The terms Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) are often confused, but, in reality, they apply to two very different things. However, there are some similarities:

  • They both help people enter Canada
  • They are both for temporary stays
  • You cannot work or study without an additional permit
  • The ultimate decision to allow the visitor into the country is made by the officer at the port of entry (airport, land border crossing, terminal or station)

What is a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)?

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a visa that is issued to people from certain countries to allow them to enter Canada as a tourist or for other reasons. Some countries are visa exempt, but they may need an eTA. Countries that require a TRV include China, India, Pakistan and Russia.  A visa can be issued for single entries, multiple entries or transiting.

Countries that don’t require a visa include the United States, Western European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. Unless you are from the US, an eTA is usually required.

If you want to come to Canada to work or study from a non-exempt country, you will need to apply for your work or study permit and then, if accepted, you will be issued a TRV for the duration of your program.

A resident from a visa-exempt country will only need the work or study permit.

What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)?

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is a permit issued to a person who would otherwise be ineligible to enter Canada. Common reasons for ineligibility include:

  • Criminal record
  • Medical issues
  • Immigration violations

In order to obtain a TRP, you must demonstrate that you have a valid reason to enter the country, such as a family matter or a business meeting. It’s possible to work or study on a TRP, but you must also apply for the work or study permit. The number of entries and length of the TRP (up to three years) is at the discretion of the officer.

People from non-exempt countries will need to get both the TRP and the TRV if they are inadmissible.

If you have a criminal record and wish to continue entering Canada, or hope one day to live in Canada, you should resolve your inadmissibility by applying for Criminal Rehabilitation. You can apply five years after completing your sentence. Many people will apply for both the TRP and the Criminal Rehabilitation at the same time. The Criminal Rehabilitation application will take longer to process, but you can enter on the TRP in the meantime. As long as you keep your record clean, you will be able to enter Canada under the normal visiting restrictions.

After 10 years, you may be deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time. You are not eligible for deemed rehabilitation if you have an offence that would be considered punishable by prison time of 10 years or more.

You can apply for a TRP at the port of entry or at the Consulate. Applying through the Consulate will take longer, but you have a better chance of being approved. Applying at the border is not recommended if the purpose of your visit is leisure. For example, don’t apply at the airport if you just want to go on a ski vacation.

Why could you be denied entry at the border?

You’ve got your TRP, TRV and your work or study permit, but you have heard that you can still be denied entry to Canada. Common reasons why people are denied entry at the border include:

  • Criminal records
  • Pending criminal charges or non-conviction records such as discharges
  • Undeclared firearms
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Immigration violations, including suspected violations
  • Health conditions
  • Lack of documentation

If you are issued a TRV or TRP, it’s important to abide by the rules and leave the country or renew your documents before they expire.

If you have questions about entering Canada, contact AllCleared for a free consultation about your specific situation at 1-866-972-7366.