- Applicants can continue to apply for visitor visas, otherwise known as temporary resident visas (TRVs), via online applications only. Paper applications are not being accepted at this time.
- Applications will be prioritized for individuals who are currently eligible to travel based on current travel restrictions.
- If you’re traveling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
- When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry.
- You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.
- Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.
The Canadian government created an app called ArriveCAN to help provide mandatory travel information required for entering Canada. As of November 21, 2020 travelers to Canada will be able to submit their required information digitally through the ArriveCAN app. Learn more about using ArriveCAN!
Canada Visitor Visa
What is a Visitor Visa?
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a visitor visa 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).
Canada Tourist Visa Requirements
There are a number for basic requirements for a Canadian visitor visa. This requirements include:
- have a valid travel document (passport)
- be in good health
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- prove that you have ties such as a job, home, financial assets or family that prove you will be returning to your home country
- prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- have enough money for your stay which depends where and how long you stay
How Long Can a Visitor Stay in Canada
Most visitors are allowed a six-month stay from the day they entered Canada. If the officer authorizes a stay of less than six months, they will indicate in your passport the date by which you must leave Canada. If you want to stay longer than your authorized stay, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.
Types of Visitor Visas
- Visit / Tourism
- Temporary Resident
Who Can Apply for Visitor Visa?
Visitors are persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and are legally authorized to enter Canada to:
- visit Canada on holiday (vacation),
- visit family,
- conduct business, etc.
- Visitors are restricted in length of stay and subject to various conditions..
Common Questions and Cases
Study as a Path to Permanent Residency
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?
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.
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 refered to those looking to visit friends or family.
Either way a Tourist Visa to Canada and a Visitor Visa to Canada is the same thing!
What You Need to Know About Visitor Visas In Canada 2021
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 our country has to offer, including visiting family and friends. If you wish to come to Canada for a temporary purpose like a vacation, or to visit family or friends, you may need a Temporary Resident Visa, unless you are a citizen from a “visa exempt” country like the USA or Australia.
Application for a Temporary Resident Visa
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
- Proof of your ties to your home country
- Proof of funds for your visit to Canada
- ID such as a passport or county resident card
- A letter of invitation from the person inviting you to come to Canada
- 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.
Do I Need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
Before a traveler coming from a visa exempt country boards an airplane, an eTA is required including those going through Canada. The eTA is very similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in the US. The eTA is valid up to 5 years or when your visa expires, whichever comes first.
Other visa exempt countries include:
- United Kingdom
There are specific travelers who need or don’t need an eTA. Learn more about applying for an eTAs!
Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Tourist Visas (TRVs)
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:
*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.
Pretty much everyone else who was not mentioned as being exempt will need a TRV to travel to Canada, such as citizens of: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brazil, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cambodia Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, (The), Democratic Republic of Congo, (The), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, (only Israeli citizens holding valid Israeli orange “Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport”) Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, (former Yugoslav Republic of) Malagasy Republic, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, (Burma) Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pacific, Islands, U.S. Trust Territory Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St., Lucia, St. Vincent, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Syria, Tadjikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia,
No one can make any guarantees of how long it will take the Canadian government to process your TRV applications, but we recommend to apply at least 2 months in advance of your planned departure from Canada in order to avoid disappointment. It can be done faster with guidance of professional immigration help. One or more of the following factors could delay the processing of your application:
- incomplete applications
- medical exam required
- background or security checks required
- criminal record
- interview required
- verification of documents needed
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 is the IMM 5708 Form?
Form IMM 5708, Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder, is the form used by temporary residents to modify some conditions of their residency in Canada.
This form can be used to extend your temporary resident permit as many times as you like, provided you can show that your stay remains temporary.
This form does not affect one’s status as a student or as a temporary worker in Canada. To extend the student or work permits, applicants should use a different application.
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.
Other Important Temporary Resident Visa Information
In order to qualify for a Temporary Resident Visa, individuals must show the officer that they meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and that they will be in Canada for a temporary stay.
Individuals must also:
- Satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their stay
- Show that they have enough money to maintain themselves and their family members in Canada and to return home
- Not intend to work or study in Canada (unless authorized to do so)
- Have no record of criminal activity
- Not be a risk to the security of Canada
- Be in good health (complete a medical examination if required)
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.