Canadian Visa Renewal: How to Extend Your Stay in Canada

One of the benefits of living in Canada is that you can easily travel to other countries without needing to apply for a visa, but what happens if you want to stay in Canada longer than the 6 months allowed? If you are looking to stay in Canada longer than your temporary resident visa allows, you will need to apply for Canadian visa renewal, which will extend your stay by another year or two. This guide will help you learn how to get Canadian visa renewal and extend your stay in Canada.

Canadian Visa Renewal: How to Extend Your Stay in Canada

With the Canadian economy booming, many people are interested in immigrating to Canada and taking advantage of the opportunity to find work and start a new life there. However, as with any immigration process, it’s important to know exactly what you need to do in order to extend your stay or apply for citizenship and permanent residency. To help you with this, here’s everything you need to know about Canadian visa renewal, including how to find out when your current visa expires, what kind of documentation you need in order to renew your visa, how much it will cost, and more.

If you have decided to go on vacation to Canada and make it your permanent home, it’s time to extend your stay. You need to make sure that you extend your Canadian visa renewal within six months of your entry date or you will be sent back to your home country. In this guide, we will help you understand why you need to renew your stay in Canada and what steps to take next. Here’s what you should know about how to extend your stay in Canada!

What is Visa Renewal

The Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Act defines two categories of Temporary Resident Permits. The first category is for Temporary Resident Permits issued at ports of entry; these are valid for a period not exceeding six months. The second category is for all other Temporary Resident Permits, including those issued to study, work or visit family in Canada.

For some types of TRPs, such as landed immigrant applicants, permits may be issued up to three years if required for medical reasons or compelling compassionate grounds and if authorized by an officer. In other cases, only one year's duration is allowed.

How do I renew my visa?

First, visit a Canadian visa office or government website (e.g., Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada). These sites explain exactly what you need to do before your current permit expires—for example, whether you must reapply for a work permit before your current one expires. If your visa has expired and you haven’t done anything about it yet, don’t fret. You can extend your status until it becomes an issue that must be resolved.

Renewing Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa - TRV)

As a foreign national, you must apply for and receive a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before arriving in Canada. These are both visitor visas and they can be renewed while you are already staying legally in Canada. To renew your visa, it is important that you do so before its expiry date. If not, then you might have to wait for another six months before reapplying.

What you need for your visa renewal application

A photocopy of your passport or travel document; Two recent photographs; Application for renewal of temporary resident status (IMM 5444B); and A fee payment receipt. If you are unable to pay by credit card, a bank draft from a Canadian financial institution or an international money order should be made payable to Service Canada. You can send payments by mail and continue reading.

Eligibility Requirement

You must have previously landed in Canada with a study permit, work permit, or visitor visa, and your current status has now expired. To determine if you meet these requirements, apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If you are eligible, an ETA will be issued and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Once you've landed in Canada again, use your new eTA as proof of status while you complete any necessary application forms with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding your Canadian visa renewal/extension request. You will also need a valid passport during the entire process.

Can we renew visas online?

Unfortunately, you can’t extend your visa online, so plan on making an appointment at a local visa office. The best thing you can do is call ahead and schedule an appointment and allow plenty of time; in some cases, there may be thousands of people waiting to renew their visas. You’ll need proof of income and address, as well as documents proving that you have permission to work or study.

In most cases, you’ll also need travel insurance for your stay (many countries will issue temporary travel insurance that is valid while applying for visa renewal). Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your desired departure date from Canada and it needs to have been issued less than 10 years before your application date.

How much is it to renew a Canadian visa?

As of 2018, a Canadian visa extension costs $85 CAD, which is an increase from 2016’s cost of $75 CAD. If you applied for a visa before June 11, 2014, your fee is prorated depending on when you apply and how long your stay is allowed.

For example, if you had a one-year Canadian visa renewal expiring June 10 and applied for an extension May 30—in other words, 6 months early—you would pay a fee of $30 CAD. That’s assuming your government processing fees are less than $85. If not, those are added to your total as well.

How soon can I renew my Canadian visa before it expires?

Once your Canadian visa expires, you cannot travel back into Canada until you have either extended your stay or applied for a new Canadian visa. To extend your Canadian visa, you must apply at least one month before it expires (some visas expire sooner).

You can check when your visa is set to expire on CIC’s website. Keep in mind that if you leave Canada after applying for an extension and before being approved, you will not be able to re-enter on a temporary resident permit (TRP) and will instead need a new Canadian visitor visa.

What can happen if I don’t renew my visa?

If you need to extend your stay after you enter Canada, you must apply for a renewal of your visitor visa before it expires. The length of time that can elapse between your initial entry into Canada and your application for renewal is six months or less. In addition, if you want to extend your stay for more than six months, you must obtain permission from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before your current visitor visa expires.

You may be able to avoid having to apply for a visitor visa renewal by applying instead for another immigration status such as student or worker. If IRCC approves such an application, they will usually issue a new document that indicates that IRCC recognizes you as lawfully staying in Canada.

What happens when the process goes wrong?

If you or your spouse have spent most of your time outside of Canada, working on a job that required you to live away from home, it may be difficult for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to decide whether you’ve been living in Canada for long enough.

In these cases, CIC may decide that you do not meet their residency requirements. Fortunately, you have options. If there was a medical reason behind why your spouse didn’t spend more time living in Canada, then CIC may grant residency based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

The benefits of being a permanent resident

Becoming a permanent resident will mean you’ll be able to live, work and study anywhere in Canada. You won’t need government authorization to move around within Canada and you won’t need an employer to sponsor your immigration status; you can work on your own terms. The sooner you apply for Canadian permanent residency after becoming a temporary resident, the sooner you can enjoy these privileges.

It takes time for applications (including immigration papers) to process through our system so it’s best if you start early on your application. Remember that once you become a permanent resident, there are certain conditions that must be maintained or risks of losing status such as not being able to work or even living outside of Canada. Permanent residency is not a guarantee of staying in Canada forever.

When to File for Canadian visa renewal

In order to extend your stay in Canada, you will have to file for a Canadian visa renewal 60 days before your authorized stay expires. This is because once you have filed for a Canadian visa renewal, your new status will be issued by mail. If you’re applying from inside of Canada and need an extension, it must be done at least 30 days before expiration.

If you are outside of Canada and need an extension for another six months, it must be done at least 60 days before expiration (and 120 days if an extension is needed beyond six months). Even if time is running out on your current status, don’t wait until the last minute — there could be delays that prevent timely processing.

Types of Canadian visas

In order to work and live in Canada, you will need a special visa called a work permit. There are three types of work permits that are issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for those who want to do business or live in Canada.

They are Temporary Foreign Worker Permit, Working Holiday Visa, and International Student Work Permit. Depending on your reason for visiting or living there, you may be eligible for one of these three types of Canadian visas. The Temporary Foreign Worker Permit is used when companies want employees from other countries for a certain period of time; with it, you can stay up-to-three years without applying for permanent residency.

What Happens if you are Late Filing your Case?

Under Canadian Immigration law, you are required to file your immigration application within 30 days of your arrival in Canada. If you fail to do so, then Citizenship and Immigration Canada may issue a late filing objection. A late filing objection will stay on your permanent resident application even after it is approved by an immigration officer or at a hearing before a judge and it will lead to a delay of several months in receiving any PR status documents.

To avoid such problems, Canadian immigration lawyers strongly recommend that anyone who moves permanently from another country should file their immigration papers within 30 days of arrival in Canada.

How much is it to renew a Canadian visa?

  • Temporary residence
  • Fee Price ($CAN)
  • Extend your stay as a visitor - per person $100.00
  • Restore your status as a visitor Visa fee is not needed $200.00
  • Workers
  • Work permit (including extensions) – per person $155.00

Spousal Sponsorship Section

You’ll have to apply for a sponsorship from your spouse or common-law partner. This requires a combination of two things: an application and supporting documents. The application form is called IMM 5409E, which you can find on Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s website.

As part of your application, you must submit documents including proof of your relationship with your spouse or common-law partner (for example, wedding photos), copies of any child custody agreements if applicable, and letters showing that one party provides financial support for a child or stepchild (if necessary), birth certificates, etc.

Residency Requirements before Applying for Citizenship

There are residency requirements before you can apply for Canadian citizenship, which is why many people who have lived in Canada for a long time are not yet Canadians. To apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during four of five years right before your application date.

If you’re younger than 18 or over age 64 when you apply, you must meet residency requirements by being physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least three years within six years after your application date. Residency rules also apply when applying for naturalization as a Canadian citizen from outside of Canada.

How to extend your stay as a visitor in Canada

First, you will need to apply for an extension of your temporary resident status through a visa renewal. As long as you meet all of Canada’s visa requirements, and your country hasn’t been placed on a list of no-extension countries (currently China and South Korea), you will usually receive your extension within about six months.

This time period can vary quite a bit depending on how busy officers are at any given time or if additional documentation is needed from you. You may also be required to take another medical exam at least 30 days before the expiry date on your current Canadian visa. If so, it is important that you book an appointment with CIC prior to your visa expiring, even if it means doing so while still in Canada. In the case where the date of expiry is not known, ensure that you apply before six (6) months of your entry into Canada.

Step 1: Determine your preferred method of application

You have three options for extending your stay in Canada, listed below in order of complexity: (1) Permanent Resident Card, (2) eTA, or (3) Long-Term Resident Permit. For most applicants, obtaining a PR card will be sufficient.

However, if you were born outside of Canada and are a citizen of another country than those on NAFTA (United States, Mexico, and/or Costa Rica), then you will need an eTA before applying for a Canadian visa renewal. Applicants who are only staying longer term because they are employed by an international company or working as an affiliate should opt for an LTRP since it is generally simpler to obtain and manage than a visa.

In order to apply online successfully for your Canadian visa extension, you must possess the following;

  • A functioning scanner or camera to help in capturing your documents as you will be required to make electronic copies of your documents for uploading.
  • You must also have a functioning credit card for payment of your Canadian visa extension application fees.
  • It is also important for applicants applying online to provide an email address while applying and ensure that they check such regularly as the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will usually send information on the application to such address. The CIC sends automated emails that are relevant to your visa extension application and in the case where these messages are not found in your inbox, please ensure that you check your spam regularly and follow all instructions given.
  • You can follow this link to apply for your Canadian visa extension online.

Step 2: Download your visa extension application package

You will receive a package containing forms, instructions and a return envelope addressed to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The package is called Application for Renewal of a Visitor Visa. This is NOT an application for permanent residence. In fact, you will be applying to extend your temporary resident status in Canada as a visitor. The following steps are recommended when completing your application package.

Detailed explanation for extension: you will be required to provide a detailed explanation of your reason for extending your Canadian visa. You must state clearly and convincingly why you want to extend your visit and for how long you wish to extend your stay in Canada.

  • Avoid missing information or blank forms: fill your application forms completely and correctly without leaving any blank spaces. Missing information on your application form may result in your application being rejected
  • Avoid using irregular Signatures: ensure you use a regular signature all through the application. Avoid changing signatures.
  • No guarantee: getting an extension of the temporary Canadian visa is not guaranteed. Sometimes visa extensions are not granted even when the applicant has all the required documents.
  • Submit all required documents: ensure that you attach and submit all required documents to avoid delay in processing and improve the chances of your visa extension application being accepted.

Step 3: Make your extension application payments

If you have applied for a work permit renewal, study permit renewal, or visitor visa extension, you must include all applicable fees with your application. Fees are different depending on what kind of application you are submitting and where you are applying from. If a fee is not paid with your application, it will be returned to you.

Also, make sure that your passport is not set to expire until after your new stay period begins. The processing time for a Canadian visa extension is generally six months and starts on the date Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) receives a complete and accurate renewal application form along with payment for fees.

Step 4: Submission of Visa Extension Application Form and Required documents

Filling Application form is one of the most important steps because it is your application. If your application form has mistakes or missing details then your application might not be approved. You must have original documents and you must attach all required documents.

(List of Required Documents Available on CIC Website) You should send all documents by Post via the following address: Follow the Address exactly as given otherwise your visa renewal/extension letter will bounce back. Canadians Resident Abroad, Immigration, and Citizenship, 3rd Floor, 1717 Melville Street, Vancouver BC V6E 4M3 Attn.: LAC-INF

Now after making the necessary payments, you may submit your application documents and the receipts/proof of payment of all fees paid. Ensure that you sign and date your application forms properly before submission. You are expected to submit your application documents to the address provided in your application guide.

Read ALso:


What does a visit mean?

A visit is any trip of 30 days or less taken by a foreign national that has not yet reached his/her limit on visits. So, if you are already approved for a Canadian visa, and have completed 6 visits (or 90 days) before your current visit ends, you can apply for another visit while still in Canada.

The time between now and your next possible application date is considered one visit or up to 30 days. It's important to note that certain conditions must be met before you can apply for another Canadian visa extension; consult with an immigration expert before proceeding.

Do I need a visa to visit Canada?

Most travelers need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport.

What you need depends on:

  • the type of travel document you will travel with;
  • the country that issued your travel document;
  • your nationality; and
  • how you will travel to Canada.

If you do not have the proper documents, such as an ETA or visa, you may be delayed or prevented from boarding your flight to Canada.

Do I need a Canadian visa if I have a United States visa?

Yes, most travelers need a visitor visa or an eTA to travel to, or transit through, Canada.

What you need depends on:

  • the type of travel document you will travel with;
  • the country that issued your travel document;
  • your nationality; and
  • how you will travel to Canada.

How do I apply for an eTA for travel to Canada?

To apply you must have a valid passport, a valid credit or debit card, and an email address. It costs $7 CAD to get an eTA and only takes a few minutes to apply. Approved eTAs are valid for up to five years.

I am visiting the U.S. and I want to come to Canada. Do I need an eTA?

Most travelers need a visitor visa or an eTA to travel to, or transit through, Canada.

What you need depends on:

  • the type of travel document you will travel with;
  • the country that issued your travel document;
  • your nationality; and
  • how you will travel to Canada.

Do I need a visa if I’m just traveling through Canada on my way to another country?

The document you need to transit through Canada depends on a few factors, including if you plan to visit Canada.

You can answer a few questions to find the document you need to transit through Canada.

Visa-required travelers

You’re considered a visa-required traveler if you’re from a visa-required country.

You need a visitor visa if:

  • you visit Canada (even if you’re traveling by air and it’s for less than 48 hours)
  • stay in Canada for more than 48 hours while transiting, or
  • you’re crossing the border by:
    • bus
    • car
    • train
    • boat
    • cruise ship

You need a transit visa if:

  • your international flight stops at a Canadian airport on its way to another country
  • you’ll be connecting between 2 international flights at a Canadian airport
  • you’ll transit through Canada in 48 hours or less, and
  • you don’t have a valid visitor visa

Visa-exempt travelers

  • You’re considered a visa-exempt traveler if you’re from an eTA-required country.
  • You need an eTA to transit through Canada by air if you’re from an eTA-required country.
  • You don’t need an eTA if you’re transiting through Canada and you enter by train, bus, boat, or cruise ship.
  • You do need to bring the right travel documents.

How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

Anyone who plans to visit Canada must apply from outside of Canada before they travel.

What your friend or family member needs depends on:

  • the type of travel document they will travel with;
  • the country that issued their travel document;
  • their nationality; and
  • how they will travel to Canada.

Before applying, find out what document(s) they need.

If they need a visitor visa, you may provide your family member or friend with a letter of invitation in support of their visa application. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.

Do I need to apply for both a visitor visa and an eTA?

No. If you plan to travel to Canada, you need a valid visitor visa OR a valid eTA.

The one you need depends on:

  • the type of travel document you will travel with;
  • the country that issued your travel document;
  • your nationality; and
  • how you will travel to Canada.


It’s also important to mention that extending your stay doesn’t necessarily require you to go back and forth multiple times. Many people will simply extend their visa once and never leave for years at a time. As long as you have a legal, non-workable reason (i.e. no job, school, or valid work permit) for staying, you won’t run into any issues with Canadian immigration if your Canadian visa renewal extends past its original date of validity.

That said, if you intend on leaving Canada for even a short period of time after extending your stay—you should extend it at least six months before it expires—otherwise, you may end up spending extra time and money getting yourself authorized again.

Important tips:

You can track your application and find out how long it will take for your visa extension application in Canada to be processed by clicking on this link.

You can also make complaints if your processing time is taking too long by clicking here.

All the best in your application.