HOW TO APPLY FOR A VISITOR VISA | VISITOR VISA CHECKLIST
Updated: May 6
The Visitor Visa (also called a Temporary Resident Visa or TRV) is an official document that is included in your passport to show that you meet the requirements to enter Canada. Today, we explain who needs a visitor visa and how to apply. Follow our visitor visa checklist to apply for your visitor visa to Canada.
WHO NEEDS A VISITOR VISA?
Most travellers to Canada need an entry document and a valid passport to enter Canada. If you plan on staying in Canada for a short time (less than six months), you will likely need either a Visitor Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This also depends on which country you are from.
You should always check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s website for current information before you make travel plans. IRCC regularly make changes and update policies for the entry requirements to Canada. Check the latest information to ensure you have all the proper documents before you travel to Canada.
To get a visitor visa, you must:
Have a valid travel document;
Be in good health;
Have no criminal record;
Be able to convince an immigration officer of your ties to your home country;
Be able to convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when your visit is over; and
Have enough money to support you during your stay
You might also need to provide a medical exam and/or a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada. You will also need to submit biometrics with your application for security purposes and to verify your identity.
VISITOR VISA CHECKLIST: HOW TO APPLY
There are two methods of submitting your application for a Visitor Visa or TRV. You can submit a paper application in person, or a digital application online. Here are the basic steps and requirements:
Determine your eligibility to apply for a Visitor Visa.
Download the Visitor Visa application package from IRCC.
Start your application online.
Submit your application in one package to a Visa Application Centre.
HOW MUCH DOES A VISITOR VISA COST?
It costs $100 CAD to submit a single Visitor Visa application. The maximum fee for a family’s Visitor Visa application is $500 CAD. This means that a family of six will still pay $500 CAD rather than $100 CAD per person.
CAN I CHANGE A VISITOR VISA TO A WORK PERMIT?
You cannot convert a Visitor Visa into a Work Permit. The application processes are different. As such, they are not interchangeable. You may, however, be able to apply for a work permit separately.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN CANADA ON A VISITOR VISA?
Most travellers can spend up to six months in Canada on a Visitor Visa. A Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer may allow travellers to spend more or less time in Canada upon review of their documentation at a Canadian port of entry. The CBSA officer may give the foreign national a visitor record, which shows the date they need to leave Canada by.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY APPLICATION TO BE PROCESSED?
The visitor visa application processing time differs depending on where you’re applying from (i.e. inside Canada or outside Canada). If you apply for a visitor visa from outside Canada, the country from which you are applying will also have an effect on the processing time. You can calculate the processing time for your application using the Government of Canada’s application processing tool. Check visitor visa application processing time: