What is the Canada Visitor Visa?
The Canada Visitor Visa (or Temporary Resident Visa) allows people who are not permanent residents or citizens of Canada to legally visit the country as a temporary visitor, worker or student. Visitors may enter Canada for the following reasons:
- To visit Canada on holiday (vacation)
- To visit family
- To conduct business, etc.
This is also known as the Canadian tourist visa or temporary resident visa.
A visitor visa typically lasts for 6 months, though this is subject to various conditions. Note that you may also require a separate valid study permit or work permit in addition to your Visa if you plan to work or study in Canada during your stay.
Only citizens of certain Visa-required countries will need to apply for a Visa when visiting Canada. Citizens of certain countries may instead simply need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) rather than a Visitor Visa, so it’s important to ensure you know which one you require.
US citizens do not require a Visa or an eTA to enter Canada.
You can apply for your Visa either online or on paper, but you must apply for it and obtain one before travelling to Canada. A Visitor Visa cannot be obtained upon arrival in Canada.
The cost of a Visitor Visa is $CAN 100 per person.
Types of the Canada Visitor Visa
The Visitor Visa is divided into two types: multiple entry and single entry visas.
Every visa applicant is automatically considered for multiple entry visas by default. A multiple entry visa allows for unlimited travel in and out of Canada for six months at a time. It will be valid for up to 10 years or one month before your passport expires, whichever occurs sooner. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.
Meanwhile, a single entry visa only allows you to travel into Canada once. You may only be eligible for a single entry visa if:
- you are eligible for a fee-exemption and the purpose of your entry to Canada is limited (such as, for an official visit by a foreign national)
- you are taking part in a one-time special event in Canada
- there are approved country-specific procedures or guidelines in place.
In most cases, once you have left Canada, you will need to reapply for another visa to enter Canada again.
Who can apply for a Visitor Visa?
In order to qualify for a visitor visa Canada, applicants must first fulfil some basic visa requirements. You must:
- have a valid travel document, like a passport
- be in good health
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- convince an immigration officer that you have ties — such as a job, home, financial assets or family — that will take you back to your home country
- convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- have enough money for your stay
- The amount of money you will need depends on how long you will stay and if you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
Certain people may be inadmissible to Canada based on certain factors. You may be inadmissible if you have been found to be involved in the following:
- Criminal activity
- Cuman rights violations
- Organized crime
In addition to this, certain individuals may be inadmissible due to medical reasons. These may be for any of the following 3 factors:
- Danger to public health
- Danger to public safety
- Excessive demand on health or social services
Along with the above Canada tourist visa requirements, you may be asked to attend a medical examination in order to prove your eligibility for a Visa. You can reach out to us for assistance or advice.
What documents do I need to apply for the Visitor visa?
As a visitor visa applicant, the documents you will need to provide will vary based on the reasons for your visit.
In addition, most applicants will need to qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption. This means that you must have had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel, or a mix of 2 accepted vaccines, or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before the date of travel.
You must upload proof of your vaccination status to your ArriveCAN online account prior to travel.
As an example, the following documents will be included in a visa application for a fully vaccinated tourist:
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status (uploaded to ArriveCAN)
- ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper)
- Identity document, such as a valid passport from the list of approved countries
- Completed Family information (IMM 5645) form
- Use of a representative (IMM 5476) (only if a family member is applying on behalf of the applicant or third parties)
- Minor children documents (documents needed depend if the child under 18 years of age will travel with only 1 parent, with a relative or friend, or alone)
Furthermore the following items are considered optional to include in the visa process, but may help prove that you are eligible for a visitor visa:
- Travel history and history of previously issued visas
- Itinerary for stay, such as flight and hotel details and registrations for events
- Bank account statements (to prove your ability to financially support yourself during your stay)
- Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (IMM 5475)
It is important to know what documents you need to submit during the visitor visa Canada application process. You should also complete the Document Checklist [IMM 5484] form and include it in with your application form and supporting documents.
Providing biometrics for the Canadian Visitor visa
If you are between the ages of 14 and 79 and it is your first time applying for a Visitor Visa, it may be the case that you will need to provide biometric information to support your application.
Typically, you will need to give your biometrics after you submit your application, pay the biometrics fee, and hear from the Canadian government about what to do next.
The biometrics fee is typically $CAN 85 per person.
You will normally have to make an appointment at an official visa office known as a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in order to supply your biometrics. There are several VACs located internationally. During your appointment, they will typically collect the following information from you:
- Biographic data: Name, date of birth, and other personal details of an applicant as listed on the biographic data page of the applicant’s passport or travel document
- 10 fingerprints: Fingerprints of the applicant, captured electronically during the biometrics collection session, using an electronic fingerprint-capture device
- Photograph: A digital photograph of the applicant
People applying for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) will generally not need to provide biometrics.
How do I apply for the Canada Visitor visa?
You can either apply online or by paper at a visa application center (VAC) for Canada’s visitor visa.
In order to apply for a Visitor Visa online, you will need a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your official documents. You will also need a credit or debit card to pay the necessary fees.
You are not able to apply for a visitor visa online if you are using one of the following travel documents from a visa-exempt country:
- alien’s passport for stateless persons
- other refugee travel documents for non-citizens
If this applies to you, then you must apply for a visa using a paper form provided by the Canadian government website instead.
All applicants are recommended to wait until they are eligible to enter Canada first before submitting their visa application. This factors in things such as COVID-19 vaccination status and the specific reasons for your travel to Canada.
What is the processing time & cost for the visitor visa?
Visitor Visa Processing Time
The time it takes for a Visitor Visa application to get processed varies depending on where you’re applying from. It generally takes between a few weeks and a few months to get your application processed, but this may vary greatly.
You can check time estimates using the application processing time checker tool on the Canadian government website.
It’s important to note that a valid Visitor visa is no guarantee of entry into Canada. A border services officer at the port of entry will decide if you still meet the requirements for admission when you arrive.
Canada Visitor Visa Costs
The costs of a visitor visa and its variations are listed below:
|Visitor Visa – per person||100|
|Visitor visa – per family (1 fee per family of 5 or more people)||500|
|Extend your stay as a visitor – per person||100|
|Restore your status as a visitor||200|
It’s important to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information knowledge and information to hand when applying for a visitor visa for entry into Canada.
If you require additional assistance with your application or any other topic, Total Law’s Canadian immigration lawyers are here to help. We are experts in immigration and have years’ worth of experience working with individuals to help them find solutions to their immigration issues. We can support your visitor visa interview, application or case and give you the expertise and support you need.
For more information about how we can assist you and your application, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us through our online form.
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Visitors are not allowed to work or study in Canada unless they are authorized to do so. In many cases, you will need a separate work or study permit in order to work during your stay.
You may apply to extend your stay in Canada as long as you meet the necessary requirements according to Canadian immigration law. For instance, you must submit your application to extend your visitor status before your Visa expires and comply with all of the conditions that were imposed on entry.
The Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E) will review each application for extension and evaluate whether or not to grant an extension of the visa based on individual circumstances and eligibility.
Travellers from the following countries listed below are visa-exempt from Canada and instead need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization instead of a Visitor Visa.
If your country is not on this list, it is likely that you will need to apply for one of the Visitor Visas.
- British citizen
- British National (Overseas)
- British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
- British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in one of the British overseas territories of:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
- Pitcairn Island
- Saint Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- British Subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR.
- Israel, must have a national Israeli passport
- Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Taiwan, must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number
- United Arab Emirates
- United States, lawful permanent resident of
- Vatican City State, must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican.
For more information or advice on this visa category or any others, contact us today.