Do you want to get Canada Visa? If yes, here is all you need to know about Canada visa requirements and application guidelines. Canada Visas application and guidelines are a getaway to helping you prepare yourself before applying for Canada Visa.
Canada is a country in North America. It is located directly above the United States. It is a developed country. In recent years, the number of people traveling to Canada has steadily increased, but the funny aspect of it is that most people are unsure how to get there.
What Exactly is a Canada Visa?
A Canada visa is a stamp on your passport that allows you to enter Canada without restriction.
It is a permit that allows someone to enter and live in a country legally, either temporarily or permanently.
Getting a visa to Canada means that the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your home country proved that you are eligible and meet the entry requirements to travel to Canada.
However, once you reach the Canadian border and customs checkpoint, it is up to the border officers to decide whether you are fit to enter.
If you answer the Canadian Border Services Officer’s (BSO) questions truthfully and correctly, they will let you in. Otherwise, even if you have a Canada visa, they can refuse you entry if they suspect you are not qualified.
Who Needs a Canadian Visa?
People from other countries that do not have a visa exemption or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) arrangement with Canada will be required to obtain a visa in order to enter the country. People from over 148 countries, in particular, need a visa to visit, work, or enter Canada.
If you are one of these applicants and require a visa to enter Canada, you must apply for one. You will have a form of applying depending on the type of visa you want, but there are a few general steps you must follow.
What are the Types of Canada Visa?
Before applying for Canadian visas, you must first choose which visa you want. The following are the different types of Canada visas:
- Visitor visas
- Student visas
- Work visas
- Business Immigrant visas
- Permanent Residence visas
- Express Entry Program visas
You must select the one that best fits your reason for traveling to Canada.
Temporary Canadian Visas
A temporary Canada visa allows a person to enter Canada for a set period of time. This is determined by the Canadian Consulate or Border Services Officers (BSO). Consequently, this period can last up to 6 months. Note that the temporary visa, on the other hand, can be single or multiple entries.
A single-entry Canadian visa allows a person to enter Canada once, stay for 6 months, and then return to his home country. Whereas, a multiple-entry visa allows a person to enter Canada multiple times before their visa expires and stay for a limited period of time.
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The following are the different types of Canadian Temporary Visas:
Canada Tourist Visa
The Visitor Visa, also known as the Tourist Visa, allows the holder to travel to Canada for the purpose of tourism.
Canada Super Visa
The Canadian Super Visas allow Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents’ parents or grandparents to visit their children or grandchildren in Canada for an extended period of time.
Diplomatic and official visas
The Diplomatic and Official visa allows foreign officials and diplomats to travel to Canada for official duties and purposes.
Canadian Courtesy visas are given to people who do not meet the requirements for a Diplomatic or Official visa but are deemed important due to their ranks and positions. Members of trade missions or diplomats with touristic purposes are examples of this.
Canada Business Visa
The Canada business visa is granted to individuals or groups of business people traveling to Canada for business purposes.
Visa to Give Birth in Canada
This visa is given to people who meet all the requirements for a temporary stay in Canada, are pregnant, and intend to give birth in the country. Note that giving birth to a child in Canada automatically makes the child a Canadian citizen.
Intending Organ Donor Visa
This visa is given to someone traveling to Canada to donate an organ to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Canada Facilitation Visa
The Canadian Facilitation Visas are given to Canadian citizens who have dual nationality and do not have a Canadian passport but have a passport from another country. Due to the extreme difficulties in obtaining a Canadian passport, the facilitation visa is stamped on the person’s other nationality visa.
Canada Student Visa
A Canada student visa is given to those who have been accepted to study at a Canadian university. If you are traveling to Canada to study for less than 6 months, you can only get a TRV visa; however, if you are to study for more than 6 months, definitely you will need a Student Visa.
Canada Temporary Work Visa
Canadian Temporary work visas are given to people who have a job offer in Canada and will work for up to 6 months. To get this visa, the applicant must have a valid job offer letter from an employer in Canada and be eligible for a temporary Canadian visa.
Canadian Temporary Residence Permit: This permit/visa is for people who need to enter Canada for various reasons but are not eligible for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). However, this permit is only valid for the duration of the person’s stay in Canada, for instance, 2 weeks for a workshop.
The Working Holiday Visa: The Canada Working Holiday Visa is given to young people from 30 different countries so that they can work and travel in Canada. It is a random selection visa, which means that applicants have to submit their applications and wait to be randomly selected to apply for the work permit.
Permanent Canada Visas
Permanent Canadian visas allow the holder to stay in Canada permanently. This visa is also known as an immigrant visa and comes in different forms, including:
The Immigrant Investor Program: The Canadian Immigrant Investor Program is designed for people with a net worth of not less than CAD$800,000 and who want to invest in the Canadian economy. They must invest at least CAD$400,000, which will be returned to them without interest after 5 years by the government.
The Startup Visa Program: Canada Startup Visa is intended for people who will contribute to the economy on their own. They must have a net worth of at least CAD$300,000 and be dedicated to owning and managing at least one-third of a Canadian business as well as creating and maintaining employment within 3 years of arriving in the country.
Canadian Self-employment Visa: The Self-employed person visa is for individuals who have skills in business, culture, athletics, or farming and want to start their own business. These persons must show their ability to finance the business as well as their expertise in those areas.
The Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP): If you have one of the professions/skills needed in the Canadian province of Quebec and are fluent in French, you can apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which allows you to move and work permanently in Canada.
Canadian Family-Sponsorship Program: The Canada Family Sponsorship Visa allows spouses and dependent children of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to migrate to Canada permanently.
Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP): This visa is granted to caregivers who are qualified to care for the elderly, disabled, or children and live in a private home in Canada.
Express Entry Visas
Canada Express Entry Program is a government-designed electronic immigration scheme. It lets individuals from all over the world apply for immigration to Canada based on their specific occupations.
The following listed below are part of this program:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
- Canadian Experience Class
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) visa is given to people who have skills that are required in Canada. You must study the type of occupations required in Canada at the time you plan to apply and obtain the necessary points.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) visa is given to qualified tradespeople working in professions such as:
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Crane Operators
- Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics
- Plumbers, etc.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
This visa is given under the Provincial Nominee Program to semi-skilled or low-skilled workers who can contribute to the Canadian economy via their work. Workers are allocated to provinces across Canada where there is a greater need for their services.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class permanent visa is given to people who have a temporary student visa or a temporary work visa and want to change their status to permanent resident. These people have either a Canadian education or work experience and have blended into Canadian society.
Canada Visa Application
The application process for a Canadian visa is mostly determined by the type of visa you need.
To apply for a visa to Canada, follow these simple steps below:
- Find out whether you are eligible for Canada visas.
- Create an online account.
- Compile the document file.
- Pay the fees
- Also, allow time for the Canadian visa to be processed.
- Submit your passport and processing fees.
Find out if you are qualified for a Canada visa
The Canadian government has made it very easy to learn how to get a Canadian visa. They have developed different types of tests that evaluate applicants’ eligibility by asking them to complete an online questionnaire.
Depending on the type of visa you want, you will be asked several questions, and the system will tell you whether you can apply or not. More so, it will also send you the necessary instructions and steps on how to fulfill all of the requirements.
How I navigate the Canadian government’s website
To access these questionnaires and know your eligibility for a Canada visa, visit their website below. The website will show various information and tabs from which to select. However, you must go to the Immigration tab.
When you click on the Immigration tab, a drop-down menu appears. The first will be:
- My Application,
- followed by Visit,
- Study, and
- other options.
You must select the one that corresponds to the visa you wish to apply for. As an extension of the initial example, if you want to receive a tourist visa, you must select the “Visit tab”.
However, more information will be shown once you click on the tab that corresponds to the reason you want to travel to Canada and the visa you want to apply for.
Not minding the type of which tab you choose, one of the links will say “Find out if you can apply” or “Find out if you are eligible.” Note that this link must be clicked.
The link will take you to a questionnaire with many questions. They will include personal information, reasons for traveling to Canada, and previous travel history. The results will be displayed at the end of the questionnaire.
Receiving the Result/Outcome
You will see 3 different types of results, each of which says one of the following:
- That You are suitable/qualified for the visa you have chosen.
- you are eligible for another type of visa, which the system will assign to you.
- and, You do not qualify for the visa type.
If you are eligible for the visa you have selected or a different type of visa, the system will prompt you to enter your contact details (usually your email address), and you will be sent a set of documents.
The documents will contain a visa description as well as instructions and details on how to apply. Also, they will send you a reference code to confirm the outcome of your application.
The reference code is one of the most vital pieces of information in that set of documents because you will need it to launch your application. Note that you will be unable to apply unless you have a reference code.
The reference code tells the system of the information you provided during the questionnaire, as well as the type of visa you applied for.
As a result, save the email and the documents. You can write/save the reference code in a variety of ways, including saving it for yourself, writing it down on your computer, or writing it down on a piece of paper, but you must not lose it. However, if you do, you will have to restart the questionnaire process.
Create Your Own Online Account
The email instructions will tell you whether you to apply for the visa online or in person. As the Canadian government is digitizing its records, so many people will have to apply online. You must first create an account.
There are two methods for creating an account for the Canada visa application:
- Because the Canadian government has partnered with many banks, you can now make use of your online banking login.
- Creating a Government of Canada login (GCKey);
However, you can use whichever one that works best for you, as you will need to use your banking information to pay the visa fees in whichever case.
Compile the Document File
You can start your Canada visa application after logging into your account. Start to apply for the visa for which you have been approved using your reference code.
Immediately after entering the reference code, the system will display a list of documents required for the Canadian visa application.
Note that you must complete all of these forms online in the system before submitting them.
Pay the Fees
Once the system has confirmed that you have submitted all the required documents, it will take you to the payment page directly.
The Canada visa fees vary depending on the type of visa you applied for. However, your application will be submitted once that is completed.
However, it may take up to 5 business days for the application to show up on your account. More so, if you applied in person, you will need to take those documents to the Canadian Embassy in your home country.
Wait for the Canadian Visa to be Processed Completely
Depending on the type of visa you applied for, the Canadian Embassy will then process your Canada visa application for two or more weeks. Furthermore, they may ask for additional documents, as well as biometrics and an interview, so be prepared.
Note that if they request biometrics and an interview, you will be required to visit the Embassy in person, not minding if you applied online. Therefore, you must make an appointment, or the Embassy will do so for you. More so, you will be required to submit your fingerprints and photographs, as well as answer questions from a Canadian Embassy official, on the appointment date.
The official will decide whether you are qualified for a Canadian visa or not. They will inform you immediately after your appointment or send you a notification later.
Note, all Embassy notifications about your visa will be posted on your account. Therefore keep checking it, even if you did not have to submit biometrics or go through an interview.
Submit your Passport alongside the Processing Fee
Then, if your Canada visa application was approved, the next step is to submit your passport to the Canadian Embassy. This can be done by mailing it to the Embassy’s address in your country, along with processing fees.
The processing fees range from $20 to $50. However, this depends on the type of visa you are applying for and must be paid by check or money order. More so, you must also pay for a passport return envelope.
The Embassy accepts your passport and fees, stamps the visa on it, and mails it back to you. If you are informed of their decision immediately following the visa interview, you must pay the processing fees immediately – there and then.
After a Successful Canadian Visa Application: What Next?
Interestingly, you can travel to Canada once you have gotten your visa. However, you will be required to show your passport and documents at the point of entry. Of course, the officials will inspect them and question you about your trip to Canada.
After you respond, they will decide whether to allow you to enter the country or not. Note that immigration officials at the border have the authority to refuse you entry into Canada if they believe you will commit crimes or violate your visa restrictions.
It is only border officials that are allowed to guarantee that you will visit Canada if you have a Canadian visa.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Canadian Visa Now?
The processing time for a Canada visa varies depending on some circumstances. It can take from two to four weeks, and sometimes even longer, so bear that in mind.
It is only after the Canadian authorities have received your complete application will your Canadian visa be processed.
If they require you to obtain additional documents, then, the processing time will be extended for you.
Is It Possible To Assist Someone to Get a Canadian Visa?
If you want to bring a family member or friend that lives abroad to Canada, you can write them a Letter of Invitation.
The following information must be included in the Letter of Invitation: Concerning the invitee:
- Full name and birthdate
- The reason they wish to visit Canada
- When and how long they intend to stay in Canada
- Their contact details
- The friendship you have
- Where they will reside
- How do they plan to fund their trip to Canada
- Your full name and birth date
- The type of work you are doing (your occupation)
- Your Canadian residence status (Canadian national or permanent resident)
- Your family data- names and birth dates of your immediate family members (spouse and dependents)
- How many people reside in your home
However, the Letter of Invitation does not guarantee that they will be granted a visa to Canada. The visa will be granted based on its own merits, but the letter may be helpful.
Therefore, you can sponsor a family member to come to Canada permanently or temporarily through the Canada Family Sponsorship Program.
How Can I Extend My Stay in Canada?
If your visitor visa to Canada is about to expire and you want to renew it and stay longer, you must apply for a visa extension. This is known and called a Canada Visitor Record.
You must apply for a Canadian visa extension (visitor record) at least 30 days before your visitor visa expires.
Apart from extending your tourist visa, you can also change your study or work permit to a Visitor Record. However, a visitor record is only open while you are in Canada.
More so, apart from extending a tourist visa, you can also convert your study or work permit to a Visitor Record. A Canadian visitor record, on the other hand, is only available if you are in Canada.
Note that, if you want to leave Canada and return to your home country, you will be denied entry if you have a visitor record.
What Happens If You Overstay Your Canada Visa in Canada?
If you overstayed your visa in Canada, the next step is decided by how long you have been in Canada.
If you overstayed your visa for less than 90 days, you can regain your visitor status by:
- applying for a Visitor Record and
- selecting “Restore my visitor status.”
Similarly, if you have overstayed your visa for more than 90 days, you will be forced to leave Canada and you might not be able to get another Canada visa.
However, you should try as much as possible to avoid overstaying your visa in Canada. You can apply for a visa extension before your visa expires if you believe you will need to stay longer than the duration of your visa.
How Much is a Canada Visa?
The Canadian visa fee in Canada is determined by the type of visa you are applying for. However, there are also different types of fees to pay, such as a processing fee and a biometrics fee.
A standard Visitor Visa fee, on the other hand, costs $CAN100.
What If My Visa to Canada Is Rejected?
If your Canada visa application is rejected, you can reapply at any time, as long as the rejection letter does not restrict you from doing so.
However, you may reapply only if the situation has changed, or if you have new information that may help you obtain a Canada visa.
Bear it in mind that, there is no formal process for appealing a Canada tourist visa decision. However, appeals are only available for applications for refugee and permanent residency. The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) handles them separately.
Will I Get a Refunded If My Canada Visa Application Is Rejected?
No, if your application is denied, visa fees in Canada are non-refundable. This is because you are paying for the visa application to be processed, and not for the visa itself.
However, in some cases, you may qualify for a visa fee refund if you withdraw your application before it is processed. However, you will not be refunded once the visa processing has begun.
Furthermore, if your application is approved, you may be qualified for a refund for the following:
- Fee for Right of Permanent Residence
- Fee for Right of Citizenship
- The fee for an Open Work Permit
- Fee for International Experience Canada (IEC)
- The Employer Compliance Fee
Note that you can, however, still request a refund for any of your fees through the Government of Canada: Immigration and citizenship website.
Can I Apply for a Canadian Visa from Another Country?
In some cases, the country of your residence lacks a Canadian embassy or Visa Application Center. In such an instance, you can apply for a Canada visa via another country.
You must, however, apply for a visa only at the Canadian embassy or through the VAC in charge of your jurisdiction (that is. for the country you are legally living).
You can also apply for a Canadian visa from Country B only if you are from Country A and have a residence permit for Country B.
However, if you are only visiting Country B and do not have legal residency there, you must apply at the Canadian embassy or Visa Application Center in your own country or elsewhere before traveling to Canada.
More so, you can submit your biometrics at any Visa Application Center around the world. Visit the website of the application center closest to you to learn more about their fees and services.
Furthermore, the biometrics can be provided at a Canadian Visa Application Center. The Canadian embassy will send you a letter informing you of the date and time you are to provide your biometrics.
Note that you must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your Canada visa application to receive the letter.
Do I Need to Submit Biometrics for Canada Visa Application?
Yes, regardless of the type of visa applied for. Canadian visa applicants must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) when applying for a Canada visa.
How Does a Canadian Visa look like?
A Canadian visa is a stamp on your passport with a particular appearance. It does not usually contain a picture, but it does include the following details:
- The place the visa was issued;
- Document number;
- Date of issuance and expiration;
- Number of entries allowed;
- Visa category;
- Visa type;
- Passport number.
- The visa holder’s last and first name;
The samples below show three different types of Canadian visas for workers, visitors, and immigrants.
How Can I Travel to The US as a Canadian Visa Holder?
To travel to the USA from Canada, you may be required to apply for a US visa in Canada. If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country, you do not need to apply for a USA visa from Canada. However, you can apply for ESTA instead.
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