I would like to visit Canada for a long time, as it is a large country and I have time.

I am a French citizen and I could not find a Canadian authoritative source that states the maximum duration of a French tourist stay on Canadian territory. The only source I found is the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs{fr} stating I could stay up to 6 months as a tourist without any specific visa.

While I hope the French Ministry does not provide wrong information, I could not find any information backing this up on Government of Canada website (it still helped me determine I do not need a visa)

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    Otherwise, just head over to Saint Pierre et Miquelon for a couple of days, then return to Canada ;-) Newfoundland should be on your itinerary and Saint Pierre et Miquelon is just a short ferry ride away.
    – gerrit
    Jun 17, 2014 at 14:40
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    I can't find the resource any more, but this is actually not considered as resetting the counter (like going to Canada to reset the counter of stay in USA) - but I didn't know there were ferries, that's cool they're cheaper than flights! I shall take a look at that
    – Vince
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


The Canadian Government provides a questionnaire to determine which possibilities you have to visit Canada and if a visa is required.

In addition to your citizenship, there are a few other issues which may be relevant to determine the requirements, e.g. country of residence, any relationship with Canadian citizens, age or any previous permanent residence in Canada. Going through the questionnaire, you will be asked for all relevant details to determine the requirements for your stay.

Basically, as a French citizen living in France, you can stay for up to 6 months as a tourist without a visa. If you want stay longer, you can apply for an extension of stay from within Canada. You should do this at least 30 days before the initial 6 months expire. I have the impression that Canadian immigration requirements are pretty relaxed, so if you have available means to finance your stay without working, I would assume that you should not experience any problems doing this.

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    (+1) Could you provide a link to the beginning of the questionnaire? The outcome is apparently bound to a session and the current link is broken.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 17, 2014 at 13:02
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    @Vince: Did you continue until the last result page starting with "To begin, you can only visit Canada for six months. If you want to visit longer, you can apply to extend your stay from within Canada."? Perhaps I don't use the same answers as you to the question? Jun 17, 2014 at 14:47
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    It's unfortunate that this page only tells you that, as a French citizen, you can stay six months without a visa and ask for an extension while you're there, without saying how long an extension you can ask for or how likely it is to be granted. If I was making plans to spend, say, a year in Canada, I'd want to know before I left that I'd be able to stay as long as I planned to. It doesn't say whether a French citizen can just apply for an appropriate visa before entering Canada. Jun 17, 2014 at 16:29
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    @David: Tourism visas are by most countries issues for short periods to allow a temporary visit. It is already quite generous that Canada allows for a 6 month stay without a visa and quite exceptional that they allow a visitor to extend this period with an in-country application. If you are really planning to stay for a year in Canada, I would assume that you (as in most other countries) can or must apply for a residence permit. Jun 17, 2014 at 17:24
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Sure. My comment was about how well that page explains the options, not about how generous those options are. Jun 17, 2014 at 17:26

The limit time is 6 month with no extension. 6 months are not 180 days. 6 months are the date you arrive + 6 months and leaving the day before u arrive: You arrive 3rd of June, you go on 2nd of December.
You have to present extension 30 opened days before, so 6 week before. Don't wait.

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    The OP says he couldn't find an authoritative source for this. Do you have one you could add to your answer?
    – user79658
    Oct 28, 2018 at 2:45

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