Are you planning to visit Canada as a tourist and looking to get a Canada tourist visa but not sure about the requirements? If yes, you are on the right page.
Canada, being one of the most developed countries,attracts a lot of tourists from different parts of the world. Traveling to Canada has been on the bucket lists of many. If you desire to visit your dream country, you need to make preparations. To make preparations, you need to know the requirements needed to visit Canada as a tourist.
In this article, we discussed the different requirements you need to get a Canadian tourist visa and provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding Canada tourist visas.
What is a Canadian tourist visa
A Canada tourist visitor visa is a temporary visa that allows you to visit Canada specifically for family visits, holidays, or tourism.
The visa will allow you to go through the Canadian port of entry and your documents will be checked by the border patrol officers, after which they will determine whether to allow or deny your entry after checking your documents and checking your intentions of visiting Canada. If you are approved, you can start your stay immediately.
What are the requirements for a Canadian tourism or visitor visa
Below are some of the things that make you eligible for a Canada visitor visa.
- Canada tourist visa form
Your first step towards visiting Canada is to fill out this form before proceeding with other details.
- Proof of fund
The government of Canada doesn’t want a situation whereby you visit the country and get stuck due to a lack of finances to go back to your home country, so they require that you provide proof of funds. This basically has to be your bank account and not someone else’s.
Your account must have enough money to prove that you have enough money to finance your travel and your stay in Canada, as well as airfare to return to your home country.
- Travel Itinerary
This is the schedule of your flight if you have already booked one. It can also be a short description of what you plan to do in Canada immediately after you arrive.
- A letter of invitation from your family in Canada
This is only required if your plan is to visit a family in Canada. The family you are visiting is expected to send you a letter of invitation, which is expected to be submitted during your visa processing.
- Evidence of your relationship with the individual you are visiting
If you were invited by a family, you needed to prove how you were related to the person. Assuming you are visiting your uncle, you need something that will serve as evidence that the person truly is your uncle.
- Your visitor’s immigration status
In order to avoid being stuck in Canada or wondering about where to stay, if you are traveling to visit a family member, it should be a family member who is well settled in Canada and not a fresh immigrant. Therefore, you are expected to submit proof serving as evidence of the immigration status of the person you are visiting.
- The financial or bank statement of the person you are visiting
This is also required if your purpose for going to Canada is to visit a family member or friend. This helps them know if the person you are visiting is financially independent and able to cater for you financially during the course of your visit.
- Declaration letter
This is a written letter from you to the government of Canada explaining why they should issue you a visitor or tourist visa.
- Passport photo
You will be required to submit two passport photographs.
You will be submitting your education or employment status through a resume, including a letter from your boss explaining that your visit is contractual and that you will be back in your home country after your visit duration expires.
- Proof of a temporary visit
You will also be required to submit evidence to prove that your visit to Canada is short and that you will be back after the visit is due.
- Proof that it is not in your plan to live, study, or work in Canada
As you know, tourism or visiting visas are for short stays; any other motive is illegal; hence, you must provide something to prove that you have no other plan to visit for a short while and fly back to your home country after the vacation is over.
- Criminal record
You need a clean criminal record report to be able to enter Canada. This is especially to be sure you are not some criminal trying to run to Canada after committing one serious crime.
- All their documents
During your registration for a Canadian visitor visa, you will be told about other documents you may need to submit, if any. It is important that you translate all documents that are not in English or French.
People Who are not allowed into Canada
Even though it is easy to get approval for a visitor visa to Canada, some people are considered inadmissible. You may be admissible due to the following reasons:
- I have been involved in several criminal activities.
- Involved in human rights violations
- Involved in organized crime.
How do I apply for a Canadian visitor visa
To get a Canada visitor visa, there are several steps to take, which include:
- Check if you are eligible for the visa. You can do this by going through the requirements to see if you have everything required.
- All travel documents must be ready
- You have to submit an application form
- After submitting your application, you will have to wait until they finish processing it. You have to also stay alert in case they request additional information
- Once approved, you should send your passport for stamping.
How long does it take to process a tourist visa?
It takes roughly 8 to 40 days, depending on the country you are applying from. For some countries, it is very fast, while for others, you may have to wait for a month before you get feedback from the embassy.
How much does it cost to get a Canadian visitor visa
Canada visas actually cost about CAD$100, and if you will be needing biometrics, which cost about CAD$80, everything should be around CAD$180. However, you will also need to pay a separate fee for passport processing; this usually costs around CAD$45. Other expenses to get you to Canada include your airfare, hotels, and bookings.
What is the validity period of a Canadian tourist visa
The Canadian tourism or visitor visa is only valid for as long as the Canada consulate gives you. They give a period of stay depending on your details and they believe that you will be returning to Canada after the visit. Some people may be allowed to stay for a shorter period of time than others.
In any case, your passport expires in 6 months and staying for more than 6 months is illegal. You can actually go back to your home country for a while and come back after some time.
What is a tourist visa allowed to do in Canada
With a tourist visa, you are allowed to travel anywhere in Canada as long as you can finance it. However, you are not expected to stay beyond a maximum of 6 months. You are also not allowed to get any documents, work, or study. In cases of emergency, you are also not entitled to free healthcare for citizens or any other government benefits. You may need to pay for it if you need such a service.
Am I allowed to bring dependents along with me?
Your dependents can be your wife, husband, or minor children. However, they will need a separate application and pay separate fees. Each and every visa needs to be applied for at the same time.
Can I extend my visa?
If you need to stay more than 6 months in Canada, you may consider extending your visa. The visa extension is known as the visitor record. You actually need to apply for an extension at least 30 days before the expiration of your visa.
What is the visitor record?
A visitor record is a document given to you by the IRCC when your request for a visa extension is approved. It will include the date you are going to leave Canada. It is important that you know that the visitor record is only valid inside Canada. If you leave Canada and come back again, you will not be allowed entry.
Also, the visitor record is not in any way a substitute for the visa; if you must re-enter Canada after your exit before your visitor record expires, you will need to start a fresh tourist visa application.
Note that you can also convert a tourist visa into a work or study visa but it is barely possible except on the occasion that you got admission into a school in Canada or you received an employment letter. Though it is very hard to successfully change your visa to a study or work visa, it sometimes works for some people.
How do I apply for a visit?
To extend your tourist visa in Canada, there are actually two ways to do it: online and offline.
-Visit the IRCC official website, look for an application for extending visitor visas, and read all the instructions and guidelines.
-You will need your credit or debit card to make payments for the application.
-You will also need to upload some documents so you should prepare soft copies of all your hard-copy documents.
-During your application, a prompt will appear asking what you want to do in Canada. You should click on Visit.
-Select your place of residence.
-Followed the other instructions to complete the application, make payments online, and print out the results.
-If you are not comfortable with the online application for a visa extension, you can alternatively do it offline and submit it to a physical location. Follow the below steps on how to get it done:
-The first thing you need to do is get the application package by downloading it from the IRCC official website. Contained in it are the application forms, checklists, instructions, and guidelines.
-Print out the application package and fill it out, as well as attach all the instructed documents.
-Pay the fees on the IRCC website.
-Create a soft copy of the application package and mail it to the email address provided in the package.
What are the documents required for a Canada visitor visa extension
- In order for your application to be valid and approved for a visa extension,you need to upload a scanned copy of some documents. Some of these include:
Application for change of conditions, to extend your stay in Canada as a tourist or to seek the government’s approval to issue you a temporary residency permit
- Use of Representatives
- It is important that you upload a written order to release your personal information to a designated individual or agency.
- You will be required to upload a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (if applicable).
- Receipts of payment
- Photocopies of passports, which include:
- Your name, date of birth, passport number, expiration date, stamp of your recent entry into Canada and all pages must be marked.
- In cases where your entry was not via a passport, you will need a photocopy of your travel documents, immigration documents, marriage certificate, and proof of funds.
Getting entry into Canada is not really difficult if you are a tourist. In fact, it is the easiest way to enter Canada. For it to be successful, you need to meet several requirements and have the appropriate documents. As a visitor, it is expected that you do not stay beyond 6 months as a tourist. To be admissible, you need to have no criminal record or have been involved in any sort of crime. Some other requirements are your applications, fees, and proof of funds to show that you have the necessary funding to fund your visit and go back to your home country.