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A Visitor Visa is a piece of official document that is issued and attached on the applicant’s travel document such as passport and allows the applicant to enter the country. It usually states the place where the visa is issued, date of issue, passport number, expiry date before which the applicant has to enter the country or the visa goes invalid, types of visa such as single or multi-entry etc.
Visitors from most countries need a visitor visa to come to Canada, a type of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). If you are planning to travel to Canada, you should find out online in advance to see if you need a visa to enter Canada or not.
New rule has been put into effect that starting November 9, 2016, for those who are not are from a visa-exempt country, you will need to get an eTA which is Electronic Travel Authorization every time when you plan to enter or transit through Canada. The process time for eTA varies. It can take from minutes to days, so make sure you apply for it with enough time before you travel.
Of course, if you already are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you don’t need a visa to come to Canada, nor do you apply for eTA.
There are two types of visa you can apply for when travelling to Canada these include Single Entry Visa and Multiple Entry Visa.
A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada only for one time entry, meaning once you exit Canada you cannot enter back even if your visa has not expired yet. So if you exit Canada before the visa expires, the immigration officer will deny you entry into Canada. Most visitors are automatically granted multiple entry visas but it is up to the discretion of the immigration officer. If the immigration officer has doubts or concerns about the visitor to Canada he/she can grant you only single entry or simple refuse your application. In order for the visa to be valid, you must enter Canada on or before the expiry date of your visa. Once you arrive Canada and the purpose of the visa is served you will need to exit Canada, should you decide to stay longer you can apply to extend your visitor visa or simple apply for new one and go through the process again. Also if you are travelling to the United States, St.Pierre or Miquelon you can enter back with your single entry visa.
A multiple-entry visa, just as the name implies, means you can come and go from Canada as many times as you wish, within the validity of the visa. Multiple Entry Visas are usually issued for 10 year period but every six months the visitor has to exit Canada. So once your six months is up you need to exit Canada and can come back without having to renew your visa since it is valid for 10 years or whatever time that was granted to you. Also, if you exit Canada before the six months is up because you decided to take a vacation in Europe for a week you can still come back to Canada as long as your six months period is not up and your passport has not expired. When applying for a multiple entry visa keep in mind that your passport if valid for at least 10 years should you get issued a 10 year visa. If your passport expires before the validity of the visa then you must exit the country.
As an applicant, you need to submit basic required documents such as application forms, family information form, photos and your original travel document such as passport. You need to provide financial proof such as income tax returns for the past two years, bank documents showing transactions for the past 6 months. You can also show your house deeds or ownership of an automobile vehicle. The purpose of providing such documents is to convince the visa officer that you have strong ties with the country where you are from, you are financially capable during your stay in Canada and you will leave Canada before your visa expires.
If you are an employee, you will need a letter from your employer with the company letterhead indicating your name and position, your current salary, your date of hire and your employer’s name, address and phone number, the length of your absence and approval of your leave. It has to be original and signed by your employer.
If you are retired, you need a retirement certificate indicating amount of your pension.
If you are a student traveling during school semester days, you need a letter from your school confirming that you are enrolled and that the school has approved your leave of absence.
You may also be asked to get a medical exam. Not all applicants have to do this. Usually for visitors who plan to stay more than 6 months.
On the other side, if you are visiting a family member or friends in Canada, an invitation letter from the person you know who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident will definitely help you with a better chance to get the visa. The invitation letter should indicate the purpose and duration of your visit. It could also mention that the inviter will pay for your travel expenses including airplane tickets and accommodation while you are in Canada.
On top of the invitation letter, the inviter in Canada can also provide the following information:
A household list showing the total number and each person living in the house
A copy of the inviter’s immigration status such as Permanent Resident card, citizenship document or passport
Proof of inviter’s financial situation such as Notice of Assessments (NOA), employment letter, bank statements etc.
Proof of relationship to between the applicant and the inviter
If you are just travelling on your own as a tourist, you need to show your itinerary with detailed information of the flight number, hotel booking confirmation, and places you are planning to go etc.
Before you plan to apply for the visa, you also need to find out if you are admissible to Canada. If you have a criminal record or a conviction in your home country, or due to other security, health or financial reasons of inadmissibility, you might be refused for a visa.
Visitor visa is one of the most common and highly demanded visa, yet there are so many applicants that are refused and thousands of cases are denied every day. Remember, entry to Canada is a privilege, not a right. There’s no guarantee that you will be issued a visa.
The process may not be complex, but there is a lot of documents to deal with and a strict process in place. Incomplete information and insufficient documents will result in refusal of your application. Our law firm can handle these tasks easily as our immigration experts have handled many of these cases daily and have submitted many successful visitor visa applications. Contact us at 416-477-2545 for more details and help.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!