Once you receive your Canada visa, you can travel freely between Canada and other countries. You can leave Canada and return as long as your visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is still valid. It is very important for you to renew your visa before it expires so your travel plans aren't impacted - and you aren't denied re-entry to Canada. If your visa expires while you're abroad, there are options for re-entering Canada.
You need a valid visitor visa every time you want to enter Canada, unless you’re returning directly from a visit to the United States or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Often people on a work visa or study permit travel outside of Canada for holidays, to see family or on business. It is vital that everyone on a Canadian visa know the expiration date of their visa, and apply to renew it well before the expiration date. If the unexpected does happen and your visa expires while you are temporarily out of Canada, you may have some options to re-enter Canada.
Options To Re-Enter Canada If Your Visa Expired While You Were Abroad
The options for renewing a Canadian visa from abroad vary depending on the type of visa you hold.
Note: These options are not available in all cases, and may not apply to your situation. It is highly recommended to consult an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure you have the correct information and your specific situation is analyzed for the best possible solution to this problem, as quickly as possible.
1. Re-Enter As A Visitor
If you have already applied for visa renewal but your application has not yet been approved, you may be allowed to re-enter Canada as a visitor. A border officer may question you when you arrive back in Canada. If the officer believes there’s reason to refuse your re-entry, you won’t be able to re-enter Canada. The officer may ask you for a copy of your extension or renewal application, the fee payment receipt and other documents to prove you applied for a renewal or extension.
2. Apply For Expedited Visa Renewal Processing
If your visa expires while you're outside of Canada, and you may apply for expedited renewal processing to re-enter Canada. You can submit your request for expedited visa renewal directly to IRCC via their website. However, your best chance for expedited visa renewal is to contact an immigration lawyer, who can:
- help you submit the correct documentation
- contact the appropriate immigration authorities on your behalf
- provide evidence of support such as health, family emergency or other circumstances that led to the visa expiring while you were out of Canada
- initiate emergency measures such as a writ of mandamus appeal to the Federal Court or contact Members of Parliament (MPs) on your behalf
3. Temporary Resident Visa
If your TRV expired while you were outside of Canada, you can request to return to Canada on your original temporary resident visa, even if it is expired, if:
- you will only visit the U.S. or St. Pierre and Miquelon;
- and you will return to Canada before the end of your approved stay in Canada.
Do You Need Help With Visa Renewal? Don't Wait - Contact Ackah Law Today
It's still taking a very long time for IRCC to process visas - the current immigration backlog and processing wait times means people are waiting months and months for their application to be processed. It's vital for anyone with a Canadian visa to be aware of their visa expiration date and start their renewal process early.
The guidance of an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer can be very helpful. At Ackah Business Immigration Law, our goal is to make Crossing Borders Seamlessly a reality and to smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada. Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. If you need Canada business incorporation services or have other business immigration needs, Ackah Law can help.
Contact Ackah Law today at (587) 854‑3821 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.