such thing as a “list of required documents to receive a visa”. Similarly, there is no universal recipe how to convince the officer that you are going to leave Canada on time and not remain here for good.
This necessity of convincing the officer makes the entire application process unique for each applicant and sets price tag for services of licensed Canadian immigration firms with good reputation.
To apply for a TRV you may choose from two options: apply online or apply on paper. Several years ago paper-based process was the only way to apply for a visa, but today most applications are filed electronically, through the official website of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. All documents and application forms are uploaded in electronic forms (you’ll need good quality scans of all supporting documents, including certified translations into English). Processing fees are also paid online; the fee is $100 Canadian both for a single-entry and for a multiple-entry TRV.
Upon approval of an application the applicant is asked to submit his or her passport to receive a visa. This process is usually facilitated by a so-called Visa Application Centers, authorized by CIC to provide visa courier services for a surcharge.
Using a representative
As in any immigration or visa case, every TRV applicant is entitled to submit the application through a representative. Canadian immigration legislation clearly states, that a representative must be properly authorized in Canada for the application to be legal. We already mentioned in one of our articles what consequences can result from using services of unauthorized representatives. Always double-check if your representative is licensed in Canada to provide immigration and visa services before signing a contract and making any payments.
There are certain benefits of having a professional immigration firm to handle your TRV application. Professional service is only one of them.
Besides, you must have heard that online applications filed by the licensed immigration practitioners are submitted not through the same CIC system used by unrepresented applicants. Instead, there is a dedicated CIC portal for immigration representatives, which allows for more flexibility in terms of uploading specific supporting documents, and generally has less processing time.
In our previous article we spoke about refusal management; since no one can guarantee approval of an application, you cannot rule out a refusal as a possible outcome of your case. In this scenario professional refusal management by a qualified specialist in many cases can help to receive a visa.
It is estimated that about 2 billion people worldwide are willing to live in Canada. This creates tremendous demand on the market of immigration and visa services, which in turn results in numerous unscrupulous and fraudulent “visa firms”, “guaranteed visa services” and so on.
If you would like to apply for a temporary visa to Canada, licensed immigration practitioners of LP group will gladly help you.
Please feel free contacting our professional team and we will assist you in full.