Do you wish to visit Canada for tourism purposes? Or, do you wish to visit Canada to see family members or friends that you have not seen in a while? Or, do you wish to visit Canada for business purposes? If you said yes to any of the above questions, you will most likely need a visitor visa to enter Canada. It is important to note that there are specific requirements and documentation that you must provide in order to obtain a visitor visa. In this article, I will explain in detail, who needs a visitor visa to come to Canada, what the requirements are for a visitor visa, how to start the process of obtaining a visitor visa and further steps.
In order to determine whether you need a visitor visa to come to Canada, you must first determine whether or not your country of origin is a visa exempt country or not. If not, then you will require a visa. To find out, I suggest going on the government of Canada website and choose your specific country to find out whether or not you need a visa. If you do not need a visa to enter Canada, you will most likely need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) . Please refer to our blog on “Who Needs an ETA” for more information. If you do need a visa, then please continue reading this blog as it will show you the next steps you need to take.
On the other hand, some circumstances are not as simple as searching for your country of origin and determining whether they are a visa exempt country or not. In other circumstances, what you need can depend on the type of travel document you travel with, whether it is a passport or not; the country that issued your travel document; how you intend on travelling to Canada; and lastly, your nationality. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine what type of travel document you need before entering Canada. If you do not have the proper documentation, you may be delayed or refused entry into Canada.
In order to travel to Canada or even if you are in transit, entering Canada in order to go to another country, you will still require a transit visa or visitor visa. To obtain a visitor visa, you must also comply with the requirements set out by the government of Canada. They are pretty simple but it is very important to fulfill them all. The requirements of a visitor visa are:
Ensure you have valid travel documentation, such as a passport
Must be in good health
Cannot have any criminal or immigration-related convictions or offences
Must have ties to your home country, such as a job, home, family or financial assets
Have the intention of leaving Canada at the end of your visit
Ensure you have enough financial support and funds for the duration of your stay
Additional requirements may apply if necessary, which include medical examination and/or a letter of invitation from the person living in Canada who invites you to visit. If you are unable to fulfill the above mentioned requirements, for instance if you have a criminal record, you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissibility essentially means you are unable to enter the country. If this is the case, you will either need a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation. For further information on either of those applications, please click on them to bring you to the appropriate blog.
The steps to applying for a visitor visa can be quite overwhelming and complicated for individuals who are unfamiliar with immigration applications. You may either decide to apply on your own accord or hire an immigration professional, such as Akrami & Associates. If you decide to hire Akrami & Associates to help you with the visitor visa application, we will give you detailed instructions on the documentation we need from you and the specific forms that you need to fill out.
In contrast, should you want to apply on your own accord, you will need to obtain the application package first and foremost, if you decide to apply in paper form. If you decide to apply online, the instructions are different. For both application methods, the government of Canada will ask you for specific documentation and forms to be filled out. However, unlike Akrami & Associates, they do not give you templates of what they are looking for. At Akrami & Associates, because we’ve dealt with so many different immigration applications, we are extremely familiar with what the government is searching for in applications. Therefore, the decision is entirely in your hands and depending on what you feel more comfortable with, will determine whether you do the application on your own or if you choose to hire us.
In most cases, visitor visas can be issued for up to six months from the date you enter Canada and the immigration officer will stamp one of your passport pages with the definitive dates of your authorized stay. However, there are other circumstances that need to be taken into consideration. For instance, if you are travelling to Canada for a business meeting and you only need to be in the country for a week or so, the visitor visa could be for the length of a week. Therefore, it essentially depends on how long you will need to stay in Canada. Should you need to stay longer than the authorized travel period, you may apply for an extension of your visitor visa. Keep in mind, the extension application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the end of your authorized stay.
If you want to travel to Canada as a visitor and believe you are eligible to apply, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Keep in mind, visitor visa applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar, and it is highly recommended 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 visitors for tourism or other purposes. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a visitor 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!