In 2019, Canada experienced an influx of over 22 million visitors. For a country whose population is expected to cross the 40 million mark in 2023 to experience such huge visits, how popular is the North American country?
The country remains a popular destination for travelers, including tourists, students, business people, and those looking to relocate. Most people are required to obtain a visa before they can visit Canada. There are many nationalities who can acquire a Canada eVisa (Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)).
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Nonetheless, suppose you have plans to visit Canada for a temporary purpose, like a vacation or visiting family or friends. In that case, you may need a temporary resident visa, unless you are a citizen of a “visa-exempt country” like the USA or Australia.
How to Apply for a Canadian Tourist Visa
There are two ways to apply for a Canadian tourist visa. These are:
Before you apply for a Canada tourist visa, read the complete information on the visa and permit requirements on the CIC website to be sure that you are eligible for the same.
On meeting the application requirements, you can proceed with the following procedures:
Step 1: Choose your preferred application method.
You can apply in either of the two ways for a Canadian tourist visa:
You should have access to a credit card and a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your supporting documents to apply online.
To get started with your online applications, click here.
To apply on paper, download the application form for your visa and the relevant checklists, and follow the steps below.
Step 2: Fill out the tourist visa application form
Read the instruction guide and carefully fill out the application form.
Note: The completed application must include the barcode page.
If you do not provide all the requested information, documents, and fees, your application may be rejected.
Step 3: Pay the processing fee
After completing your application, continue to pay off your visa application fees.
You must pay all fees via bank draft or certified cheque.
It would be best to refer to the fee schedule for current fees and bank draft details.
Note: Do recheck the web page before paying for the latest visa application fees.
Step 4: Visit the local Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC)
When visiting the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) in your country, always remember to carry your passport, photographs, completed forms, and all supporting documents as per the checklist, CIC fee instrument, and payment instructions.
Step 5: Submit your application form
At the CVAC, submit your completed application and pay your service charges. You will receive a receipt.
IMPORTANT: Note that the receipt contains your unique tracking number, which is necessary to track the progress of your application online.
Nonetheless, you will also be required to provide your biometrics at the CVAC.
Step 6: Track your application online
Use the unique tracking number to track your application online.
For more information, visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac.
Canadian Visa at a Glance
A Canadian visa is simply a stamp on your passport that allows you to travel to Canada. That is to say that the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your country has found you eligible, having met the stipulated requirements to enter the country.
The visa maybe A Single-entry visa or a multiple-entry Visa. A single-entry visa allow the holder to enter the country once, it's maximum duration is 6months.
A multiple-entry visa allows the holder to enter more than once during the validity period; it's duration is up to 10 years.
What is Canada Tourist Visa?
Also known as Canada visitor visa or Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TVR), the Canada Tourist Visa is a temporary Canadian immigration option that allows tourists to visit Canada for tourism and leisure.
This visa is granted for a maximum period of six months.
However, also know that there are two types of Canadian tourist visas, of which both are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after expiration, and they are:
- single-entry visa, and
- Multiple-entry visa
Let’s discuss the two types of Canadian tourist visas below.
1. Single-entry visa
As a holder of a single entry visa, you will be allowed a single entry into Canada.
That is after you might have left Canada, except for travelling to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need a new visa to move into Canada again.
But, as a single entry tourist visa holder, if you leave Canada to another place like the United States (including its Territories and Possessions) or St. Pierre and Miquelon, there will be no need for a new visitor visa before returning to Canada.
2. Multiple entry visa
A multiple entry visa is a type of tourist visa that allows a visitor to come and go from Canada for six months at a time, without having to reapply each time they want to revisit the country.
This type of visa can be valid for about ten years or more before the visa holder’s passport expires.
Types of Canadian Visa
There are basically 5 types of Canadian visas, namely:
1. Canada Student Visa:
The Canada Study Permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study in designated learning institutions (DLI). International students from other countries would require a study permit to study in Canada.
It should be noted that the study permit is not a visa to let you enter Canada. You should apply for a Canada Student Visa. This visa is required if your course of study is more than six months. International students will need a Temporary Resident Visa(TRV) if their course of study is less than 6 months.
2. The Canadian Visitor Visa:
If you're planning to be in Canada for a limited time, maybe for vacation, work, or even for studies, this is the visa type for you. The bulk of our discussion is going to be centered on this type of visa. Because the Canada Tourist visa is actually a subset of
this visa type.
3. Permanent Residence Visa:
Holders of this visa have the right to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay. To become a permanent resident, a foreign national must apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Permanent residents are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after a certain period of permanent residency.
Examples of permanent residence visa programs include the following:
i. Family Sponsorship Program
ii. Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)
iii. Startup Visa Program
iv. Immigrant Investor Program
v. Self-Employed Persons
4. Provincial Nominee Program Visa:
The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) create an avenue to Canadian permanent residence for individuals who are interested in immigrating to a specific Canadian province or territory. That is, it’s a province- or territory-specific visa program.
Each Canadian province and territory operates its own PNP designed to meet its specific economic and demographic needs.
5. Express Entry Program Visa:
The Canadian government uses this online system to organize and process applications for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada and obtain Canadian permanent residence status. It focuses on 3 federal economic programs namely
Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Types of Canadian Visitor Visa
Different types of Canadian visitor visas are briefly explained below:
1. Canada Transit Visa
This is for citizens from visa-required countries that stop over at Canadian airport on their way to another country. Holders are expected to exit Canada within 48 hours or get a temporary visa.
2. Canada Super Visa:
This visa is meant for parents or grandparents of Canadian permanent resident status or Canadian citizens to visit their children or grandchildren.
3. Courtesy Visa:
Those who do not qualify for the Diplomatic and Official Visa but their visit is considered important due to their rank and position and are issued the courtesy visa; e.g. members of trade missions or diplomats with the intent of tourism.
4. Diplomatic and Official Visa:
Just as the name connotes, this visa permits diplomats and officials on official duties from foreign countries to enter Canada.
5. Canada Business Visa:
As the name suggests, this visa is for individuals or groups traveling to Canada for business purposes.
6. Give Birth in Canada Visa:
This visa allows women who are pregnant to give birth in Canada after fulfilling certain criteria. This automatically makes the baby a Canadian citizen.
7. Organ Donor Visa:
For those traveling to Canada to donate an organ to a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, this is the type of visitor visa they should apply for.
8. Canada’s Felicitation Visa:
These visas are issued to Canadian citizens with dual nationalities. It is for citizens who are not having a Canadian passport.
9. Temporary Residence Permit:
This type of visitor visa is given to people visiting Canada for different purposes and does not qualify for the Temporary Resident Visa.
10. Working Holiday Visa:
It is issued to young people from 30 countries who applied for it and were randomly selected to travel to Canada for work.
11. Temporary Work Visa:
This is another type of visitor’s visa. It’s given to people who have had a job offer in Canada that is less than six months The applicant, however, will have to present a valid job offer letter from the Canadian employer.
12. Canadian Tourist Visa:
This visitor visa allows the holder to enter the country only for tourism purposes.
Who is Eligible for Canada Tourist Visa
The following conditions are required to be eligible to apply for a Canadian visa:
- Have a valid passport (travel document).
- Proof of good health.
- Have no immigration-related or criminal convictions.
- Ability to prove to the immigration officer that you have ties with your home country.
- Convince the officer that you will leave Canada at the end of the visit.
- Proof of sufficient funds to sustain your stay in the country.
- A medical examination report may be required.
- The intended duration of your stay and temporary residence
The following person(s) could be denied entry into Canada:
- Human rights violators
- Those involved in organized crimes
- Non-compliance with IRPA provisions.
- Having an inadmissible family member.
- Documents forgers.
- Withholding information related to IRPA decisions
- Also, security, health, and financial reasons are other aspects of denying entry into Canada.
Documents Required for Canada Tourist Visa
Here is a list of documents required for a Canadian visa application.
- A valid passport
- Fill out the Canada Visa Application Form.
- Proof of Paying the Canada Visa Fees: The processing fee and the biometric fees Attach receipts with the application.
- Visa Photos: Provide passport photos based on Canadian visa requirements. Ensure that your photos meets the requirements set by the immigration department of the Canadian government.
- Bank statements to prove you have enough funds to live in Canada for the time being. Generally, it is recommended to have a bank balance of at least CAD 10,000.00 to apply for a
Canada tourist visa
- Evidence of your return to your home Country
- Police clearance to show that you do not have any previous criminal records.
- Medical report: a medical clearance certificate from approved physician by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to prove that you are in good health. A medical exam is usually not needed if you are staying for less than six months.
- Letter explaining the purpose of visit.
- Letter of support or invitation to Canada
- Canadian Visa Document
NOTE: For children under 18, in addition to having the right documents and meeting the same entry requirements as adults; the border services officer may ask minor children to show other documents depending on whether they are traveling alone or with someone. That is to say that; there are specific requirements for minor children.
Cost of Online Application
It costs CAD100 to apply for a visitor visa, and the biometric fee is CAD85. For extensions of stay, visitors pay CAD100 as processing fee. To restore your status as a visitor, you need to pay a visa fee of 200 Canadian dollars.
The processing time for a Canada tourist visa is 15 days, all things being equal. A business visa takes one to six weeks of processing time. For a temporary resident visa 16 to 20 days of processing time is needed. Note that the processing time is usually delayed when additional documents are required.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
A. Can I extend my stay as a visitor in Canada?
It’s possible to extend your stay. You would have entered Canada with an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or on a temporary
resident visa, known as a visitor visa. In either case, you would have to apply for a visitor record if you would like to stay longer than the validity period of your visa.
B. How can I extend my Canadian visitor visa?
You need to apply for an extension by filling out an IMM5708 form.
C. What are the requirements to extend Canada visitor visa?
1. Applicants need to be currently in Canada.
2. Applicants need to hold a current passport that will be valid for the duration of their stay.
3. Applicants need to pay the associated fee for form IMM 5708
4. Every other permits must be valid through the extension.
D. What is a visitor record?
It’s a legal document issued by an immigration officer that allows you to remain in Canada. You need to inform the border services officer if you wish to stay in the country for more than 6 months. This document is separate from your passport, and it does not guarantee that you will re-enter Canada once the person decides to leave the country.
E. When should I apply for an extension of my visa?
You should apply at least 30 days before the expiration date of your previous visa.
F. What is the validity of multiple-entry visitor visas to Canada?
The multiple entry visa to Canada is valid for ten years from the date of issue. It will let you travel to Canada for six months at a time. You can travel in and out of Canada as many times as you like during the validity period of this Canada visa.
G. How do I know if my Canada visa application is approved?
By visiting their official website to check your visa status or you will receive an approval email once confirmed. And if you had submitted the application at the Canada visa application centre, you would have to collect your passport and the visa approval from there.
Canada is still a very popular tourist destination. People doing business, students, diplomats, etc are trooping into this beautiful North American Country every year. Canada has always welcomed immigrants from different parts of the world, the Country is blessed with vast natural resources and they have an amazing cultural diversity.
The good news is, not all nationalities are required to obtain a visa to enter Canada, so check if you're from a visa exempt country and get ready for a wonderful holiday or tourist trip to Canada. But if you are required to get a visa, don't worry, in just 15-21days all things being equal, your tourist visa will be ready. Do have an exciting visit to Canada.