The Immigration Depot

Under the former Immigration Act, the term “visitor” used to be an all-encompassing term for any type of temporary stay. Workers and students were considered subcategories of visitor. According to the IRPA and its Regulations, visitors, students, workers and temporary resident permit holders are all now subcategories of the category temporary resident. This structure was created to make it clear that there is a distinction between the basis upon which a foreign national seeks entry into Canada (i.e., either as a permanent resident or a temporary resident) and the activity that the foreign national intends to undertake while in Canada temporarily (i.e., working, studying or just visiting). As Canadian visitor visas were used to help facilitate the entry of most temporary residents, regardless of the activity that was going to be undertaken, it was felt that the term “temporary resident visa” (TRV) best reflected the new structure of IRPA.


Foreign nationals are allowed into Canada as temporary residents by privilege. A22 provides that a foreign national becomes a temporary resident if an officer is satisfied that they have applied for that status, have met the obligations set out in A20(1)(b) and are not inadmissible. Temporary residents include foreign nationals entering Canada as visitors on temporary resident visas and as workers or students on work and/or study permits. An officer must not issue a temporary resident visa to a foreign national unless they are satisfied that the applicant will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay. This authorized period must be temporary, because it applies only to temporary residents. Applicants may intend to eventually apply for permanent residence or, in fact, have an application in process, as provided for in A22(2). However, the officer must be satisfied that the applicant will respect the temporary period of stay that will be authorized upon entry. The foreign national must satisfy both the officer abroad and at the port of entry that they have the ability and willingness to leave Canada at the end of the temporary period authorized, regardless of a future decision with respect to permanent status.


Dual intent


An intention by a foreign national to become a permanent resident does not preclude them from

becoming a temporary resident if the officer is satisfied that they will leave Canada by the end of

the period authorized for their stay [A22(2), R183]. The person's desire to work, study or visit in

Canada before or during the processing of an application for permanent residence may be



Processing priorities

Temporary resident applications will be given as much priority as possible within the restraints

imposed by other processing priorities at the visa office.