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Extend Your Stay as a Visitor

To enter Canada as a visitor, you need one of these documents:

  • a visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa)

  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA) if you are the citizen of a Canadian visa-exemption country

  • a valid passport or travel document

Every time you enter Canada as a visitor, you can stay in the country for up to 6 months. This being said, however, an officer of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) could decide to grant you a shorter or longer stay time. In such as case, a stamp indicating how long you are admitted into the country for will be placed in your passport. Alternatively, they might also give you a document.

Please note the following:

  • If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

  • If the CBSA officer doesn’t stamp your passport, but you would like to get a stamp to help you remember when to leave by, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border services officer after you finish at the kiosk.

If you will not be able or willing to leave Canada before six months or the granted admission time is over, you can seek to extend your stay. If you want to do that, you must apply for an extension of stay at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay or a visitor record.

A “visitor record” is a document that a border services officer may issue to you to extend or restrict your stay in Canada. It also gives you status as a visitor in Canada and allows you to stay longer which includes a new expiry date.

In addition, you may also get a visitor record after they approve your application to extend your stay or restore your status. However, a visitor record is issued either by the Canada Border Services Agency or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

For you to have a visitor record, you should apply when you first arrive at the port of entry and you know you want to stay longer than 6 months or you’re in Canada and decide you want to stay longer.

A visitor record is an independent document (not placed in your passport like the visitor visa). It also includes an expiry date for your stay in Canada. (That’s the date by which you must leave Canada).

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