How Long Can I Stay in Canada as a Visitor?
It can be hard to determine how long you can stay in Canada
because most embassies and high commissions fail to provide a clear written explanation of the duration of your stay. When you receive a Canadian visa, you’ll notice a date of issue and date of expiry. This expiry date authorizes the visa holder to seek admission to Canada before the indicated date.
You can receive any of the two types of visas; a single entry visa and a multiple entry visa. With a multiple entry visa, you can request permission to visit Canada multiple times before the expiry date. A single entry visa entitles you to a single visit prior to the expiration date. Note that the expiry date on your visa does not determine how long you get to stay in Canada.
For example, if you hold a multiple entry visa of 3 years in validity, this doesn’t mean that you can stay in Canada continuously for that duration. You should also not assume that the expiry date shown on your passport indicates the duration of your visit.
The officer at the port of entry is the only one who determines the duration of your stay by stamping the passport. This stamp authorizes you to a 6-month stay from the date you entered Canada. However, there are cases where the border services officer at the port of entry will authorize a stay of less than 6 months. This will be indicated in your passport. A specific earlier date will be indicated on your passport just below the stamp.
Staying in Canada beyond the required time and without applying for an extension can not only make it difficult for you to get a visa or visit Canada in future but might also lead to an arrest without warrant or a 1-year exclusion order. However, if you overstay for less than 90 days you may apply to restore your status.
You can apply for an extension at least 30 days before the expiry date. This application for an extension can be made in Canada. If you have applied to extend your stay while in Canada and the visa expires while you are waiting for a decision, you are said to have an implied status.
When visiting Canada, you cannot work or study without a permit.