Applying for a Canada Visitor Visa - Requirements and Tips

You may need to apply for a visitor visa when going to Canada, whether on vacation or business. Visitor visas are typically issued to temporarily allow people to travel to Canada and make short trips within the country without staying permanently. Before applying, check out these requirements and tips on how to get your Canada Visitor Visa approved!

Applying for a Canada Visitor Visa - Requirements and Tips

Canada, officially known as Canada, is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometers of land mass. With over 35 million residents, it is the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-most populous nation with English and French as official languages.

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What is a visa

A visa is an official document issued by one country to allow the bearer to enter or transit another. It certifies that its holder does not threaten that country's national security, safety, and welfare. A tourist visa allows someone from one country to visit or transit to another for recreational purposes. A visitor visa will typically be granted without any long-term intent.

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What is a Visitors Visa

A Canada visitor visa, also known as a visitor visa, is typically valid for up to six months at the discretion of Canadian immigration authorities. For example, if you applied on October 1st to visit Canada until April 30th of the following year, your Canada visitor visa would be valid until April 30th. The Canada tourist visa application process begins by filling out the online Canada tourist visa application form, which will require basic information about yourself, such as your full name, country of residence, email address, and phone number. You will also need to provide details about your intended stay in Canada, including the date of arrival and departure, place(s) you plan to visit, occupation, employer's name, education level, etc.

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What is a Canada Visitor Visa?

The Canada Visitor Visa is a Temporary Resident Visa for Canada which allows the holder to go to Canada for purposes such as:

  • Tourism or holidays in Canada.
  • Visiting family.

The Canada Tourist Visa allows you to go to a Canadian port of entry and ask for permission to enter the country. The Border Patrol Officers are the ones who are allowed to grant or deny you access based on your documents and your situation.

Suppose you have been issued a Visitor visa to Canada, and the officers find that you do not have any criminal intentions. In that case, you will be allowed to pass the port of entry and begin your holiday or family visit to Canada.

Where can a Visitor Visa Allow you to visit Canada

Visitors to Canada are usually only allowed to visit the following regions:
- Quebec, Nunavut, Yukon, or Northwest Territories;
- Manitoba if they are staying less than 72 hours;
- British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island for less than 48 hours. If you wish to stay longer than this, then you need to apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa.
- The city of Saint John in New Brunswick is an exception. Visitors can enter without needing a Canada visitor visa but will require one upon departure if they want to re-enter Canada that day.

Do I Need to Apply for a Canada Visitor Visa?

Most travelers will need a Visitor visa which grants them entry to Canada. However, some nationals of countries will only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or they are entirely exempt and can enter free with their passports without needing a visa.

What type of visa do you need?

Canada offers three types of visitor visas. Most people will need a single entry visa, which is gosuitableor six months of travel. Some people might need a multiple entry visa for up to 10 years. The third type is the transit visa, which is not usually required but may be requested if you travel extensively in the US or Canada before reaching your final destination.

You should apply for your Canada Visitor Visa at least two weeks in advance, so there is enough time to process it. In some cases, you may also be asked to supply proof of funds or an itinerary when applying for the Canada Tourist Visa.

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What are the Canada Tourist Visa Eligibility Criteria?

The applicant must fulfill some criteria to qualify for a Canada Tourist Visa. These requirements determine whether someone is applying for the visa and holds it.

If you cannot prove that you are eligible for the Canada Visitor visa, they will reject you because you are inadmissible in Canada. If you are proven unacceptable, then your only way of getting into the country is to get a Temporary Resident Permit.

To apply for a Tourist Visa for Canada, you will also have to submit some documents, as follows:

  •     Standard requirements for Canada visa.
  •     Canada Tourist Visa Application Form.
  •     Your bank or other financial statements to prove you have enough funds for the trip to Canada.
  •     A travel itinerary if you have already booked your air tickets or just a description of what you plan to do once in Canada.
  •     A Canada visa letter of invitation from your family or friend site visiting them.
  •     Proof of the relationship if you are visiting your family.
  •     The immigration status of your family or friends if you visit them.
  •     Bank statements or information statements of your friends or family if you visit them.
  •     A Declaration Letter from you to the Government of Canada where you explain why they should give you a Tourist visa.
  •     Two photos that meet the Canada Photo Requirements.
  •     Your employment or education status through a resume or diplomas, as well as a letter from your employer stating that you have contractual obligations to fulfill and you must return to your home country.
  •     Proof that your stay in Canada is temporary and that you will return to your home country once your visit is over, such as a property deed.
  •     Proof that you do not plan to work or study in Canada.
  •     Court documents that prove you have a clean criminal history.

All the documents you have that are in another language other than English or French should be translated.

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How can I apply for a visitor visa to Canada?

You, as the applicant, must complete several paperwork and stages before you can begin the Canada Visitor Visa application process. The following describes how to apply for a visiting visa to Canada:

  1. Verify your eligibility for a visiting visa to Canada.
  2. Complete the paperwork needed for a tourist visa to Canada.
  3. Send the Tourist Visa Application for Canada.
  4. Wait for the processing to complete before responding to further information requests.
  5. Post a stamping request in your passport.

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What are the expenses for a visitor visa to Canada?

The cost of applying for a visitor visa to Canada is $100CAD per person. You will have to pay an extra CAD$85 if you additionally need to submit your biometrics. The total cost of only applying for this visa is CAD$185. You will also be required to pay for the passport procedure, which will cost about CAD$45.

How long does it take to process a visitor visa to Canada?

Processing times for visiting visas to Canada vary from 8 to 40 days. Nevertheless, processing times vary depending on the nation you reside in. Therefore, you will have to wait around a month to process your visitor visa.

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How long does the tourist visa for Canada last?

Depending on each circumstance, the Canadian Consulate determines how long to grant you a tourist visa for Canada. There are situations when they provide the visa for the period in which you want to travel to Canada, and there are situations where they issue the visa to you till your passport expires. It depends on whether they think you'll return to your own country.

You are not permitted to remain in Canada for more than six months at a time, regardless of how long your tourist visa is valid. Therefore, you must return to your place of origin after six months, reside there for a while, and then come to Canada again for another six months.

What Am I Allowed to do With a Canada Tourist Visa?

With the Canadian Tourist visa, you can travel around Canada for less than six months as long as you are in good financial standing. You are not allowed to get Canadian documents or stay in the country permanently. You are also not allowed to work or study and will not be permitted to file for health care or other governmental benefits.

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Can I bring my dependents to Canada with a Tourist Visa?

Your dependents, such as your spouse and minor children, can come to Canada with you with a Tourist Visa. However, they must have their application, and everyone should pay separate fees. You must submit the applications together at the Visa Application Center or online so that you are processed as a family.

Extension of Visitor Visa for Canada

You will require a visitor visa extension if you want to stay in Canada for some time longer than six months on a tourist visa. A visitor record is the name of this extension.

At least 30 days before your visitor visa expires, you must apply for a visa extension for Canada (visitor record).

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A Visitor Record is what?

The visitor record is not affixed to your passport like a visiting visa is. When the IRCC approves your request for a visa extension, they provide you with a separate document.

The deadline for your departure from Canada is stated in your visitor record.

You will also need to visit IRCC’s website to read the instructions guide for extending a visa.  You must scan your documents to create electronic copies, which you can submit on the online application tool.

You will also need a valid credit/debit card to pay your fees.

When applying and the question “What would you like to do in Canada?” appears, you should select “Visit.”

Then, on “What is your current country/territory of residence?” answer “Canada.”

Complete the rest of the application as instructed.

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Visitor record paper application

First, you must download the application package available on IRCC’s website. It includes document checklists, application forms, and application guidelines.

You must read the application guidelines, provide all the necessary documents, and pay the fees.

You must print the application forms on the application package and sign and date them where required. You must attach all the required documents and fees to the completed application.

Then, you must mail this application to the address stated on the application package.

Forms and documents you will need for a Visitor Record:

The forms

  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder (IMM 5708)
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409) (If applicable)

The documents

  • Payment receipts
  • Photocopies of passport pages. They must include:
    • Name and birth date
    • The passport number
    • Date of expiry
    • The stamp of your most recent entry into Canada
    • All other marked pages
  • If you did not enter with a passport: Photocopies of your other travel or identity documents. This could be an alien registration card, birth certificate, citizenship certificate, etc.
  • If applicable: Photocopy of your current immigration document.
  • If applicable: Marriage certificate.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means.

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Final Thought

We hope you have found this guide helpful in understanding the Canada Visitor Visa application process. Remember, preparation is vital when applying for this type of visa! Being fully prepared will help you avoid running into any unnecessary challenges along the way. We also suggest that you apply as early as possible to ensure your application is complete before the deadline, and be sure to answer all questions truthfully during your interview.
Thanks again for reading our blog post on Canada visitor visas.