Are you planning to visit Canada in the near future? If so, you need to be aware of the requirements for obtaining a visitor visa. A visitor visa, also called a temporary resident visa, is an official document stamped in your passport demonstrating that you meet the legal requirements to travel to Canada. This post explains exactly what travelers must do to enter Canada.
Step 1: Canada Visitor Visa Checklist
The first step is making sure you meet the basic requirements for travel to Canada. You must have:
- A passport or other valid travel document
- Be in good health (a medical certificate may be required)
- Have no criminal convictions
- Demonstrate an intent to return to your home country
- Have enough money for your stay (bank statements may be required)
Step 2: Determine if You Need a Medical Exam
People who intend to visit for six months or less generally do not need a medical exam unless they work in specified health fields or in agriculture. You need a medical exam if you will remain in Canada for more than six months, and:
- You have lived temporarily for six or more months in a row in specified countries in the year immediately prior to the date you will enter Canada.
- You are coming to Canada to work in a job where public health must be protected.
- You are applying for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa.
If you need a medical exam, contact the visa office for instructions on how to proceed.
Step 3: Documents Required for Canada Visitor Visa
The nearest visa application center (VAC) can help with the paperwork. Generally, you need the following forms and documents to complete your visitor visa application:
- Application for Temporary Resident Visa
- Family Information Form
- Photocopy of the Information Page of Passport
- Two Photographs (with name and date of birth written on back)
- Proof of Financial Support (bank statements)
- Photocopy of Marriage License or Certificate
- Purpose of Travel Statement
- Photocopy of Current Immigration Status (if your country of residence is different from your country of citizenship, you must provide proof of legal status)
- Custody Documents or Letter of Authorization from Both Parents (for minor children traveling with one parent)
You can apply online or on paper. Each person who seeks entry into Canada must submit a separate application.
Step 4: Pay Application Fees
As of December 2017, the fee schedule for visitor visas and super visas is as follows:
- Visitor visa / super visa = $100 per person
- Visitor visa for family of five or more = $500 total
To be eligible for the visitor visa for a family of five or more persons, dependent children must be under age 22 and the family members must apply at the same time and place.
Step 5: Biometrics
Some visitors to Canada need to give biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph). If you need to give biometrics and are applying on paper, the application must be submitted in person at the VAC office.
Step 6: Submit the Application
Families are required to send their applications together with one package. To identify the proper office, visit the webpage and select your country where you currently live.
Step 7: Application Processing
After you submit the application, it will be reviewed to make sure it has all the supporting documentation. Most applications are processed in just a few weeks. After the application is processed, your passport and original documents will be returned to you.
Step 8: Approved
Once your application is approved, the visa will be stamped inside the passport. When you arrive in Canada, a border agent will ask for your travel documents.
Documents required for a Canadian visitor visa are subject to change. Be sure to check the VAC for the most recent information for your country.
Are you interested in immigrating to Canada permanently? Contact the Immigration Law Office of Ronen Kurzfeld to see how we can make your Canadian dream come true.