Visitor Record Lawyer: Guide to Visitor Visa Extension

Extending your Visitor Visa in Canada: What you need to know

To enter Canada as a foreign national, a visa or electronic travel authorization (“eTA”) is required. The border services officer at the port of entry, representing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), will inform you of the period you are authorized to remain in Canada. The CBSA assesses entry requirements, including the purpose of the visit, financial stability, and connections to the visitor's home country. This is typically 6 months; however, an officer may provide a shorter time in some circumstances based on the expiry date of your current status document. Per the terms of entry, foreign nationals must leave Canada before the end of their authorized stay unless they seek authorization to extend their visitor visa by submitting a visitor record application. In other words, a visitor record is required to extend your stay in Canada.

Who needs a visitor visa record?

A visitor record is needed for individuals who want to extend their stay in Canada as a visitor beyond the time initially granted. This document is not a visa and does not allow you to enter Canada; instead, it allows you to remain in Canada longer as a visitor. If your current visa is about to expire and you wish to stay longer, you must apply for a visitor record before your temporary resident status expires.

When should you apply for a visitor record?

An application for a Canadian visitor record must be made before the expiry of your status in Canada. The expiry of your status is the last day of validity indicated on your permit or the day indicated on your entry stamp in your passport if you entered Canada as a visitor. If you do not have a stamp on your passport with a date shorter than 6 months, then your authorized period of stay is 6 months after entering Canada. It is important to have a valid status document, such as a valid Study Permit, Work Permit, Visitor Record, or visitor stamp in your passport, when applying for a visitor record. If an applicant submitted a visitor record before the end of their period of authorized stay, they are allowed to remain in Canada while waiting for a decision on the visitor record. This period of waiting for a decision is called maintained status. If the visitor record is approved, then an applicant may remain in Canada. If the decision is refused and the visitor record was submitted while the applicant had status, then the day of the refusal is the last day of authorized stay in Canada.

What does a visitor record allow?

A visitor record allows for a foreign national to remain in Canada as a visitor. In most cases, it does not allow for a foreign national to work or study in Canada. Furthermore, a visitor record does not authorize a foreign national to enter Canada. A visitor visa, or eTA is still required to be allowed entry. If a foreign national does not have a valid visa or eTA, then he or she will need to apply for one if they want to re-enter Canada, even if they have a visitor record. It is essential to have a valid entry document to re-enter Canada. Additionally, a temporary resident visa may be required for re-entry.

How can AKM Law help as your Immigration Lawyers?

Starting with a free online assessment is crucial to understanding your eligibility and the best steps forward for your immigration case. AKM Law has a proven track record of assisting clients in extending their stay in Canada be it through a visitor record extension or through other means for more complex cases. AKM Law can also assist with study permits, ensuring that holders are aware of their eligibility for visa extensions. AKM Law can advise you on the required deadlines and the necessary documentation to extend your visitor record in Canada and ensure that the strongest possible application is submitted. AKM Law also has experience assisting clients who have remained in Canada beyond their period of authorized stay and are inadmissible foreign nationals. Don’t risk a refusal, contact AKM Law today.

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