Travel Visa: Canada Application Process

how to apply canada travel visa

To apply for a Canadian travel visa, you must first check if you are eligible to travel to Canada. If you are, there are several steps to follow. These include gathering the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, proof of funds, and a letter of invitation, as well as completing and submitting the application form. You will also need to pay the relevant fees and may need to submit your biometrics. The processing time for a Canadian visitor visa can vary depending on the country of application, but it typically takes between 8 and 40 days.


Check eligibility

To be eligible for a Canadian travel visa, you must meet some basic requirements. These include:

  • Having a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • Having no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • Being able to convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets, or family—that will take you back to your home country
  • Being able to convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • Having enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada

The amount of money you will need depends on how long you plan to stay and whether you will be staying in a hotel or with friends or relatives. You may also need to undergo a medical exam and provide a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.

Some people are not allowed to enter Canada and are deemed inadmissible. This can be for several reasons, including involvement in human rights violations, or security, health, or financial concerns.

To check your eligibility, you can answer a few questions about your income, net worth, and job offer details. Based on your answers, you will be informed about the immigration programs you may be eligible for.

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Gather documents

Documents Required for a Canadian Travel Visa

The documents required for a Canadian travel visa vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant's circumstances. Here is a detailed list of documents that may be required:

  • Passport: A clear, colour copy of a valid passport or travel document that will be used to travel to Canada. This includes the page showing your birth date, country of origin, and any pages with stamps, visas, or markings.
  • Identity and Civil Status Documents: Birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce/annulment certificates, National IDs, or family/household registries.
  • Proof of Funds: Bank account statements demonstrating financial means to support yourself and any accompanying family members during your stay in Canada. This should include the bank name, account details showing at least six months of transactions, and proof of account ownership.
  • Proof of Ties to Home Country: Documents demonstrating strong ties to your home country, such as proof of employment, property ownership, or family responsibilities.
  • Letter of Invitation: A letter of invitation or support from a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This letter should include personal information about the applicant and the person writing the letter, the nature of their relationship, the purpose and duration of the visit, and financial support details.
  • Previous Travel Documentation: Copies of previous passports, visas, entry/exit stamps, work permits, or other proof of international travel within the last ten years.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Confirmation of accommodation arrangements during your stay in Canada, such as hotel bookings or rental agreements.
  • Medical Examination Results: For stays longer than six months, or if your visit involves close contact with people, you may need to undergo a medical examination by a Panel Physician and include the results in your application.
  • Criminal Record Check: A police certificate or clearance demonstrating a clean criminal record. In some cases, you may need to provide clearances from any country you have lived in for more than six months.
  • Photographs: Two passport-sized photographs adhering to the Canadian government's photo requirements.
  • Application Forms and Fees: Completed application forms and proof of payment for the Canadian visa application fees.
  • Additional Documents for Minors: For minors travelling alone or with only one parent/guardian, additional documents are required. These may include a letter of authorization signed by both parents/legal guardians, custody documents, birth certificates, and other relevant paperwork.


Submit application

Submit your application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, you can submit your application for a Canadian travel visa.

If you are applying online, you will need access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and a valid credit or debit card to pay the associated fees. You will also need to pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application unless you are exempt.

If you are applying on paper, you will need to download the application package and submit your application in person if you need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph).

If you are applying as a family, send your individual applications in one package. The principal applicant must send this combined package to the location where their application will be processed.


Respond to requests

Responding to requests for further information is an important part of the Canadian visitor visa application process. This is because the Canadian authorities may need to verify the information you have provided and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa.

  • Be prompt and responsive: It is important to respond to any requests for additional information as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your visa application is not delayed.
  • Provide all the requested information: Make sure you provide all the information that has been requested. Incomplete responses may result in further delays.
  • Be truthful and accurate: It is important to be truthful and accurate in your responses. Providing false or misleading information may result in your application being rejected.
  • Seek clarification if needed: If you are unsure about what information is being requested or how to respond, don't hesitate to seek clarification from the relevant authorities.
  • Provide additional supporting documents if necessary: In some cases, you may be asked to provide additional supporting documents. Make sure that any documents you submit are authentic and relevant to the request.
  • Keep records of your correspondence: Keep copies of all your responses and documentation submitted. This will help you refer back to them if needed and demonstrate that you have complied with the requests.

Remember that responding to requests for further information is a standard part of the visa application process. By providing prompt, accurate, and complete responses, you can help ensure that your Canadian visitor visa application is processed smoothly and efficiently.


Send passport for stamping

Once your application for a Canadian travel visa has been approved, you will need to send your passport to the IRCC so they can affix your visa to it. It is important that you do not send your passport until the IRCC has sent you a written request to do so.

To send your passport, you will need to purchase two Canada Post Xpresspost prepaid 24 x 32 cm envelopes. Put one envelope inside the other, and include your address so that the IRCC can return your passport securely. You should also note the tracking number for each envelope.

When sending your passport, you will need to include the application approval letter and any supporting documents that you provided with your application. This may include a copy of your passport, a passport-style digital photo, and proof of financial support.

It is recommended that you do not send your passport by regular mail, but instead use a tracked service such as Xpresspost. This will ensure that your passport can be safely returned to you.

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