Canada, the Great White North, is a mesmerizing place to visit. Many people view this place as a potential tourist destination where they can take a vacation and view the magnificent Canadian Rockies and fascinating, clear lakes. The country’s economy, quality of life, and the warmth of the people make it a destination for many to go looking for opportunities to lead a better life. So, if there is a possibility that you are planning a visit to Canada, then you need to know if you have to apply for and acquire a Canada visa. You can do so easily via an online application process. However, you should also know how to keep track of your application and understand your visa status. Here’s a short guide on how to apply for a Canada visa and check the visa status.
Let’s Understand: The Canadian Visa Process
The Canada visa process can seem quite overwhelming, but if you break it down into clear steps, it is straightforward. Approaching it with clarity is the key to any successful visa process. Here’s a checklist of things to do when you have to go ahead with the Canada visa application process:
Check your passport. Your passport is the primary essential document for all international travel. Before you begin your travel preparations, check your passport to ensure it is in good condition, is not handwritten, and will still be valid after arriving at your destination for about six months.
Find out if you need a pre-approved visa before you depart for your trip. Citizens of certain countries are privileged to travel to Canada without a visa. If your nationality falls into this category, then good news! You are spared the tedious procedure of a Canada visa application and waiting for a visa to arrive. Some can also enjoy the benefit of applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization. You must obtain a visa for your trip to Canada if you do not belong to any of these nations.
Gather all the documentation required for your Canada visa process. The requirements differ depending on the type of visa you are applying for to enter Canada, so these have different checklists. However, the most typical documents are:
- A fully filled, error-free application form
- Valid passport
- Return flight tickets
- Travel Insurance
- Travel itinerary, the purpose of stay, details of accommodation, etc.
- Financial statements
- Letter of Invitation
You can apply for a Canada visa online or through a Visa Application Center. Applying online is easier and more efficient; all you need is good internet bandwidth, digital copies of your visa documentation requirements, and a valid credit card to pay the visa fees. You must also book your Canada visa appointment to provide biometric data for your visa approval.
Essential to Know: Scheduling a Canada Visa Appointment
One crucial step in the processing of Canada visas is the collection of biometric data. You must show up in person for a biometric collection appointment if it applies to your visa case, regardless of whether you submitted your application online or through a visa application center. You must also pay a fee for collecting your biometric data when you submit your application. After submitting your application online, you will receive a notification from the authorities with a deadline for setting up an appointment to provide your biometric data at a designated collection center.
If you have applied through a visa application center, you have to book an appointment through them, and they will inform you when and where you need to go and submit biometric details. You have to book an appointment and give the biometrics in person at designated Canada visa biometric collection centers only. However, in some circumstances, for example, if you have a US Green Card or are applying for a transit visa to Canada, you are not required to provide biometric data.
The Final Step: How to Check a Canada Visa’s Status
Once all the above checklists are ticked, you can consider that you have done your part in submitting the visa application completely. Now, the next step would be to keep track of your visa status.
You can check your Canada visa status online using this visa tracker only if you are sponsoring your spouse, partner, or dependent children, or if you are being sponsored for your trip by someone for work, study, or leisure travel purposes. You will be asked to create a new account exclusively to track your visa status. Once you receive the ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ (AOR), you can go forth and create this account. The AOR indicates that your application was submitted successfully. You need the AOR to create the online tracking account.
Another way to track your visa status is by logging into your online IRCC secure account, which you created and registered with your information to apply for the Canada visa online. Linking your visa application to this account with the application number received by mail will let you track your visa status.
If you applied for a Canada visa at a visa application center, get in touch with their representative, who will track the status of your application and keep you updated on its progress.
When you apply for a Canada visa, the process has many formalities and is time-consuming as well. Hence, it is essential to read through the visa application guidelines thoroughly. If you have clarity on how to apply for your visa, follow the guidelines, submit all the required documentation properly and on time, pay the fees on time, and keep your appointments, you will receive your visa on schedule. In the present time, thanks to the advantages of modern technology, it is easy to keep track of what exactly is happening with your Canada visa via facilities such as online tracking sites and even through dedicated Canada visa experts on whom you can leave your visa woes and get your visas done on time with proper guidance. Once you get your Canada visa, off you go to explore a fascinating destination considered one of the most beautiful ones in the whole world!