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Visitor Record in Canada: Know Everything in Details

March 29, 2021BY Immigrationincanada

Millions of people travel to Canada each year for different purposes such as – visiting friends or family, business trips, work, studying, and etc. As a foreigner, you will receive a visitor record explaining your condition to visit Canada, and this happens every time you enter the country.

What is a Visitor Record Canada?

On arriving in Canada as a visitor, you need to have at least one of these documents to enter,

  1. A visitor visa (also known as a temporary visa)
  2. An electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  3. A valid passport or a travel document

Suppose you want to extend the length of your stay in Canada. Maybe it’s because you want to spend more time with your family, or fell sick, or simply because of a border lockdown due to a pandemic situation.

In such cases, you need to apply for a visitor record. A visitor record is not a visa; rather, it is a temporary document that has the details and conditions of your stay in Canada.

What Are the Contents of a Visitor Record Document?

A copy of your visitor record document shall contain the following information:

  1. A document number for identification of the person
  2. An imposed condition stating what he/she can and cannot do while temporarily staying in Canada
  3. An important notice is saying that a visitor document is by no means a document for re-entry in the country, and it surely does not replace a TRV.

For clarity, you can look at a sample visitor record document from the IRCC website.

How Can I Receive a Visitor Record?

When you decided to travel to Canada, a Boarding Services Officer (BSO) decides the official timeline of your stay in the country. But you will not receive a visitor record if the BSO grants six months for your visit. However, there is an exception to this case, and you will get a visitor record under the following circumstances:

  1. The timeline of your visit is far less than six months
  2. Imposing a condition that prevents you from working while you stay in Canada
  3. Preventing the visitor from any educational activity as it is out of the conditions of the paperwork to reside in Canada on a TRV
  4. Asking your report back about your departure from Canada to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The BSO may impose other conditions in your document depending on the timeline of your stay. If you abide by the conditions, then it’s nothing to worry about.

How to get a visitor record in Canada?

Applying for a visitor record is easy and can be done online to extend your stay in Canada. Online application is received faster, and this it is processed sooner. But if you already applied on paper, it is equally acceptable, and you won’t have to resubmit it online.

How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship?

What Are the Advantages of Applying for a Visitor Record Online?

  1. You don’t need to pay for the courier fees or delivery time for the mail – the process is completed instantly
  2. Your application may get processed sooner
  3. It allows you to resubmit without any fees involved in case if you’ve made a mistake
  4. You can submit more relevant documents if it is needed
  5. You can check the status of your application directly without having to speak on the phone.

What is the Online Process for Applying for a Visitor Record?

Here are the steps you can follow to apply for visitor record in Canada,

Step 1: Ensuring All the Required Documents

  1. Create digital copies of your documents using a scanner or a camera
  2. A valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Carefully Read the Instructions

It’s a good practice to read the online instruction guide before completing your application so that you know which documents are relevant and which information to put in.

Step 3: Prepare Your Answers Beforehand

This step is crucial as you very well know that you need to state some kind of a purpose to visit Canada. And you need to provide these answers if you want to apply for a visitor record. Keep in mind that the online website creates a set of personalized options for you to choose based on the answer you give. So, remember to choose your answers wisely. Your questions can be something like this –

  1. First question – “What is your intent for visiting Canada?”. Your answer should be – “Visit.”
  2. Next question – “What is your current country/territory/place of residence?”. Your answer should be – “Canada.”

Step 4: Create an Online Account or Sign in

To apply online, you must have an account, and you need it because the authority needs to know the user who submitted the form along with other information such as:

  1. Payment information for the visitor record document
  2. Information submitted with the form
  3. Check the application status

How Much Time and Money do I Need to Apply for a Visitor Record?


If you apply for a visitor record, you need to submit a fee of $100 along with the application to ensure that you have applied for the document.


As for the timeline, the average time is 207 days. This is a lengthy process because the work depends on some variables such as:

  1. The type of application submitted by the person – online or via mail offline
  2. Whether the application is complete
  3. Whether all the relevant documents have been added with the application
  4. Ease of verification of the applicant
  5. Time required to reach out to the applicant in case of any request or concern about any information or documents
  6. Other factors

As you can tell from a pre-pandemic situation, the Canadian government was open to immigrants. This is the reason why a lot of people were motivated to move on to Canada. And that is to say. The IRRC requires extra time to sort out the applications since every year there are more applicants than the yearly limit.

Can I Travel to Canada without a Visitor Record?

Any person who had been issued with a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) can travel to Canada. That is to say, and there is a list of countries that require a visa and thorough vetting to get into Canada. And anyone whose visa is accepted is issued with a TRV. So, you can say that a visitor visa is automatically issued with a TRV and an eTA.

However, there is an exception to this rule. A small group of US citizens is exempted from this rule. What that means is – these people do not require a TRV or an eTA to get inside the Canadian border.

When Should I Apply for a Visitor Record?

Applying for a visitor record is essential before your current timeline expires. If you are not sure how much time you have left, check-in with the immigration office where you received the visitor record document.

How Can I Extend My Stay in Canada?

Extending your stay in a foreign country requires showing your visitor visa and applying for a visitor record. Upon approval, you will receive a visitor record document which you can use to extend your visit to Canada. The contents of this document are similar to the other document you received from the port of entry.

Can I Leave and Return to Canada with a Visitor Record?

If for any reason you decide to travel outside of Canada or the United States while still holding the visitor record, you must have a re-entry document. In this case, a visitor visa will not act as your re-entry document, and in which case you need to have a visitor visa, or an eTA, to return to Canada.

Can You Stay in Canada with an Expired Visa?

A visitor record document is a legal record of your stay in Canada as a temporary resident with an extended timeline while imposed with certain conditions. However, it does not guarantee that it can be used as an insurance paper for getting you inside the country again. Unfortunately, the visitor record does not have any use in such cases.

In Conclusion

In the simplest terms, the document that clears the duration and conditions of your stay is your visitor record in Canada. Always read out your visitor record document before leaving the port of entry. Your document may contain some mistakes that may require fixing, and so reading it before saves you from a lot of future running around and spending pointless time. This is one piece of advice we always give to people who apply for visitor record Canada.

It should be remembered that a Visitor Record is not a visa, and so, you cannot use it for re-entry. Also, it is not a scary document which gives all the more reason to deal with it calmly.

We are experienced in immigration issues and proudly serving people globally. We aim to make the immigration process as easy as water.

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