There are tens of millions of individuals who come from around the world every year and travel to Canada for a variety of reasons including work, school, or even for a visit with family. Depending on who is coming and where they are coming from in the world they may need to apply for a Visitor Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before they are able to travel to the country. To clarify what steps you need to take as temporary visitor to Canada then continue reading our blog below.
If a foreign national is looking to fly to Canada for travel they must first consider their country of citizenship, and ask themselves if they are from a visa exempt country or not. If they are from a country which is considered visa exempt such as Germany, Italy, Netherlands then they will not need a visitor’s visa, and will be able to travel to the country by simply applying for an eTA. If they are from a country which is considered to be a non-visa exempt such as Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India then they must apply for a visitor’s visa before they are able to travel to Canada. It is highly recommended to look into the requirements of visitor visa and eTA prior to booking your travel ticket. Last thing you want to do is book your flight and finding out that you dont meet the requirements to travel to Canada.
An eTA is an Electronic Travel Authorization for travellers that wish to travel to Canada by air that come from visa exempt country such as Italy. Before travellers from visa-exempt countries simply had to book their flight and then were able to board the plane on their scheduled travel date. Now travellers require an eTA to board a flight to Canada, if you do not have your approved eTA on hand you will be turned back around and asked to apply for one. The reason travellers from visa exempt countries now have to apply for eTA is to see if they have inadmissibility issues on record. The eTA came into effect to avoid delays at the port of entry and save travellers time and money from potentially being sent back home if they did not meet entry requirements.
To be able to apply for an eTA you will need the following documents on hand:
Your valid passport
Your credit card
Your email address
You can simply go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website and type in eTA and from there it will ask your name, your passport number, your email address and few personal questions. Once the form is completed you will be asked to pay a $7.00 CAD fee by credit. Generally, eTA is granted within minutes and will be valid for five years or until passport expires, whichever comes first.
On your travel date you must use the same passport you used to apply for the eTA, if you do not have your passport linked to your eTA when you arrive at the airport, you will be turned back around and to apply for an eTA.
Sometimes eTA can take up to 72 hours to get a confirmation, if your eTA is refused it means most likely you have an inadmissibility issue on your record or you had travelled to Canada before and overstayed your welcome stay. Should your eTA be refused give us a call at 416-477-2545 to determine what steps you need to take.
Visitor visa also known as Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) are required by foreign nationals that come from non-visa exempt country such as Iran, Pakistan, India etc. When applying for Visitor Visa to Canada as the foreign national you must prove the following to the immigration officer to grant you the Temporary Resident Visa to Canada:
you have strong ties to your home country (family, assets you own, bank statements, job waiting for you back home etc)
your intentions are to return to your home country once your visa expires
you have sufficient funds to return back to your home country
you have sufficient funds during your time of stay in Canada
you are in good health
you do not have criminal record
When applying for the Visitor Visa for Canada the foreign national goes through a two-step process. The first step is submitting a Visitor Visa application to appropriate Canadian visa office which usually the country they reside in and if no office is available than it is submitted to nearest visa office.
The immigration officer may ask the applicant to attend an interview to clarify any questions or concerns they may have prior to issuing the visa. You may be asked as to why you want to visit Canada and how they can be assured you will exit Canada once the visa expires. If the officer is satisfied you will get a stamp on your passport.
Once your visit visa has been issued you are at the second stage and as the applicant you may land in Canada. The immigration officer at the port of entry still has the rights to question your admissibility. If the officer at the port of entry has reasons to believe you will not exit Canada they can still deny your entry and send you back home.
A Visitor Visa may be issued for single or multiple entry use and most immigration officers now issue multiple entry visas even if the applicant requests single entry. Single entry visa means you get one time entry, once you exit Canada you cannot come back. If you were issued multiple entry visa you are able to travel back and forth to Canada until your visa expires. Most visitors are issued a maximum of 10 years but every 6 months the foreign national has to exit Canada. Once the six month period is up you go back to your home country and then you can come back without having to renew your visa.
If you are planning to travel to Canada but confused what steps you need to take as a foreign national then contact our office at 416-477-2545 or our toll-free number 1-877-820-7121. Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients with Temporary Resident Visas and we can help you with your travels to Canada as well. Remember, visitor visa applications are not easy applications to get approved and attempting this on your own is not recommended.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!