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How long does a Canadian visa last?

The validity period of a Canadian visa varies depending on the type of visa. Visitor visas, whether single or multiple entry, are typically valid for up to 10 years or one month before your passport expires, with a maximum stay of 6 months per entry. Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) are usually valid for five (5) years or until your passport expires, with the same maximum stay allowance as visitor visas. Study permits are valid for the duration of the approved study program, ranging from a few months to several years, while work permits are tied to the specific job offer and employer, with validity dependent on the terms of employment and nature of work. This article provides information on the duration of Canadian visas, so continue reading for more details.

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The validity duration for a Canadian visa varies depending on the type of visa issued. Here is a breakdown of common Canadian visas and their typical durations:

  1. Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa):
    • Validity: Typically issued for up to 6 months, but can vary based on individual circumstances.
    • Purpose: For tourists, family visits, or business trips.
    • Extension: It can be extended from within Canada if needed.
  2. Student Visa (Study Permit):
    • Validity: Generally valid for the duration of the study program plus an additional 90 days. The validity period varies based on the length of the program.
    • Purpose: For international students enrolled in a Canadian educational institution.
    • Extension: It can be extended if the student’s program is longer than initially anticipated or if they wish to pursue further studies.
  3. Work Visa (Work Permit):
    • Validity: Valid for the duration of the work contract, up to a maximum of 4 years.
    • Purpose: For individuals with a confirmed job offer from a Canadian employer.
    • Extension: It can be extended if the job contract is extended or if the applicant finds another job in Canada.
  4. Permanent Resident Visa (PR Visa):
    • Validity: Permanent residency status.
    • Purpose: For individuals who wish to live and work in Canada permanently.
    • Extension: This is not necessary, as it grants permanent residency status, but if you live outside of Canada, a renewal of the PR card may be required every five years.
  5. Express Entry Visa:
    • Validity: Initial entry is usually granted for up to 6 months. Once approved for permanent residency, the validity is indefinite.
    • Purpose: For skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada.
    • Extension: Not applicable once permanent residency is granted.
  6. Super Visa (Parent and Grandparent Visa):
    • Validity: Initially issued for up to 2 years. Extensions can be applied for.
    • Purpose: For parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to visit their family in Canada for an extended period.
    • Extension: Extensions are possible if applied for before the visa expires.
  7. Refugee Visa (Protected Person Status):
    • Validity: Grants permanent residency to successful refugee claimants.
    • Purpose: For individuals fleeing persecution or war in their home countries.
    • Extension: Not applicable, as it grants permanent residency.

If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country and planning a trip to Canada, Visas for Future can help you with your Canada eTA application. Our team of experts will guide you through the application process, review your form, and manage its submission to ensure its approval, providing you with peace of mind throughout your journey.


What We’re Offering

Travelers from visa-exempt countries planning a trip to Canada require a Canada Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This authorization is obligatory for individuals exempted from visas and intending to visit Canada for tourism, business, or air transit purposes. Our service guarantees swift and accurate processing of your eTA application, ensuring delivery of your approved eTA within 24 hours and conveniently to your mailbox.

  • Valid for five years from the date of issue or until the expiration date of the passport used for the eTA application, whichever comes first. 
  • Multiple-entry.1
  • The cost is $46.70.

Advance Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration

Whether entering Canada by air or land, travelers must complete the Canada Advance CBSA Declaration. This form gathers essential information about you, your trip, and any goods you bring into the country. With our processing service, you can expect your Advance Canada Border Services Agency Declaration to be promptly delivered via mail within one business day.

  • It is not a visa and does not replace a Canadian visa.
  • Single-entry.
  • It costs $56.24.
  • Valid 72 hours after submission.2

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Canadian Visa Duration: What to Know

Understanding a Canadian visa comes down to two important things:

  • Validity Period: This is how long your visa is valid, like a passport’s expiry date. It can be anywhere up to 10 years, but that doesn’t mean you can stay in Canada for that long.
  • Stay Period: This is the maximum time you can stay in Canada on a single visit per entry. Most visitor visas allow a maximum stay of up to 6 months.

Who decides how long you can stay?

There are two main authorities:

  • The visa officer: They decide the validity period when you apply for your visa. They might also say how long you can stay on your visa.
  • The border services officer: When you arrive in Canada, they check your visa. They might give you a different stay period than your visa, or if nothing is written, they’ll decide how long you can stay (up to six months). They’ll tell you this with a stamp on your passport or a visitor record document.

Extending Your Stay

If you need to stay longer in Canada than they allow, you can ask for more time before your current stay ends. You do this by filling out a form for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Importance of knowing the validity of a Canadian visa

Knowing how long your Canadian visa lasts is very important for a few key reasons:

  • Compliance: Knowing the validity period ensures compliance with Canadian immigration laws. Staying beyond the visa’s expiration date can result in immigration violations, potentially leading to deportation or future travel restrictions.
  • Planning: Awareness of the visa’s validity allows for effective trip planning. Travelers can schedule their visit to Canada within the visa’s authorized period, avoiding disruption to their travel plans.
  • Extension: If necessary, travelers can explore options for extending their stay in Canada before their visa expires. Understanding the visa’s validity clarifies when to initiate the extension process.
  • Avoiding Overstays: Overstaying a visa can have serious consequences, including being barred from re-entering Canada. Knowing the validity period helps travelers avoid unintentional visa overstays.
  • Legal Status: A valid visa is essential for maintaining legal status in Canada. Ensuring the visa remains valid throughout the stay is vital for individuals wishing to study, work, or visit Canada without legal issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Canada give five (5) years visa?

Yes, Canada does issue visas with a validity of up to 5 years in certain circumstances.

How to get a ten (10) years Canada tourist visa?

To obtain a ten-year tourist visa for Canada, also known as a multiple-entry visitor visa, follow these steps: Complete the application, upload documents, pay the fee, submit the application, attend a biometrics appointment if required, wait for processing, and receive the decision. However, a ten-year Canadian tourist visa is possible but not guaranteed, and the decision is ultimately up to the discretion of the visa officer.

What is the longest visa in Canada?

Canada’s longest commonly issued visa is a 10-year multiple-entry visitor visa.

Can I convert a Canada visitor visa to a work permit?

Yes, it is possible to convert a Canada visitor visa to a work permit under certain circumstances, but generally not recommended otherwise.


  1. Canada.ca. (2024). Find out about Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). canada.ca. Retrieved March 23, 2024. <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/facts.html> []
  2. Government of Canada, C. B. S. A. (2022, September 26). Government of Canada. ArriveCAN: Advance CBSA Declaration. www.cbsa-Asfc.gc.ca. Retrieved March 23, 2024. <https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/multimedia/declaration/menu-eng.html> []

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Rosalie Santos
Written by

Rosalie is a content writer who loves to learn and share knowledge. She has a background in education and teaching, which helps her write clear, accurate, and engaging content. She writes about travel, culture, and education topics. She also handles Turkey and India visa applications, which she learned from Lei Achumbre, the COO of Visas for Future and a visa expert. She fulfills visa orders and answers customer service questions once a quarter.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
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MLA Style

Santos, Rosalie. "How long does a Canadian visa last?." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/how-long-does-a-canadian-visa-last/. Accessed on 23 March 2024.

Chicago Style

Santos, Rosalie. "How long does a Canadian visa last?." Visas For Future. March 23, 2024. https://www.visasforfuture.com/how-long-does-a-canadian-visa-last/.

Published: 23 Mar 2024 2:25 UTC

Last modified: 12 Apr 2024 14:21 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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