Common Questions Asked About Obtaining a Visa

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi. This is Michael Niren, immigration lawyer and founder of So, over the years, we have processed thousands of visas for Canada and U.S. We have helped a lot of people cross borders. And, we have found that there are common questions that people ask about getting visas, qualifying for visas. Now, there is no substitute for meeting with an immigration professional one-on-one to discuss your personal circumstances. Everyone’s circumstance is different. But there are some commonalities which are applicable to most situations. And, I’m going to list them today, and hopefully, this will give you some framework. So when you do wish to speak to an immigration professional, you have at least a starting point, because it’s all about framing your situation properly so you can get the best advice.

 Purpose of Your Visit

Generally speaking, you should know, obviously, your background situation and most people do. But what are the specifics? You should know, obviously, why do you want to cross borders? Why do you want to get a visa? What is the purpose? Do you want to work? Do you want to study? Do you want to just visit? Do you want to ultimately move? How long do you want to stay? It could be you’re going to work in a temporary job for maybe a year or two years. What is your tax situation? You have to remember that. It’s not just about immigration it’s about tax situations. So you have to actually find out, and you may have to talk to a tax professional about this when you cross the border, what are the tax implications?

 Immigrating With Your Family 

Do you have family? Will you be bringing your spouse? Do you have kids? Will you be bringing them? Will they be going to school? Do you intend that your spouse will be working or just being with you? There’s a lot of different issues surrounding that.

Do You Have a Criminal Record? 

Another issue is, do you have a criminal record, even a minor one? That could cause some challenges for you to obtain a visa. You may need a waiver or some special permit that will allow you to cross the border to overcome your inadmissibility or potential inadmissibility if you have a criminal record.

Country of Origin

Also, what country are you from? People from different countries are, unfortunately, treated differently. It’s not all equal. So if you’re from, for example, Canada, and you wanted to go to the United States or vice versa, you do have the benefit of the NAFTA agreement, which could make things a little bit easier depending upon your circumstances. If you’re from a non-NAFTA country, say, like India, there could be some additional challenges for you to obtain a visa.

You Should Speak to an Immigration Professional

So there are a lot of different things that you have to know before you even come to the table to discuss your case. So it’s a good idea to write it all down, just to list out your questions, outline your circumstances. And then when you speak to an immigration professional, you have to know, “Well, what are my chances?” After learning all about your case, the immigration professional should be able to tell you, “Well, these are your chances.” Of course, there are no guarantees, and there’s no crystal ball. No one can tell you for sure, but they should give you an idea what are your chances. Also, how long is it going to take? How much is it going to cost?

What to do Once You Get a Visa

And once you get there, once you get your visa, what’s the next step? Sometimes if you get a work permit, you’re going to want to get social security or social insurance, depending upon which country. And that’s not a visa that’s actually a special permit that will allow you to get on a payroll in a country and also, ultimately, get a driver’s license. And there’s a lot of administrative things you have to do once you get to your destination.

So there’s a lot of fact-gathering and a lot of work to do well in advance before you even consult with someone, and of course, it’s not easy. But that’s going to help you and go a long way towards obtaining your goal and getting the visa. Hopefully, this will give you some guidelines and some framework for at least the first step. If you like the video, please click like and always join us at

Ready to Apply for a Visa?

Are you ready to apply for a visa? We at Visaplace can help. We have literally helped thousands and thousands of people successfully immigrate to Canada and the USA, so they can visit, work, study or live, and we certainly can help you too!

The first step towards obtaining a visa is to get an assessment of your specific situation. All you need to do is use our free online immigration assessment form here or contact us here. Once you fill out that form, we will get back to you (within 24 hours) to discuss your eligibility and immigration options.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • Elhaj Ali

    I applied for ind. visa to Canada in year 2000. They asked me to see visa officer in the Embassy of Canada in Abudhabi-United Arab Emirates. The officer insist to change the title of the visa to investor one I refused his proposal. ( copy of his letter was sent to you ) Now the situation is change My children are now over 21 years and because of war and politics in Sudan I need to settle with my family in Canada or USA
    Please advise if you need any info. to help me
    best regard

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