Backgrounder — What are 10-year multiple-entry visas?

Every year, more than 5 million people visit Canada to enjoy the many opportunities our country has to offer.

Depending on where applicants live, and the reason for their visit, they need to meet certain entry requirements. In some cases, if visitors want to stay in Canada for a certain period of time, they require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

In 2010, a total of 920,412 TRVs and extensions were issued for visitors.

There are two types of TRVs: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. A single-entry visa allows a person to enter Canada once. A multiple-entry visa allows individuals to enter Canada several times during the period while their visa is valid.

If a multiple-entry visa is approved, it allows people to enter and leave Canada repeatedly during the validity period of the visa. It is not possible to get a multiple-entry visa for a period that ends after the expiry date of an individual’s passport.

If people wish to visit several other countries or return to their own country before coming back to Canada, they require a multiple-entry visa. A multiple-entry visa is recommended for individuals who plan to visit Canada frequently.

Until now, when an applicant applied for a multiple-entry visa, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) did not issue visas for longer than five years. Since countries are increasingly issuing passports for periods of ten years or longer, it makes sense to increase the validity period of visas we issue to certain low-risk travellers.

If someone requires a visa to come to Canada and they meet all of the admissibility criteria, they can apply for the multiple entry visa.

Not everyone who applies for a multiple entry visa is issued one. Applications are examined on a case-by-case basis and must take into consideration the fee paid (single- or multiple-entry) in addition to the assessed risk of the individual applying. Officers are now encouraged to issue multiple entry visas to the maximum duration of the validity of the passport.

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