What You Need To Know About Visitor Visas in Canada: Visiting Canada in 2021

A visitor visa is often referred to as a Canadian tourist visa. Read the information we have provided below to learn if you require a visitor visa to travel to Canada. 

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Omicron Variant Update:

If you’re a temporary resident (including students and foreign workers) who is outside Canada and who has been in any of the following 10 countries within the last 14 days, you cannot enter Canada right now:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Canada Visitor Visa Rules 2021:

The Canadian government advises all individuals looking to submit a visitor visa application to wait until they are actively eligible to travel to Canada unless they are exempt. You can find out if you are eligible to enter Canada at this time here!

Once your application is submitted, the IRCC will contact the applicant within 14 to 30 business days of completing your application. If you’ve already submitted a tourist visa application and you are exempt, see the instructions for visitor visa applicants.

Flag Icon Canada Visitor Visa

Canada is home to millions of visitors each year. In fact, more than 35 million people visit Canada every year to enjoy the many opportunities the country has to offer, including visiting family and friends. If you wish to come to Canada for a temporary purpose, you may need a visitor visa, unless you are a citizen from a “visa exempt” country.

Do I Need a Tourist Visa to Visit Canada?

Before starting the Canada visitor visa application process, it’s important to understand whether you need one or not before entering Canada. Click here to find out if you need a Canada visitor visa before your travels!

In other cases, you may be an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel.

What Is A Canadian Visitor Visa?

A Canada Visitor Visa also referred to as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Canada Tourist Visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, a student, or a worker).

Types of Canada Visitor Visas
  • Visit/Tourism
  • Study
  • Work
  • Temporary Resident

How Long Can I Stay in Canada on a Tourist Visa?

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. At the port of entry, the immigration border services may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. Once you are given a period of stay, they’ll put the date you need to leave in your passport. The immigration officer might also give you a document called a visitor record, which will show the date you need to leave by.

Canada Tourist Visa Requirements

To qualify for a TRV, there are a few basic requirements you must meet which include:

  • have a valid travel document (like a passport)
  • be in good health
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets, or family that will take you back to your home country
  • convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • have enough money for your stay

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa in Canada

There are three major steps to successfully applying for Canada Visitor Visa. These steps include:

Step 1: Check if you’re eligible to travel to Canada
Step 2: Gather all your supporting documents 
Step 3: Apply Online

Documents Required For Canada Tourist Visa

There are five major documents you are required to show when applying for a TRV. Note that each immigration case is a little different depending on your specific situation, but generally, you should have the following documentation when applying for a ‘Temporary Resident Visa’ in Canada.

Canada Visitor Visa Checklist
  1. Proof of your ties to your home country
  2. Proof of funds for your visit to Canada
  3. ID such as a passport or county resident card
  4. A letter of invitation from the person inviting you to come to Canada
  5. Proof that you will be staying in Canada only on a temporary basis

Disclaimer: There may be other documents and information that you may need. Individuals must obtain a TRV before departure from their home country. Individuals cannot obtain a TRV upon arrival in Canada.

Visitor Visa Processing Time

A visitor visa processing time can depend on which country the applicant is applying from. Typically, the time can vary from a couple of days to a few weeks for a Canada Visitor Visa processing time. If you apply from within Canada, the processing time is only 12 days. Visit our page on Canada Visa Processing Times for 2021 to learn more.

Study TR to PR

Many international students in Canada finish their studies with the hopes of obtaining work and remaining in Canada permanently. In certain Express Entry categories, students may be eligible for permanent residence without any work experience. Often though, students will apply for work and then a work visa to stay temporarily. After having gained academic and work experience in Canada, they may have more options to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

Is There a Honeymoon Visa?

Many people travel to Canada for their honeymoon to experience the natural beauty that Canada has to offer. If you live outside of Canada you may be wondering if you need a visa to come visit Canada for a week or two. Depending on where you and your new spouse are from the requirements may be different.

To answer your question though, no there is no such thing as a Honeymoon Visa. The visa someone would use to visit Canada for a short amount of time is a Tourist Visa/Visitor Visa.

Tourist Visa vs. Visitor Visa

Many people will wonder what is the difference between a tourist visa to Canada and a visitor visa to Canada.

The answer is, nothing! They are the same thing just said two different ways. 

People will refer to tourist visas for those coming to Canada to explore. A visitor visa is often referred to those looking to visit friends or family. 

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Tourist Visas

Visitor visas have different “features”. Some are single entry visas, which mean that they are for one entry to Canada only. If you leave Canada and wish to return, you will have to apply for another visa unless you are traveling to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. However, some visas are multiple entry visas which allow people to leave and return to Canada during the validity of their visas.

If you are in Canada on a visitor visa and wish to apply for an extension of your stay in Canada, you need to get visitor status. You can apply for visitor status from within Canada at a Canadian immigration office. However, you should apply before the expiration of your current visitor status. As a general note, when you come to Canada as a ‘visitor’, you will be given visitor status for a six month period. If your visitor status expires but you have already applied for an extension and are waiting for your renewal, you have what is called implied status, until a final decision is made on your extension application. If your application for an extension is refused, you can apply for restoration of status, so long as your application is made within 90 days of the refusal date.

Some people do not require a visa to visit Canada, such as citizens of:

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Brunei
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czechia
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Papua New Guinea
Poland
Portugal
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan, Province of China
United Kingdom
United States of America **
Vanuatu
Vatican City State
Zimbabwe

*If you are a British citizen or British Overseas Citizen who is re-admissible to the United Kingdom; a Citizen of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands you then do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada.

**If you are someone who has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and in possession of your alien registration card (USA Green Card), or can provide other evidence of permanent residence, you do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, either.

***If you are a Turkish citizen traveling on a diplomatic passport; or a person holding a passport or travel documents issued by the Holy See, you too do not need a TRV to travel to Canada.

How to Extend a Canadian Visitor Visa

If you’re currently in Canada and want to stay longer than your visa’s expiration date, you could file for an extension. In order to apply for an extension, you will need to fill out an IMM 5708 Form.

If your application to extend your stay in Canada is approved, you will receive a visitor record.

A visitor record:

  • is a document that says how long you can stay in Canada
  • includes an expiry date
    • that’s the date that you must leave Canada by

A visitor record does not guarantee entry to Canada. If you plan to travel outside Canada or the United States, you need a valid entry document to return to Canada.

 

What are the Requirements to Extend a Canada Visitor Visa?

  • You need to be currently in Canada
  • You need to hold a current passport that will stay valid for the duration of your stay
  • You will need to pay the associated fee for Form IMM 5708
  • You will need to ensure that any other permits that you hold (Study or work) will stay valid and not interfere with your visitor permit.

Canada Visitor Visa Restoration

Once your current visitor visa expires, you are no longer to extend your visitor visa. If you want to stay in Canada then you will have to apply to restore your status or you will have to leave Canada. You have to apply for a Restoration of Status within 90 days of your visitor visa expiration date. 

Restoration of Status Requirements

  • Pay Restoration Fees
  • Provide details on:
    • Why you want to stay in Canada longer
    • Proof of current status in Canada
    • Financial proof that you will be able to support yourself in Canada
    • A plan of when you will leave Canada with departure time and dates. 
    • Demostrate that your residence in Canada is temporary.

Why Seeking Professional Immigration Help is Important

While the procedures for applying for a Canadian Visitor Visa may seem uncomplicated, some applicants apply without seeking any help from an immigration lawyer, thinking that they can ‘do it themselves’. For TRV applications, there is actually a higher risk of refusal in cases where the application is not properly prepared. The standards are very high. We find that the number one reason why applications are denied is due to forms not being correctly filled out. It is a shame when someone can not fulfill their dreams because of one missed ‘dotted i’ or ‘crossed t’. You can increase your chances at getting an approval on your TRV applications with the assistance of professional immigration professionals.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your TRV Applications

Many of our clients are happy to relieve themselves of the headaches of preparing paperwork and having to deal with government red tape by outsourcing this work to our professional team of immigration professionals. It is extremely satisfying to see our clients enter Canada with a Canadian Visitor Visa to see their family and friends or to travel through Canada’s wonderful landscape without all the hassles of filing tons of complicated paperwork. We have literally helped thousands and thousands of people successfully visit Canada, and even though no one can promise any guarantees, we are certain we can help you increase your chances with our extensive experience.

Getting started is easy. Just fill out our immigration assessment form here and we’ll get back to you (within 24 hours) to discuss your eligibility and options. Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.