Difference between a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa and a Canadian Status Document

by | Nov 12, 2020

Many persons wishing to come to Canada often confuse a Canadian visa with a Canadian work permit or with a Canadian study permit. They are different documents and they serve different purposes. 

What is a Canadian Visa?

Generally speaking, many persons wanting to enter Canada, that is, wanting to land at the airport and to set foot in Canada, must first get a visa. They must get a Canadian visa referred to as a Temporary Resident Visa or TRV. 

It’s important to note that not everybody who is not a Canadian, but who wishes to come to Canada needs a visa. There are some countries whose nationals do not require a visa. Many of the nationals from European countries do not require visas to enter Canada. Similarly, nationals from the US do not require visas. Additionally, persons from some other listed countries on the Canadian immigration authorities’ website do not require a visa. However, even in their cases, they require a document referred to as an Electronic Travel Authorization or an ETA. 

Status Documents for Persons required to have a Canadian Visa

For persons who are from countries whose nationals are required to have a visa, the visa allows them to enter Canada or to arrive at the airport in Canada or to arrive at a land border in Canada. However, upon arrival in Canada, that visa does not authorize them to remain in Canada. 

In order for a person to remain in Canada, they are required to have a separate document. This is referred to, generally speaking, as a status document. A status document can take the form of a work permit or a study permit, or a visitor record. A status document is what then allows you to remain in Canada for a set period of time.  

What are the Status Documents in Canada?

If you are coming to Canada on a work permit, for instance, your work permit may allow you to remain in Canada for a period of one year to a maximum of three years. That would therefore, be the duration authorized by your status document, which in this case, would be a work permit. 

Similarly, if you’re coming on a study permit, then the study permit is your status document. In such a case,you would be authorized to remain in Canada for as long as your period of study is going to be. 

If you’re coming as a visitor, then you get issued a status document that is referred to, as a visitor record. 

In some situations you might not be issued a physical visitor record as your status document. However, the immigration officer you encounter at the airport or at another point of entry, may instead just put a stamp on your passport and set the duration of time that you’re going to be allowed into Canada. 

In fact, there may even be instances when no stamps would be put in your passport and you’re not issued a visitor record. In such a situation, it means that once an officer allows you into Canada, you’d be allowed to remain in Canada for no more than six months before having to leave or having to apply to have your status extended.

Let Us Help

Having distinguished between a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa and the various Canadian Status Documents available, we are here to assist you put together the ideal documents you may require coming into Canada. Let us know if you require our assistance.


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