Canada is one of the most sought-after destinations for international travel, and millions of tourists apply for a Canada visa every year. From incredible national parks to gorgeous natural wonders, magnificent mountains to stunning lakes, and rugged wilderness to bustling cities, this country has many mind-blowing attractions that will satisfy every kind of traveler. If a trip to this fabulous country is on the cards, check out the process to apply for a Canada visit visa.
About the Canada Visit Visa
A Canada Visit Visa is an official document provided by the Canadian Consulate or Embassy that gives you the right to enter Canada and stay for up to six months, depending on the type and duration of validity.
What are the Canada Visa Types?
There are two types of Canada visa:
- Single-entry visas
- Multiple entry visas
With a single-entry visa, you can enter Canada only once. A multiple-entry visa allows you to enter the country and exit several times during the six months or while the visa is valid. While applying for a visa, most applicants are automatically granted multiple-entry visas, and you are not required to choose the kind of visa. A single-entry visa is only given in exceptional circumstances.
Temporary Canada Visas
A Canada visitor visa or Temporary Resident Visa allows you to stay in the country for a specific period, usually six months. The Canadian Consulate or the Border Services Officers (BSO) decides the duration. However, a temporary Canada visa can either be a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. Tourist visas, student visas, business visas, and temporary work visas are some types of temporary visas.
Permanent Canada Visas
A Permanent Canada visa allows you to settle in the country through immigration permanently. However, though you get a permanent visa, you are not considered a Canadian citizen. Startup visa programs, Self-employed persons visas, and Family Sponsorship visas are some types of permanent visas.
Eligibility requirements for a Canada Visit Visa
The following are the eligibility requirements for a Canada visit visa.
- You must have sufficient funds in the bank for yourself and your family for your stay.
- You must not have any criminal background and be willing to obey the country’s laws.
- You must not be looking for work or planning to work in Canada.
- If you plan to stay with relatives or friends during your Canada trip, you must obtain letters of invitation from your sponsors.
- Some applicants may have to fulfill additional entrance criteria depending on their profile.
- Applicants belonging to some countries are required to get a temporary resident visa.
Documents required for Canada visa
You must submit the following documents to apply for your Canada visit visa.
- A passport with a validity for at least six months or more with 2-3 blank pages for stamping. You also need to submit any old passports that you may have.
- Two passport-size photos in color or black and white in 35 mm to 45 mm size against a plain white background.
- A letter of invitation from your sponsor (relatives/friends) if you plan to stay with them.
- Bank statements of the last six months show proof of funds enough to cover your entire trip.
- A cover letter addressed to the Government of Canada mentioning the purpose of travel.
- A medical certificate stating that you are in good health and fit to travel.
- Documents that prove your ties to your home country and that you will return.
- A detailed itinerary of your trip mentioning the places you will visit.
- All flight bookings and hotel/accommodation reservations.
You can apply for a Canada visa either online or offline. If you are applying online, you can visit the official website of the Canadian government, create an account, upload all the relevant documents, and pay your fees. If you are applying offline, here is the process for the same.
- Download the application form from the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) website.
- Please fill out the form with all the correct details and sign it.
- Pay the visa processing fee through one of the accepted modes of payment.
- Go to the nearest Canadian visa application center with your passport, photos, and other supporting documents.
- Submit your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
- Submit your visa application form with all the documents, the visa fee receipt, and the biometrics fee receipt.
- Collect the submission receipt from the application center and keep it safe. It contains a unique tracking number to track the status of your application.
- Once your application is processed, you will receive your Canada visa.
You may sometimes be asked to provide additional information or supporting documents after applying for your visa. You may also have to attend an interview with the officials, get a medical test, or provide a police certificate.
The duration to process a Canada visit visa may take between 8-40 days, depending on the country you live in.
Cost to apply
A Canadian visit visa costs approximately CAD 100 per person, and the biometrics is usually CAD 85. However, it may differ from country to country, so it is better to check the fees beforehand.
Extending the visit visa
If you are in Canada on a visit visa and wish to extend your stay, you must apply for visitor status. You can apply for this at a Canadian immigration office from within the country, but before your current visitor status expires. Usually, if you enter Canada on a visitor visa, you will be granted visitor status for six months.
Going to a new country and exploring its food, seeing all its attractions, and learning about its culture and history is an enriching experience. But applying for a visa can be a long and cumbersome experience, so it is always good to know a little about the process. This ensures you submit all the documents correctly and get your visa on time without delays.