USA and the UK
- What is a Canada Visitor Visa?
- Who needs a Canada Visitor Visa?
- Types of Canada Visitor Visa
- Canada Visitor Visa Eligibility Criteria
- Required Documents for a Canada Visitor Visa
- Canada Visitor Visa Application Process
- Biometrics for Canada Visitor Visa Applicant
- Canada Visitor Visa Extension
- Canada-Ukraine Authorisation for Emergency Travel
- How Immigration Advice Service (IAS) Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Canada Visitor Visa?
A Canada Visitor Visa is an official document that is attached to a travel passport and is granted by a Canadian Visa Office. It demonstrates that a foreign citizen has fulfilled the requirements for temporary residency in Canada as a visitor. It is formally known as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
This visa allows the holder to visit Canada temporarily for a variety of reasons, including vacations, visiting loved ones, or tourism in Canada. This visa permits you to enter the country by going to a Canadian port of entry and asking for permission to enter. Border Patrol Officers have the authority to permit or prohibit entrance based on your documentation and situation.
If you have been granted a valid visa and the authorities determine that you do not have any illegal intent, you will be permitted to enter Canada and begin your vacation or visit. Foreign citizens may also require this visa type if they are passing through a Canadian airport en route to their final destination.
Who Needs a Canada Visitor Visa?
The Canadian visitor visa is for foreign citizens who wish to visit Canada temporarily. The following are reasons that people who require this visa category visit Canada.
- For tourism and leisure.
- To visit loved ones.
- For business
This visa category is a type of short-temporary resident visa. However, some foreign citizens can travel to Canada temporarily without a visitor visa. These foreign citizens are people who are from visa-exempt countries.
Canada has treaties with a few countries that exempt their citizens from holding a visa to visit Canada for up to six months. However, foreign citizens from visa-exempt countries must have a valid electronic travel authorisation to visit Canada by air (eTA).
Before you apply, you need to confirm if you need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). The document you require is determined by:
- the type of travel document you intend to use.
- the country that granted your passport
- your country of origin
- your mode of transportation to Canada
Additionally, some foreign citizens can freely enter Canada with their passports. For instance, United States citizens are not required to hold a visa or an eTA to come to Canada. You can apply online or go to the visa application centre to apply.
Types of Canada Visitor Visa
There are two types of Canadian visitor visas. The single entry visa and the multiple entry visa. The major difference between these two visa categories is that a single entry visa permits only one visit to Canada, whereas the other type permits multiple visits.
You are not required to decide on the type of visa that you will get. Typically, all applicants are considered for multiple entry visitor visas. However, your application will be reviewed and issued based on your situation.
Single Entry Visa: This visa enables a foreign citizen to visit Canada only once during the visa’s period of validity. This type of visa may be issued up to six months before the anticipated date of travel. It is valid for at least a month after the expected arrival date in Canada.
An applicant can get a single entry visa if:
- The intent of his or her visit to Canada is limited.
- They are taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime special event in Canada;
- The IRCC National Headquarters has authorised procedures or guidelines.
Multiple Entry Visa: This visa type allow the holder to visit and stay in Canada for up to six months at the same time. With this visa type, the holder can visit Canada as many times as they want while the visa is valid. This type of visa can be valid for up to ten years or a month before the travel passport expires.
However, the exact duration is at the prerogative of the visa officer who issues it. If you have another type of recognition document, like a study permit, you will be granted a visitor visa that will allow you to gain entry into Canada to obtain your permit.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continue to advocate for the approval of long-term multiple-entry visas to allow lawful visitors to enter Canada. As a result, all visa applicants who qualify for a multiple-entry visa will be granted one.
Canada Visitor Visa Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for a Canada Visitor Visa, an applicant must meet certain requirements. These criteria determine whether you are eligible to apply for and hold a visa. If you cannot demonstrate your eligibility, your application will be rejected because you are inadmissible in Canada.
Below are the criteria you need to meet to be eligible to apply for a visitor visa.
- To apply as the primary visa applicant, you must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have a valid passport issued by the government that has at least one blank page in it but is not the last page.
- Translate and confirm all documents in languages that are not in English or French. This means only documents in English or French will be accepted.
- Present a clean criminal record. This is to prove that you do not tend to commit a crime in Canada.
- Prepare to pay the necessary visa application and processing fees.
- Sign and date all the supporting documents.
- Fill out and sign a Consent Form for the Visa Application Center (VAC).
- Make and submit copies of your recent immigration status in another country or Canada.
- You must have sufficient funds to last your entire stay in Canada. The amount required depends on how long you intend to stay and where you intend to stay.
- Be ready to attend an interview. The interview stage is important. This is where immigration officials meet you and ask questions to determine if you will be issued a visa.
- You must be in good health. In some cases, you may need to undergo a medical examination upon request by the Canadian Embassy.
- Demonstrate that your visit to Canada is only temporary and that you will return to your home country when your visa expires. This will assure the officials that you will not stay longer in Canada after your visa is no longer valid.
- You must demonstrate that you have no intention of working or studying in Canada. Since you are in Canada for a visit, you cannot study or work. You will need additional documents like a study permit or a work permit to do so.
Documentary evidence is an essential step in obtaining a Canada Visitor Visa. You would be expected to present certain documents to show your identity and prove that you are eligible to travel to Canada. The visa requirements will vary depending on the reason for your visit.
Furthermore, some applicants are expected to meet the requirements for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption. This implies that you have received two dosages of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for travel, at least 14 days before your departure date. Keep in mind that every immigration case is different based on specific cases.
Below are the required documents you need to apply.
- Proof of Vaccination: You will be required to use ArriveCAN to enter your vaccination proof details. This information must be entered within 72 hours before you enter Canada.
- ArriveCAN Receipt: Before checking in at the airport or crossing the border, you must use the ArriveCAN app. You can present a soft or hard copy of the receipt.
- Identity Document: A colour copy of your valid travel passport or other travel documents that will be used to enter Canada. If you have a passport, you must bring a copy of it with you. It must show the page with your date of birth and country of birth, and any pages with stamps, visas, or inscriptions.
If you have another travel document, it must be approved by a government and include your name and date of birth, Status of citizenship or residency, and passport photograph.
- A Family Information (IMM 5645) Form: This document must be submitted alongside your application form.
- Documents for Minor Children: This document is required if a minor child is involved. The documents required vary depending on whether the child is travelling with only a parent, alone or with a family member. You would need to submit a letter authorising the minor child’s visit to Canada. Other documents, such as consent forms or a custody decree, may be required depending on the situation.
Below are some additional documents that are considered useful.
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form: This document is only required if a third party makes the application. This form must be completed by third parties who are applying on the applicant’s behalf.
- Travel History: If you have visited Canada or other countries, this can demonstrate that you have previously obtained a visa. This is an optional document that can boost your chances of getting it. These documents can include your former passports and/or visas used within the last 10 years, stamps for entry and exit, and study/work permits that specify the duration of your visit.
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual Form (IMM 5475): This form is useful if you want to give Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) permission to release your personal information to a third party. The individual you select will have access to the details in your case file, such as the status of your application.
- Itinerary: This is an optional document that further outlines your activities in Canada. It is not a required document, but it can prove to be useful. To present your itinerary, you would need to submit documents outlining how long you intend to stay and what you intend to do in Canada. They include flight information, hotel reservations, and event registration.
- Bank Account Statement: This will enable the immigration office to determine whether you have enough funds to provide for yourself while in Canada. For this, you would need to submit at least 6 months of account information, including balances, to understand your financial position.
It is essential to have an idea of all the documents you are required to submit when applying. Note that additional documents that have not been mentioned here may be requested, depending on your situation. You can contact us to assess your specific circumstances and application documents to eliminate the possibility of rejection.
Canada Visitor Visa Application Process
To begin your application, you must complete some forms and follow some steps. The following are the visa process application steps.
- Verify your eligibility
- Download and fill out the application forms
- Attach all supporting documents to the application.
- Pay the visa processing fee as well as the biometrics fee.
- Submit your application.
- Visit the Canadian embassy in your home country and provide your biometrics.
- Wait for processing and respond to any additional information requests. You will be notified of your decision after reviewing your background check and eligibility.
- Submit your valid passport to be stamped.
Biometrics for Canada Visitor Visa Applicant
Applicants who are applying for a Canadian visa for the first time are required to submit their biometrics. You will be required to submit biometric data to back up your application. This stage comes after you have submitted your application, paid the biometrics fee, and gotten feedback from the government of Canada.
Note that your biometrics must be provided in person. To provide your biometrics, you must schedule an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Schedule an appointment as soon as you receive your biometric instruction letter to avoid delay. The biometrics fee is typically CAD 85 per person.
- Below is the information you will be required to provide for your biometrics capture.
- Biographic data: This includes your name, DOB, and important personal information as shown on the personal data page of your travel document.
- Ten fingerprints: All your fingerprints will be captured in the biometrics stage.
- Passport photograph: An electronic copy of your passport photograph will be taken.
If you previously provided your biometrics as part of an application for a visitor visa, study or work permit, your biometrics are likely still valid. You can use the Check Status tool to determine whether your biometrics are still valid and when they will expire. You are not required to provide your biometrics again if they are still valid.
Canada Visitor Visa Extension
As mentioned earlier, you are expected to leave Canada when your visitor visa expires. Therefore, if you want to stay longer than six months, you must apply for an extension while the Canada visitor visa is still valid. You are expected to apply for the extension at least 30 days before your current status expires.
If your visa expires while processing your visa extension, you will be allowed to stay in Canada until a decision is reached. This is known as “implied status.”
If your visa extension application is approved, you will be given a visitor record. A visitor record is a document that specifies how long you are allowed to stay in Canada. Note that a visitor record is not a guarantee that you will enter Canada. If you want to travel outside Canada, you will only be allowed to enter with a valid visa.
To be eligible to apply for a visa extension, you need to meet the following requirements.
- You must be in Canada.
- You must have a valid passport that will be valid for the period of stay.
- Have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay.
- Ensure that other permits you hold remain valid.
The Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) is for those who are impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and need to travel to Canada temporarily. Those eligible to come to Canada through this means are Ukrainians and family members of Ukrainians.
When you apply through the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) initiative, you will be eligible to apply for a work permit. This work permit allows you to work for some Canadian employers.
Furthermore, Ukrainians and their families travelling to Canada can apply for a free visitor visa and may be permitted to reside in Canada for three years, instead of the typical six-month authorised stay for regular visitors.
How Immigration Advice Service (IAS) Can Help
The process of applying for a Canadian visitor visa may appear simple, but you can make some mistakes without consulting an immigration lawyer. When applying for this visa category, there is a high risk of rejection if the application is not properly made.
We discovered that the most frequent reason for application rejection is when applicants fill out application forms incorrectly. With our expert advice and assistance, you can increase your likelihood of getting your visitor visa approved.
Our exceptionally skilled immigration lawyers offer assistance and support on your unique immigration case and provide you with the necessary legal counsel. We can help you with your visitor visa application by providing immigration advice that can help you. For more information on how we can help you with your application, please contact us at +1 844 290 6312
Last modified on August 25th, 2023 at 5:49 am
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People who wish to visit Canada ask questions to enable them to understand what they need to do. As a result, we have provided answers to some of the frequently asked questions about this visa type below.
Yes, it is fairly easy to get a Canada visitor visa. Your chance of getting it is highly dependent on your application. Many applications are rejected due to incomplete forms and inadequate or incorrect supporting documents.
- For a single person, it costs CAD 100, including the Super Visa.
- For a family of 5 or more, it costs CAD 500. To be eligible to pay this amount, you and your family members must apply together, and your children must be under the age of 22.
- It costs CAD 100 to extend your visa.
- It costs CAD 200 to restore your status as a visitor.
- Biometric fees cost CAD 800 per person.
This visa type is typically valid for 6 months. The border patrol officer at the border may allow you to stay for less than or more than 6 months. If that is the case, your passport will be stamped with your departure date.
Note that you are not permitted to stay in Canada for more than 6 months at a time, regardless of the duration your Canada Tourist Visa is valid. Consequently, after 6 months, you are required to return to your home, stay for a while, and then you can travel again to Canada for another 6 months.
The application process time differs based on where you apply. It usually takes a couple of weeks to a few months to process your application.
No, you cannot work with a visitor visa. When you have a visitor visa stamped in your passport, you are not permitted to work or engage in any commercial business that will allow you to earn money in Canada.
Typically, you are not required to appear in person for an interview if you are applying for a Canadian tourist visa. When applying for a visa, applicants or a delegate of the applicant can provide the embassy with any necessary information. However, if you are asked to attend an interview, you would need to go to the embassy in person.
An invitation letter is not required when applying for a visitor visa. It is an additional document to strengthen your case and demonstrate to the immigration officer that you are travelling to Canada on a visit.
You can offer a letter of invitation in support of your family member’s application. It should detail how you intend to assist the person. For instance, you could offer to cover the cost of travel or accommodation. A letter of invitation may be useful, but it does not imply that the individual will automatically be granted a visa.
If your request for a visitor visa is denied, there is no official review procedure. The good news is, that you can apply for a new visitor visa and take the grounds for rejection into consideration. You will be able to improve your chances of succeeding if you can solve them and present a better application.