Are you considering a trip to Canada in the future? Are you wondering what you might need to prepare for the big day to make sure you’re not denied entry at the border? This can be a very stressful process, we know. There are a lot of things to consider to be sure you have all the right documents when you arrive at the border, and this means preparing well in advance. Many citizens who seek entry into Canada come from a non-visa exempt country, which means they’ll need to apply for a visitor’s visa, also known as a temporary resident visa, before they will be permitted to enter Canada. Knowing you need a visitor’s visa is the first step towards success, though, the process of applying for a visa can very nerve-wracking. Because you need to have a valid visitor’s visa before you arrive at the border, you will need to start preparing well in advance to ensure your application is processed and approved on time for your preferred travel date. Therefore, this article will aim to help you understand the process of applying for a visitor’s visa, and explain what a visitor’s visa can allow you to do during your stay in Canada.
If you are travelling from a non-visa exempt country, you will need to apply for a visitor’s visa before you arrive at the Canadian border. It is important to understand you cannot apply for a visitor’s visa at the border; you must be able to show an approved visitor’s visa to Canadian immigration officers when you arrive at the border. If you are travelling from a visa-exempt country, you do not need a visitor’s visa to be permitted to enter Canada. Though, it is usually the case that individuals from visa-exempt countries, still require an approved electronic travel authorization (eTA) to be permitted to enter the country.
To have your application for a temporary resident visa approved, you will need to show that you meet the requirements given in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Most importantly though, you will need to convince a Canadian immigration officer that you would be happy to return to your country of origin at the end of a temporary stay. The immigration officer cannot feel that you will refuse to leave the country for any reason if your visitor’s visa is cancelled for any reason. Therefore, it is essential to show the immigration officer you have strong ties to your country of origin. Or, you could provide your itinerary with proof of intent to return based on pre-purchased return tickets from a return flight. On top of this, you will need to show that you are financially equipped to stay in Canada and support any family members who accompany you, and to finance your return home at the end of your stay. Additionally, you must convince an immigration officer that your intentions are communicated honestly, and you are not attempting to work or study while in Canada if you have only requested entry for a simple visit. It must not seem as though you are withholding information about what you intend to do while you are in Canada.
Please note, depending on your country of origin, you may need to provide biometrics to Canadian immigration officers. In providing biometrics, you will provide a picture of your face; like a passport picture, as well as fingerprints. If you have to provide biometrics, you can do so in person at the nearest visa application center. It may be a good idea to find out if individuals coming from your country of origin are required to provide biometrics. If you come from a country whose citizens must provide biometrics to travel to Canada, then you may choose to provide these when you submit your application for a temporary resident permit, to avoid any delays which would occur if an immigration officer has to contact you to request you provide biometrics.
Along with the things you must prove to be granted a temporary resident visa, there are a variety of qualifications you must meet to be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa in the first place. If you do not meet these qualifications, you will first need to obtain another permit, which states you are admissible to Canada. This is a called a temporary resident permit. A temporary resident permit gives permission to travellers, who are otherwise inadmissible, permission to enter the country on a specific occasion. Then you will be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa to be permitted to enter Canada on a specific occasion.
To qualify as an admissible traveller to Canada, you must show in your application for a temporary resident visa that you are a law-abiding citizen and do not have a criminal record in your country of origin. Additionally, you must show that you are not a risk to the security of Canadians, whether economic or otherwise. As mentioned, you must be a financially stable traveller. Financial instability disqualifies you as an admissible traveller to Canada almost automatically, while it also may lead an immigration officer to believe you are not being honest about the activities you claim you have come to Canada for. Also, you may also need to provide a medical exam to prove you are in good health, and will not place a burden on the Canadian healthcare system. If you are believed to place an excessive burden on the Canadian healthcare system, you are not automatically inadmissible to Canada, though; this depends entirely on your specific circumstances. A health issue could make you an inadmissible traveller. If you have your application for a temporary resident visa refused for any of these reasons, and are deemed an inadmissible traveller, you will need to overcome these issues with a separate permit, as mentioned. This can be done with a temporary resident permit.
A temporary resident permit can be used to overcome many issues of inadmissibility. Once you have an approved temporary resident permit, you are then eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa with a real chance of having it approved. We recognize that this can be a frustrating process, so, if you have reason to believe your application for a temporary resident visa will be denied, we recommend that you reach out to Akrami and Associates for advice on whether or not you are likely to encounter issues of inadmissibility. Understanding your specific situation is crucial when applying for a temporary resident visa, to avoid having your application denied on grounds of inadmissibility. If this happens, you will need to start again and submit an application for a temporary resident permit, and then re-submit your application for a temporary resident visa (visitor’s visa).
With a temporary resident visa, you are generally permitted to stay in the country for 6 months, unless otherwise specified on your visa. With a temporary resident visa, you are free to stay in Canada for the time specified on the visa. The length of time you are permitted to stay in Canada is determined by an immigration officer when you arrive at the port of entry. Though, if you leave Canada, you are generally not permitted to re-enter, unless you have a multiple entry visa.
While in Canada, individuals who have a visitor’s visa of at least 6 months can partake in study programs which are less than 6 months long. If you wish to take part in a longer program, or have not been granted a 6 month temporary resident visa, you will need to apply for a study permit. If you are seeking entry to Canada on business, you may or may not need a work permit. If you are only coming for a short business trip, you are likely permitted to do so with a temporary resident visa. Though, if an immigration officer feels your visit is more of an opportunity to work in Canada, rather than partake in a simple business trip, you may need to apply for a work permit to be able to carry out business in Canada.
You can apply for a temporary resident visa online. You must have access to a scanner to be able to upload digital copies of all the required documentation, but the option is available. Otherwise, you can submit a physical application to your nearest visa application center. It is important to remember that all aspects of your application must be translated into either English or French by a certified translator. Failure to do this will greatly increase the time it takes to process your application. There is a standard $100 fee which covers the processing of the application for your visitor’s visa, as long as you are not also applying to get visitor’s visas for your family members as well. If you are applying for multiple individuals on the same visitor’s visa application, the fee will be specific to your circumstance.
If you decide you want to stay in Canada longer than you are permitted on your temporary resident visa, you can apply to extend your stay. It is very important that you submit an application to extend your visitor’s visa before your current visa expires. If you do this and your temporary resident visa expires before you receive notice as to whether your new application was approved or denied you are permitted to stay in Canada until you receive a decision on your application. During the time you are in Canada after your original visa expires, but before you receive a decision on your new visa, you are allowed to stay in Canada on implied status. As soon as you receive a decision on your new application, you will either have permission to stay on your new temporary resident permit, or, if your application is denied, you will have to leave immediately. You must leave immediately because you do not have permission to be in the country on a visitor’s visa, and your implied status is no longer applicable.
Oftentimes, individuals take advantage of temporary resident visas, and stay longer than they are permitted to be in Canada. Because of this, immigration officers are often more hesitant in granting temporary resident permits than most other applications they process. This can make going on a simple trip and seeing all the beauty Canada has to offer more difficult than many would expect. It is very important individuals submit a complete and compelling application for a temporary resident visa to best increase the chance you will be permitted to travel to Canada. Therefore, we recommend that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients enter Canada as Temporary Residents for tourism or other purposes. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!