Category codes on a Canadian visa counterfoil – GCMS and CAPIS codes on visa stickers
If you are from a visa-required country, then you need a visa counterfoil to travel to Canada. Of course, you are exempt if you are a dual citizen of Canada or a permanent resident. Otherwise, you need a visa even when you travel to Canada to work or study. Have you ever wondered what the category codes on a Canadian visa counterfoil are? For example, what is the difference between S-1 and SX-1? Let’s find out.
- What is a visa counterfoil?
- When do I receive a visa counterfoil?
- Category codes on a Canadian visa counterfoil and their meaning
- Ask your questions!
If an immigration officer approves your travel to Canada, they affix a special sticker to one of your passport pages. IRCC calls these stickers visa counterfoil. The following altered image shows a sample visa counterfoil.
A visa counterfoil has many elements. Most of them are easy to understand. However, the category codes on Canadian visa counterfoils could be confusing.
Unless you are from a visa-exempt country, you could receive a counterfoil for any of the following reasons:
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), such as a visa for tourism, working without a permit or as a business visitor
- Studying in Canada: You need a study permit to remain in Canada and study. However, a visa counterfoil is necessary for travelling to Canada.
- Work permit in Canada: Unless exempt from a work permit, you need a work permit to work in Canada. Nonetheless, to travel, you need a visa counterfoil.
- Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for people who are inadmissible to Canada
- PR Travel Document: If you have lost your PR card or hold an expired one, you need a PR Travel Document to go back to Canada. Consequently, the officer affixes a visa counterfoil to your passport upon approval. Of course, the counterfoil is nothing but the PR Travel Document.
- Permanent Resident Visa: This single-entry visa allows you to travel to Canada to become a permanent resident. Of course, you also need to hold a COPR.
- Sometimes you lose your permanent resident status because of the decision of an officer. However, you decide to appeal the decision. Consequently, IRCC may allow you to travel to Canada to attend your hearing. They mostly do this if you have been in Canada in the past 365 days. Thus, the officer issues a single-entry visa counterfoil to facilitate your travel.
- For most diplomatic and similar missions, you need a visa counterfoil.
There could be other circumstances where you need a visa counterfoil. However, if you do not hold a valid passport, the officer may issue you a Single Journey Travel Document.
The following table shows the existing category codes and their meaning.
|IM-1||Immigrant (single-entry visa for PR)|
|P A-1||Permit Holder|
|PAX-1||National Interest TRP|
|PC-1||Permit Holder with Valid TRP|
|PG-1||Parents or Grandparents Super Visa|
|RA-1||Presence at Appeal|
|RC-1||Passed H&C – PR Travel Document|
|RX-1||Attending a PR hearing while you were present in Canada in the past 365 days.|
|S-1||A student with Study Permit|
|SW-1||An international student with Study & Work Permit|
|SX-1||A student exempt from the requirement to obtain a Study Permit|
|VH-1||Visitor in Transit for not more than 48 hours|
|W-1||A worker with Work Permit|
|WX-1||A worker exempt from the requirement to obtain a Work Permit|
Of course, this table is not official and subject to change.
If you have generic questions (e.g., category codes on a Canadian visa counterfoil), fill out the following form. Otherwise, consider booking a consultation session with me or filling out our assessment form.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.
For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.