Valid visas in expired passports when travelling to Canada

Some of my clients are professional artists or athletes. These people travel a lot. Consequently, their passport pages get filled with stickers and stamps quickly. When you have a full passport, you need to apply for a new one. However, can you use the visa stickers in the old passport to travel to Canada? This article explores valid visas in expired passports when travelling to Canada.

How does a Canadian visa expire?

Unless you are visa-exempt, you need a TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) to travel to Canada. Also, you need a TRV if you intend to work or study in Canada. I have another article that explains visa categories in Canada. However, I’ll focus on the concept of the validity of visas here. Let’s say IRCC issues you a visa. Thus, they will affix a counterfoil in your passport. The counterfoil (sticker) includes vital information. One of them is the expiry date of the visa.


Your visa expires in any of the following circumstances:

  • The expiry date of the visa has reached.
  • An officer has cancelled your visa (e.g. because of a removal order or when you file for asylum).

Of course, generally speaking, IRCC won’t issue you a visa that is valid beyond the expiry date of your passport.

How come a person holds a valid visa in an expired passport?

Multiple scenarios could lead to having a valid visa in an expired passport. Nonetheless, these are the scenarios that I can think of:

  • As a frequent traveller, all the pages of your passport have stamps or stickers. Therefore, you have to apply for a new passport before the expiry date of the old one. However, the authorities invalidate your old passport to protect the integrity of their documents.
  • Your passport is damaged, and you have no choice to replace it.

Can I use valid visas in expired passports for travelling to Canada?

The simple answer is yes. Of course, you need to hold both your new and expired passports. Consequently, you show that you have a valid passport along with your valid visa in the expired passport (source: s.13.18-ENF 04).

What if the old visa is lost or damaged?

If you have a damaged or lost visa, you need to apply for the verification of status. The process costs you $30. Of course, you need to fill out a form and submit convincing documentation to the authorities. Read the following articles for more information:

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    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.