Visitor Visa Requirements
Every year, over 35 million people visit Canada. Some for travel and leisure, others to visit family. Whatever your reason is, you may require the proper documentation to enter Canada. If you come from a country which is considered to be visa exempt, you may not require a visitor visa (temporary resident visa). However, those who do not come from visa-exempt countries will need first to obtain this visa before they can even board a plane to Canada.
In order to qualify as an applicant, you must:
- satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay,
- show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada and to return home,
- not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so,
- be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity,
- not be a risk to the security of Canada,
- provide any additional document requested by the officer to establish your admissibility, and
- be in good health (complete a medical examination if required).
Obtaining a visitor visa or Temporary Resident Permit is often easier said than done. Due to the fact that many people take advantage of these visas and overstay their authorized period of time in Canada, immigration officers scrutinize such applications. You will need to, above all else, prove that you have strong and sufficient ties to your home country to convince an officer that you will leave Canada after your visa expire.
Beyond this, you will also need to demonstrate your intended temporary purpose in Canada. Do not forget that you are applying for a temporary document, and an officer will wish to see the temporary nature of your stay in all aspects of your application.
A finite travel itinerary with valid return tickets goes a long way to convincing an officer that you will return to your home country. Proof of employment, family ties and property in your home country is also very useful in demonstrating your ties to your home country.
Note you and your family members may be required to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.
You must not have your biometric fingerprints and photo taken before you submit your visa application. You can have your biometrics collected:
- after you submit your visa application and have received a biometric instruction letter which will direct you to a list of points of service you may choose from;
- at the same time as you are submitting your visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).