International Students

Temporary Resident Visa and Electronic Travel Authorization to Enter Canada

Updated on 10/31/2023

The Temporary Resident Visa and Electronic Travel Authorization allow you to travel to a point of entry to request admission to Canada - but note that they do not provide you with legal status in Canada, nor do they allow you to study. To study, you require a CAQ for studies and a Study Permit, unless you are exempt from either one or both documents.

Depending on your citizenship, you will need to obtain either:

  • A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada - this multi-entry visa is usually valid the entire length of your Study Permit.


  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This authorization is intended for nationals of countries exempt from a obtaining a TRV (ex: France, Germany, Italy, etc.). It remains valid for 5 years, or expires at the same time your passport expires, whichever comes first. It is mandatory to have an eTA to board a Canada-bound plane.

Exception: American citizens and permanent residents do not need a TRV nor an eTA. 



    To determine whether you require an eTA or a TRV, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada web page and answer the questions.

    Submitting an application
    Temporary Resident Visa
    1. Applying for a TRV when requesting an initial Study Permit from abroad: you only need to fill out your Study Permit application; there is no separate form for a TRV and no additional fees. The TRV will be granted by the Canadian Visa Office (CVO) along with the approval of your Study Permit.
    2. TRV-only application from abroad, without a Study Permit: $100 CAN. If you are an exchange student at Polytechnique for a period of less than six months, see also the section on Studying without a CAQ or Study Permit.  Exchange students coming as visitors will be required to provide proof of financial capability for the duration of their stay and to demonstrate the temporary nature of their presence in Canada. For more information, see the section on proof of financial evidence and the study plan.

    Note that the Canadian Visa Office requires you to submit your passport in order to affix the Temporary Resident Visa counterfoil sticker that is be needed for entering Canada. 

    Electronic Travel Authorization
    1. Applying for an eTA when requesting an initial Study Permit from abroad: you only need to fill out your Study Permit application. Once processed, your Study Permit will automatically include an eTA.
    2. eTA-only application: application must be completed online, and costs $7 CAN, which must be paid for with a credit card. Application approval is generally very fast, but it can sometimes take up to several days. Therefore, do not to wait until the last minute to request it. If you are an exchange student at Polytechnique for a period of less than six months, click here.

    All temporary Resident Visa applicants are required to provide their biometrics, unless they have already provided them to IRCC in the last ten years in a prior application (ex: study or work permit, temporary resident visa).  This requirement does not apply to applicants who are exempt from a TRV and who only require an eTA to enter Canada as visitors.

    Biometrics consist of a photograph and fingerprints, which are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. If you are required to provide this data, the fee is $85 CDN (170$ for a family unit); you will need to present yourself at an Application Support Center in the USA, or to a Visa Application Center (VAC) in other countries.

    If you have to provide biometrics, you can still complete the online application for your TRV. To proceed with biometric data collection, IRCC will upload an instruction letter on your MyCIC account once they receive your application. Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it with you, as well as all required documents when you go to the biometric data collection centre. Note that processing times posted on the IRCC website do not include the time required to travel to the VAC for biometrics collection purpose.  

    Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years. 

    To learn more, consult: the IRCC website.