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What is temporary resident status?

Temporary residence is, as the name implies, a type of immigration status that allows a foreign national to remain in Canada for a defined temporary period of time.

There are three main types of temporary residents: (1) visitors, (2) students, (3) workers. To obtain temporary status in one of these categories it is usually necessary for foreign nationals to make an application for the appropriate visa to the Canadian visa office serving the country where they reside. Canadian visa offices are usually housed in Canadian embassies and consulates in countries outside Canada.

Visitor Visas

Those foreign nationals who wish to enter Canada in order to visit temporarily may apply for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV). This will allow them to remain in Canada for up to six months, but they cannot work under this status and the right to study is curtailed to programs of 6 months or less.

Student Visas

Foreign nationals who wish to study in Canada for extended periods may apply for a study permit. If granted, the study permit will be valid for the duration of the period of study, generally up to four years. Full time students have the right to work part time during their studies.

Work Permits

Those foreign nationals who wish to work full time in Canada will need to obtain a work permit. The duration of a work permit will be tied to the length of the contract offered by the Canadian employer, usually one or two years.

Temporary residence visas may be extended or in some cases changed to another type of visa from within Canada.


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