My girlfriend (British Citizen) will be flying to Canada from the UK on an eTA and requesting visitor status from the border official. She plans on possibly applying to extend her visitor status at a later date before the 6 (or 3) months is up, so she does not have an outgoing flight. The whole reason she's coming on a visitor status is in hopes to receive the invite from the IEC visa pool to apply for a working holiday visa and stay for 2 years on that. Will the border official turn her away/deny entry for not having an outgoing flight or will proof of funds for living expenses and later flights be enough? Also, is there a high chance she'll be turned away for saying she's coming to Canada and staying with me while waiting for an IEC Working Holiday invite to apply?

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    I'd recommend getting a refundable return ticket. She needs to convinced Canada immigration that she will leave Canada, one way to do this is a return ticket/ticket out of the country. She's already going to have some questions as she's visiting a partner, this will raise a flag, they'll probably ask for a return ticket and proof of ties in the UK.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 13:58
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    @Jake What ties to the UK does she have that allow her to stay away so long? Processing time to request an extension as a visitor is currently showing as 112 days canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 14:04
  • @Traveller I'm not sure I understand your initial question. By ties do you mean funds? She has a sufficient amount of money to stay for a long time. Her family is here in the UK. As for processing time to request an extension; I've looked into it and as long as she applies 30 days before her visitor status expires, she can stay until it is processed.
    – Jake
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 14:17
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    @Jake By ‘ties’ I mean a reason for her to leave at the end of her stay - job, dependent family etc travel.stackexchange.com/questions/103826/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 14:21
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    @Jake I think you should edit your question to include the working holiday visa scenario, so that any answers fully address that aspect. I’m not sure if it’s possible to apply for this from within Canada and having entered as a visitor. Your expanded question might be better suited on Expatriates expatriates.stackexchange.com
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the comments, she doesn't need to have a return flight, but she needs to convince the border officer that she will leave the country again.
There are many ways to do that, and it could be very easy or very hard, nobody can predict that.

Put yourself in the officer's position - what would you find convincing? A return ticket is a strong argument; as is a job and/or husband or kids in here home country (as they are not easy to fake). On the other hand, a smile and a verbal promise - even if honestly meant - will be rather thin.
Better prepare for the tougher questions, and bring as many arguments as possible.

You can always buy a refundable one-way flight with a credit card, and cancel it after entering. But the officer might know that too.

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