What are Important Types of Visas in Canada?

If you plan to move to Canada, you may wonder which visa I should apply for because Canada has various types of visas. Therefore, I tailored this blog to describe a few important types of visas in Canada because one of them may suit you.

The type of Canadian visa you need depends on your reason for visiting and the time you plan to stay. Also, each visa has its application process and specific requirements that you must meet. Furthermore, Canada has various visa categories, for example:

  • Visitor visas,
  • Student visas,
  • Spouse visa,
  • Work visas,
  • Business visas,
  • Working holiday visa,
  • Transit visa,
  • E-visa (eTA),
  • Super visas,
  • Startup visas,
  • Self-employed visa.

Hence, the type of visa you need depends on your purpose and activities while in Canada. Above all, most of the visa types fall under Canada’s temporary residence visa (TRV) category.

Famous types of visas in Canada

Temporary residence visa

You can say that a temporary residence visa of Canada (TRV) is a universal category that covers multiple purposes for the candidates. For instance:

  • Visit to Canada (tourism/vacations),
  • Family visits,
  • Business activity, etc.

For instance, tourists, workers, students, businesspersons, Canadian permanent residents, & citizens usually need TRV to travel to Canada. So, the temporary residence visa could be single entry or multiple either, allowing a maximum 6-month stay in Canada. If you meet the eligibility requirement, apply TRV online, and the fee is CAN$100 for a single applicant.

Visitor visa

One of Canada’s most common types of visas is a visitor visa that covers various visit purposes. However, it’s commonly known as a tourist visa for Canada, allowing single or multiple entries to Canada for a maximum stay of 6 months. Moreover, obtaining a visitor visa is often quick and painless, and an applicant only needs to prove that they meet the eligibility requirements.

Work visa

To work in Canada, a foreigner must have a valid work visa and or a work permit. So, if applying through a temporary foreign worker program, the applicants must have a genuine job offer and a support letter (LMIA) from a Canadian employer. Furthermore, candidates will need to fulfill eligibility requirements to qualify for the work visa.

Unlike your Canadian employer hiring you via an international mobility program (IMP), the LMIA letter is not compulsory because of exemption. The Canadian work visa category is further divided into open work permits, closed work permits, student work permits, spouse work permits, etc. Usually, work visas last for two years and are extendable; Canada’s work visa fee is $150.

Student visa

The Canadian student visa allows international students to travel to Canada for the duration of their studies. However, the applicant must be accepted by a school, college, university, or other educational institution in Canada.

Similarly, international students must prove that they have enough money to pay for their tuition fees and living expenses while studying in Canada. Above all, Canadian student visa applicants will need to pay an application fee CAN$150.

Spouse visa

The Canadian spouse visa is a temporary Canadian visa that allows Canadian citizens to come to Canada to live with their partners. The spouse visa for Canada is valid for two years, and after that time, it can renew. Partner visa category is one of the prominent types of visas in Canada, often the first step in the immigration process for those who wish to marry a person currently living in Canada.

These visas allow the foreign spouse to enter Canada and live with their spouse until they apply for permanent residence. Getting married to a Canadian citizen can be a quick way to immigrate to Canada, although the process is not as simple as it seems. You must have all the documents and applications before you start the process.

Super visa

The Canadian super visa is a multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Indeed, it is the most popular type of visa in Canada among the migrants who are desperate to meet their parents.

This visa allows the parents or grandparents of Canadians to visit their family in Canada for up to two years at a time without having to renew their status. The Canadian super visa was introduced by the Government of Canada in December 2011 and has been extremely successful so far.

Working holiday visa

The working holiday visa for Canada (WH-visa) allows young citizens of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and many other countries to work and travel to Canada for one year. This visa provides a great opportunity to explore a new country and work at the same time.

However, the WH-visa has some requirements, for example:

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18-35,
  • Be currently a student or have graduated within the past 12 months,
  • Have sufficient funds. Also,
  • Have a valid passport from an eligible country.

Find here details about eligible countries for Canadian working holiday visas.

Self-employed visa

The Canadian self-employed visa is a temporary visa option for self-sufficient writers, artists, or musicians. Besides, it allows candidates to continue their self-employed work in Canada for up to three years. Most importantly, applicants must have a business plan, enough funds to support themselves in Canada. Hence, you can read a useful article on who can apply and what occupations are eligible for Canada’s self-employed visa.

Business visa

For business visitors, types of visas in Canada are difficult to understand, especially if you are not familiar with the system. Business visas are typically issued to applicants who are traveling to Canada for entrepreneurial reasons or business activities.

For example, you can visit for investing, consulting, attending conferences, delivering training, setting a business in Canada, etc. So, one can stay in Canada for up to six months for business purposes or extend it later.

Startup visa

Canada’s startup visa is a unique immigration pathway and unfamiliar visa types in Canada, among other sorts. This program targets talented foreign entrepreneurs who can establish businesses in Canada.

So, if you have an innovative business idea but don’t have investment, the Canadian startup visa program is for you. However, you will need to prove that your business idea will create jobs in Canada and you are an innovative person who can compete on a global scale.

Similarly, you must find and get support from Canadian designated organizations that are investors. Find here the full process of how to apply for a Canada startup visa.

Canada PR visa

In reality, PR visas are widely famous compared to other types of visas in Canada, especially among Asians. So, a Canada PR visa allows permanent residency status for an applicant’s entire family. Although, the Canadian government has strict rules for PR visas that include a point system that considers education, language skills, age, work experience, and adaptability.

Canada PR is a program that allows qualified, skilled workers to apply to become permanent residents of Canada. There are two main categories within the program: the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) class and the Federal Skilled Trade (FST) class.

Similarly, applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for this program, including having at least one year of full-time work experience in their field of study or work.

Transit visa

It offers a faster and easier way for citizens of certain countries to travel through Canada without worrying about long processing times or expensive application fees. Thus, a Canada transit visa is a visa that allows travelers to enter Canada for up to 48 hours under the pretense of continuing their journey to another destination.

The visa is only available to citizens of select countries that can easily identify on an airline’s website. Above all, the visa can be used multiple times within six months but cannot be used for longer than 48 hours at a time.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Canada has implemented the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals from select visa-required countries entering Canada by air. It links your passport electronically. The eTA allows the holder to travel to Canada as a visitor for six months without obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa.

Canadian eTA remains valid for five years from issuance or until the expiration of the visitor’s passport, whichever comes first. However, it would help if you still had a visitor visa (not eTA) when arriving by car, bus, train, or boat, including a cruise ship.


I furnished an overview of some vital types of visas in Canada because most foreigners never the Canadian visa categories. This blog also includes some visa-related requirements and a few reference links for your perusal. So, if you are planning to travel to Canada, you must choose the right visa category.

Remember that the requirements for many Canadian visas depend on the candidate’s nationality and visa category. In addition, be sure to follow the latest guidelines and eligibility criteria for this category before applying for a visa, as they may change. So for more details, you can visit the Canada IRCC website.

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