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When to issue a visitor record

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can issue a visitor record in the following situations:

  • CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency)

A CBSA border services officer can issue a visitor record to a temporary resident at the point of entry upon arrival in Canada.

When a foreign national arrives at a point of entry, an officer may issue a visitor record to register an authorized period of stay other than the 6-month standard for the following reasons, but not limited to:

  • the officer establishes that it is necessary to ensure the respect of an imposed condition, for example, when the officer considers it necessary to limit or extend the authorized period of stay.


  • IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)

The IRCC officers at a case processing center may issue a visitor record to a temporary resident for the following purposes:

  • to extend his stay in Canada beyond his initial authorized period of stay;
  • to re-establish his temporary resident status in Canada after losing this status;
  • to modify the conditions of his stay.

Imposed conditions

Section 183 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) outlines the conditions imposed on all temporary residents:

  • authorization of the period of stay;
  • indication of when the period of authorized stay for a temporary resident begins and ends;
  • stipulation according to which the temporary resident must leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for his stay;
  • specification that the temporary resident may not engage in work or studies without authorization;
  • description of the process for an extension of the period authorized for stay;
  • detail on the nuances about the continuation of status and conditions.


Officer-decided conditions

Section R185 states that an officer may impose, modify or cancel the following specific conditions on a temporary resident:

  • the period of time authorized for his stay;
  • the work that he is permitted to engage in, or are prohibited from engaging in, in Canada;
  • the studies that they are permitted to engage in, or are prohibited from engaging in, in Canada;
  • the area within which he is permitted to travel, or are prohibited from travelling in, in Canada;
  • the times and places at which he must report for;
  • medical examination;
  • medical surveillance;
  • medical treatment;
  • presentation of evidence of compliance with applicable conditions.

Visitor visa for multiple entries

A multiple entry visa allows you, as long as it is valid, to stay in Canada for a period of up to six months as many times as you wish. It is valid for a maximum period of 10 years or up to one month before your passport expires, whichever is shorter. You must arrive in Canada no later than the expiration date of your visa.

Visitor visa for single-entry

A single-entry visa allows you to stay in Canada only once. For example, you will only be entitled to a single entry visa if:

  • You are eligible for a fee waiver and the purpose of your entry in Canada is restricted (e.g. an official visit by a foreign national);
  • You are participating in a special event in Canada that only happens once;
  • If procedures or guidelines specific to an approved country are in place.

In most cases, when you leave Canada, you will need to obtain a new visa to return.

If you are traveling directly to the United States (including its territories and possessions) or to St. Pierre and Miquelon, you do not need a new visitor visa to return to Canada.

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