If you wish to visit Canada for a brief period, either to visit your family member in Canada or for the holidays, you will need a Canadian visitor visa or tourist visa. The visitor visas of Canada are of two types – Single Entry and multiple entry. Which type you need depends on the reason for your visit, your country of origin, length of your stay in Canada and your links to your home country. Citizens of some countries do not need a visitor visa, but just an Electronic Travel Authorization(ETA). So, the first step is to find out what type of visitor visa you need.
Whether you need a visit visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation will depend on the following:
- They type of travel document you have
- The country which offered you the travel document
- Your nationality
- How you are planning to travel to Canada
Applying for a Canadian visitor visa
You can apply for a Canadian visitor visa online or send the mail applications to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The visitor visa will be affixed to your passport and it is an acknowledgement that you meet all the requirements to enter Canada.
A visitor visa usually allows you to stay in Canada for up to six months. At the port of entry, the border services officer will inform you whether you are allowed to stay for less or more than six months.
Eligibility requirements to obtain a Canada visitor visa
- Have a valid travel document such as passport
- Have good health
- Have no criminal background or convictions related to immigration
- Prove that you have ties such as a job, home or family that will make you return to your native country at the end of your visit.
- Have enough money for your stay.
- Some people will not be allowed to enter Canada because of certain reasons. These can include a person’s past involvement in:
- Criminal activities
- Human rights violations
- Organised crime
- Security risks
- Health-based inadmissibility
- Finance-related reasons
Documents required to apply for Canada visitor visa
The documents required to apply for Canada Visitor Visa can include:
- A valid passport, which will not be expiring in the next six months
- Documents to prove ties to your home country
- Two recent passport-size photos. It should have a white background and should not be having borders.
- A sworn affidavit or invitation from your relatives residing in Canada, if you plan to live with them
- Medical clearance certificate
- Photocopy of your return ticket or your travel itinerary or both
- Bank statements to prove you are able to afford your stay in Canada.
- Documents required for minors
Those below the age of 18 years are considered minor children. They are also supposed to submit certain documents along with their application for visitor visa. These can include:
Minors travelling alone:
- Copy of birth certificate
- Letter of authorization signed by both parents or legal guardians of the child. It should preferably be in English or French.
Minors travelling with a parent or guardian:
- Copy of birth certificate
- Letter of authorization signed by the parent who is not accompanying the child, along with contact details (It should preferably be in English or French)
If the parents are divorced or separated or shared custody, they must present copies of legal custody documents as well as letter of authorisation from the other parent/guardian.
If the parents are divorced or separated with one parent having sole custody, letter of authorization signed by that parent as well as custody decree must be submitted.
If one parent is deceased, copy of death certificate must be presented.
If the child is adopted or is under the care of legal guardians, copy of guardianship/adoption papers must be presented.
If the child is travelling to Canada with someone other than his/her parents, written consent from parents or guardians and their signed passports/national ID cards must be presented.
Steps involved in applying for Canada visitor visa
1. Get the documents ready
Before applying for Canada visitor visa, you must make sure that you have all the documents you need to prove your eligibility to obtain a visitor visa. Which documents you will need to submit along with the application will depend on the reason why you are visiting Canada.
2. Submit the application online
In order to apply online for visitor visa you must first create an account with the IRCC. Along with the application, you must upload all the necessary documents and pay the fees.
3. Submit fingerprints and photo
While applying for a Canada visitor visa, you will have to give your biometrics details such as your fingerprints and photo at your local visa application centre.
4. Application processing
Once you submit the application, the immigration authorities of Canada will check to find out if you have submitted all the required documents. If the application is incomplete, it will be returned without processing.
Sometimes, the applicant will have to go for an interview with immigration officials. They may also be asked to send more information or to submit health clearance and police clearance certificates.
The processing of the application will take only a few weeks or less. If it is approved, the applicant will be asked to submit their passport. The passport will be returned with the visa stamped on it along with other original documents.
5. Send the passport
Once the visa is approved, the candidate will have to send the passport to Canada immigration authorities, who will stamp the visitor visa on it.
6. Travel to Canada
Once you obtain your visitor visa, you may travel to Canada. Remember to bring along all the documents you had submitted with the visa application and additional documents, if necessary.
7. Extending your visitor visa
If you want to stay in Canada after your visitor visa is expired, you may apply for a visitor record, and it will give you a new expiry date. However, in order to obtain this, you must apply at least 30 days before visitor visa expires.
Do you wish to know in detail about obtaining a Canadian visitor visa or need assistance to apply for the same? Connect with CanApprove now!
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