Visitor visas allow people to stay in Canada temporarily. For tourists, whether you are looking for nightlife in a large cosmopolitan city or vast natural park land, the country offers something for everyone! Visitor visas also allow people to connect with family who have immigrated to Canada.
Types of visas
• A single entry visa allows you to enter Canada only once. If you have a valid USA visa and are visiting the USA on your trip to Canada, the visa may also be used for repeated entries into Canada from the USA within the time allowed for your stay in Canada.
• A multiple entry visa allows you to enter Canada from any country as often as you wish during the validity of the visa. If you have never travelled to Canada before, or if you are not certain that you will meet the requirements for issuance of a visa, you may wish to apply only for a single entry visa.
• A transit visa is required when a traveler will be in Canada for 48 hours or less en route to another country. There is no fee for a transit visa, which can be issued as either a single or multiple entries. The applicant must demonstrate to the visa officer that they have an onward ticket and a visa, if required, for their ultimate destination. At the Port of Entry, the immigration office will determine if the traveler is granted admission to Canada. If the traveler is not granted entry, he or she will be sent back to the point of origin.
The visa validity is determined by a visa officer. Single-entry visas are normally valid for six months, and multiple-entry visas may be valid for longer periods. The validity date is the day by which you must enter, not leave, Canada. The officer at the Port of Entry will determine the length of stay allowed.
We cannot issue visitor visas with a validity that exceeds the passport validity. So if your passport will expire soon, you may want to renew it before you apply for your Canadian visa.
Please note that the decision on the validity of the visa is made by the Visa Officer. On occasion, the Visa Officer may issue a single entry visa when a multiple entry visa has been requested. As in the case of refused applications, there are no refunds in this type of case, as the fees charged are for the processing of the application and are not based on the outcome of the application.
• A Parent and Grandparent Super Visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. To obtain a Super Visa, the applicant must be admissible to Canada and meet certain additional requirements.
Basic requirements for a visitor visa
All applicants wishing to visit Canada must satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for the stay, that they will not contravene the conditions of admission (for example, that they will not study or work without prior authorization), and that they do not belong in a category of persons inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
In reaching a decision, an officer considers several factors, which may include:
• the applicant's travel and identity documents;
• the reason for travel to Canada and the applicant's contacts there;
• the applicant's financial means for the trip;
• the applicant's ties to his or her country of residence, including immigration status, employment and family ties; whether the applicant would be likely to leave Canada at the end of the authorized stay.
CHECKLIST and DOCUMENTS to SUBMIT:
• Any document not in English or French must be accompanied by a translation.
• Failure to submit all required documentation may result in the refusal of your application or processing delays.
• False statements or submission of fraudulent documents will result in immediate refusal and potentially legal action. • When submitting your completed and signed application form, be sure to include the last page (page 5 of 5) that will contain your data in barcodes.
You must submit the following:
• Application for a Temporary Resident Visa made Outside of Canada (IMM 5257)
• Family Information from (IMM 5645). • Add any required supplementary forms.
• Two passport photographs for each applicant. Write the name and birth date of the individual on the back.
• Processing fee – ensure that you have paid the correct non-refundable fee.
Valid passport from each person requiring a visa. The validity of a visa cannot go beyond the validity of the passport. Include all cancelled or expired passports, if applicable.
• Use of a Representative form (IMM 5476) if someone is assisting you in completing your application or you would like someone to do business with our office on your behalf.
Proof of Employment such as:
• Letter from employer confirming salary and length of employment and/ or employment contract.
• Leave granting letter from employer
• Salary statements.
• Business licenses and/or registration.
Proof of Personal Funds such as:
• Income Tax Returns from the past two years and/or bank statements books from the past three months.
NEW: In order to ensure timely processing you must include a one page summary of the financial information you are submitting. DO NOT SUBMIT ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS UNLESS REQUESTED. If applicable, please also submit:
For business visitors:
• Letter of invitation from the Canadian Business.
• Proof of ongoing business activities between the Canadian company and applicants such as contracts,
Shipping orders, invoices and/ or bills of lading.
For visits to Family and/or Friends* :
• Letter of invitation and/or statutory declaration (affidavit) of support.
• Proof of immigration status of inviter (copy of Canadian permanent resident card, passport, citizenship card or work/study permit.
• Financial documentation of the inviter (Notice of Assessment, T4, proof of employment, bank statement).
*Note: Some hosts/sponsors may prefer not to provide their personal information directly to the applicant for submission to the Visa Office. In this case, please enclose a note to this effect. Please be advised that this may lead to slower processing in some cases.
For Tourist visitors:
• Detailed itinerary including proof of air ticket and hotel booking. For Seamen:
• Copy of Seaman’s Book.
• Cover letter from employing company that includes local phone number and address. For Religious Workers:
• Invitation letter from host organization.
• Relevant educational, training and employment documentation. Minor children traveling with one parent :
• Notarized consent for minor to travel and passport copy from non-accompanying parent.