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Visitor Visa: Single Entry vs. Multiple Entry Visas


What is a Visitor Visa?

A visitor visa, also called as Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs), is an essential document for foreign nationals–unless from a visa-exempt country–coming to Canada before planning their trip to Canada, whether for tourism, business, or temporary work. The necessity for a TRV depends on the country of origin: those from visa-exempt countries can bypass this step, while others must secure a visitor visa to cross Canadian borders.


Single vs. Multiple Entry Visas

Canadian immigration offers two distinct types of visitor visas: single entry and multiple entry. Each serves a unique purpose, designed for individuals with different travelling profiles and intentions.


Single Entry Visa

The single entry visa, as the name implies, grants a one-time entry into Canada. 

For instance, you may only be eligible for a single entry visa if:


  • you are engaging in unique, one-time events in Canada;
  • you are undergoing official visits and eligible for fee exemptions (such as, for an official visit by a foreign national);
  • there are special rules for your country.


Post-departure, re-entry necessitates a new visa application, except under specific circumstances like direct travel to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon and back.


Multiple Entry Visa

A multiple entry visa allows holders to enter and exit Canada multiple times over its validity period. However, it is notable to remember that the multiple entry visa holder can stay in Canada for six months at a time and expires one month before the passport expires. Multiple entry visitor visas can be valid for up to 10 years; however the exact valid period is solely at the discretion of the visa officer issuing the visa. 


Who Needs a Visitor Visa?

Everyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or does not have visa-exempt status, needs a visitor visa to enter Canada. If you are a permanent resident of Canada and your card has expired, you cannot apply for a visitor visa; you need to get a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) instead. Canadian citizens, including those with dual citizenship, must travel on a valid Canadian passport. If your trip to Canada involves business activities but you are not coming as a temporary worker, you might need a business visitor visa.


Applicants, depending on their country of citizenship, may be required to include biometric information in their application. If biometrics are required, the applicants will be asked to provide their fingerprints and photograph at a biometric collection service point.


Extending Your Stay

Both single and multiple entry visas let you stay in Canada for up to six months at a time. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for an extension before your current stay expires.


Why Some Visas Get Denied?

There are many reasons why a visa application might get turned down, like missing documents, not enough money for your stay, or health issues. It’s important to provide clear and complete information to avoid these problems.


Whether you need a single entry or multiple entry visa depends on what you plan to do in Canada. The process is designed to figure out which type is best for your visit. Understanding these details can help make your trip planning smoother.

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