If for any reason you wish to visit Canada for a short while, usually less than six months, then you probably need a Canadian Visitors Visa. Canada is a welcoming place for people who wish to travel for tourism as you will learn a lot from the richly cultured country.
Millions of international citizens have relocated to Canada for a lot of reasons including work, study, business, and lots more, and their testimonies have justified the goodness of the country.
In this article, we will guide you through how you can apply for a Canadian Visitor Visa and other important information you may need along as you go through your application process.
What is a Canada Visitors Visa?
A visitor visa is a temporary resident visa issued by the Canadian government to shows that an individual meets the requirements needed to enter Canada for tourism purposes/holiday or to visit a family member.
While a visitor’s visa permits you to enter Canada, you can also be stopped at the Port of Entry (POE) by the officers even after being issued a visa, in a case where you have any criminal intentions.
You may also need a visitor visa if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport to get to your final destination, except for people travelling directly to the United States (including its Territories and Possessions) or St. Pierre and Miquelon.
There are 2 types of Canada Visitor Visa (single entry visa and multiple entry visa) and they can be applied for online or on paper.
Difference Between Single Entry Visa and Multiple Entry Visa
A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada only once, while a multiple entry visa allows you to enter Canada multiple times.
While applying for your visa, you do not choose the kind of visa you want as you are automatically given a visa depending on your circumstances.
Single Entry Visa
A single entry visa allows you to travel to Canada just once, and it lasts for six months. You may be given a single entry if:
- you are entering Canada for a limited time, maybe for an official visit by a foreign national or you are eligible for a fee-exemption
- you are attending a one-time event in Canada
- some approved country-specific procedures or guidelines in place are available for you.
If you leave Canada, you may need to reapply for a new visa to gain entry again.
Multiple Entry Visa
A multiple entry visa allows you to travel to Canada as many times as you want (six months at a time). The validation period is usually up to 10 years or can be a month before your passport expires, this is dependent on which is shorter. You have to be in Canada on or before the expiry date of your visa.
People with other status documents, including a study permit or a work permit, and are not otherwise visa-exempt will automatically be issued a visitor visa (usually multiple entries) that will allow them to enter Canada and collect their permit.
Canada Visitor Visa Eligibility
You have to be eligible to apply for the Canada visitor visa before you apply, hence, we have listed out some basic requirements you need to meet before applying. This includes:
- You must have a valid travel document (e.g. passport)
- You must be in good health
- You must have no criminal record or immigration-related convictions
- You will have to convince an immigration officer that you have things that will take you back to your country — such as a job, home, financial assets, or family
- You will have to convince an immigration officer that you are going to leave Canada once your visit period expires
- You must have enough money to take care of yourself as you stay in Canada (this depends on how long you will stay and where you will stay, hotel, with friends or relatives.)
A medical examination and letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada may be needed.
Who is Inadmissible to Canada?
There are a lot of reasons one can be inadmissible to Canada. Being inadmissible to Canada means that you cannot enter Canada, and below are some reasons:
- criminal activity
- human rights violations
- organized crime
- Financial reasons.
Canada Visitor Visa Requirements / Documents
Application for a Canadian visitor visa requires some documents and they are as follows:
- Standard requirements for a Canada visa.
- Canada Visitor Visa Application Form.
- Bank or other financial statements to show proof that you have enough money for your Canada trip to.
- If you have already booked your air ticket, you may need a travel itinerary or just a description of what you plan to do once in Canada.
- If you are visiting your family or friends, you may need an invitation letter from them, hence a Canada visa letter will do.
- Relationship proof if you are visiting your family.
- Family or friend’s immigration status.
- Family or friend bank statements or other financial statements.
- A letter of declaration from you to the Government of Canada explaining why you should be given a visitor’s visa.
- Two photos that meet the Canada Photo Requirements.
- Your education status or employment status through a resume or diplomas, alongside a letter from your employer stating your contractual obligations to fulfill and you must return to your home country.
- Proof that your stay in Canada is temporary and you will go back to your home country once your visit is over. (prove includes; lease, property deed, and so on.
- Proof that you do have plans to work or study in Canada.
- Documents from the court that prove you have a clean criminal history.
If your documents are in languages other than English or French, they should be translated and these are the two main languages in Canada.
Canada Visitor Application | How to Apply
Applying for a Canadian visitor visa can be done either online or on paper, whichever way is depending on your choice, except your country doesn’t qualify for a kind of application.
Some countries’ nationals do not need a visa to enter Canada – Check if you qualify for this.
How to Apply Online
For online application, you need scanned copies of your documents, this will require a scanner or camera, more so, a valid credit or debit card will be needed for making payment.
Make sure you read the instruction guide before completing your application. People applying online may skip steps 3 and 4 of the guide (paying the fees and submitting your application) as they can do this online.
You have to pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application in order not to experience delays.
Click on the link below to apply.
Benefits of Applying Online
- Your application is gotten instantly, and there are no courier fees or mail delivery time.
- Online applications are processed more quickly.
- Before submitting your application online, the system checks for empty fields, hence, making sure your application is complete and avoiding incomplete applications which are most times returned to you.
- You can quickly submit scanned copies of more documents asked for online.
- Your passport won’t be submitted until asked for.
- You follow up on your application status directly in your online account.
Who Cannot Apply Online
Not everyone is eligible to apply online, hence, if you are using any of the below travel documents, you must apply on paper.
- alien’s passport for stateless persons
- other refugee travel document for non-citizens
How to Apply on Paper
Application fees are not refundable, therefore, make sure you need a visa before applying. Make sure you read the application package as it contains instructional guides and all the forms you need to fill out.
Every person applying for a Canadian visitor visa must submit a completed form and if an individual is below 18 years of age, their parent or guardian may sign for them. Get the application package here.
Payment of Application Fees
The main payment when applying for a visa is the processing fee. Every applicant is to pay for this individually.
Below is the price for processing your visitors’ visa.
- Visitor visa (super visa inclusive) – per person = CAN $100
- Visitor visa – per family (1 fee per family of 5 or more people) = CAN $500
- Extending your stay as a visitor = CAN $100
- Restore your status as a visitor = CAN $200
Payment for biometrics is a must when submitting your application. Else, you may experience some delay.
This is depending on the situation, you may need to pay third parties fees for the following:
- Your medical exam
- a police certificate
The instruction guide above will guide you through which fees are applicable to you and also guide you through paying them.
Submit your application
Families must send their individual applications sent as a package. The principal applicant would have to send all the packages to any location where their application will be processed.
While submitting your application, you need to submit the following documents alongside:
- the original travel passport
- good quality (minimum 300 dpi) photocopies of your current and previous passports for the last 5 years, including
- all the pages with visas
- all the pages with stamps
- all the pages with your biographical data which includes (name, date of birth, passport number), alongside your photo
After gathering those data, submit your application to the nearest Visa Application Center.
Canada Visitor Visa Processing time
The Canada visitor visa processing time takes between 8 days to 40 days. Although the time for processing is greatly influenced by the country you are applying from. So you basically will wait for an average of one month for your Visitor Visa to be processed.