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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Do I need Visitor Visa to travel to Canada

Do I need Visitor Visa to travel to Canada

Who is consider a Visitor to Canada

Visitor are basically the persons who are the willing or have a desire to visit and explore the beautiful land of Canada. Visitors considered as persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and are legally authorized to enter Canada to:

  • visit Canada on holiday (vacation),
  • visit family,
  • conduct business, etc.

Understand what Visitor Visa Means

A visitor visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian government that is placed/stamped in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission/ to enter in Canada as a temporary resident either as a visitor, a student, or as a worker.

A visitor visa may be for single entry or multiple entry use. Single entry visas may be issued for a period up to six months before the expected date of travel. The maximum validity date for multiple entry visitor visas is up to ten (10) years or one month prior to the expiry date on the passport/re-entry visa, whichever is earlier. Government of Canada will generally grant entry for a period of six months to a person requesting entry as a visitor.

Eligibility and Requirements for Visitor Visa

There is a certain eligibility criterion that you need to meet to apply for visitor visa. You must show to the officer that you meet the requirements of the immigration laws and regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay only. You need to show to the Canadian Government that you have every reason to go back to your country once the visit visa expires. Accordingly, you need to focus on the below mentioned points;

  • 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
  • you don’t intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized by the Canadian Government to do so
  • be law abiding and have no criminal history or record
  • not be a risk to the security of Canada
  • provide any additional document requested by the officer to establish your admissibility, and
  • You should be medically fit. You should also complete a medical examination if required.

Are you in a Visa Exempt Country

The only people, other than Canadian citizens and permanent residents, who do not require a visitor visa to enter Canada are individuals who are visa-exempt. Canadian Government has agreements with several countries that exempt citizens of those nations from requiring a visa to visit Canada for a period of up to six months. If foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries wish to visit Canada by air, they require a valid electronic travel authorization also known as eTA.

Who needs an Electronic Travel Authorization to Travel to Canada

You will require electronic travel authorization if you fall under any of the following category:

  • If you are from a Visa-exempt foreign national and you are flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
    • As a visa-exempt foreign national, you do NOT need an electronic travel authorization (or a visitor visa) when arriving by car, bus, train or boat (including a cruise ship).
  • If you are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and you’re flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
    • You must present a valid Green Card and the valid passport used to apply for your electronic travel authorization at check-in.
    • You also don’t need an electronic travel authorization when arriving by car, bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship.

You may be eligible to apply for an electronic travel authorization (instead of a visitor visa):

  • If you are a Citizen from select visa-required countries and you’re travelling to Canada by air. However, you still need visitor visa (not an electronic travel authorization when arriving by car, bus, train, or boat, including a cruise ship.

Basic Requirements to Enter Canada as a Visitor

To visit Canada, you must meet some basic requirements, such as:

  • You should have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • You should have a valid electronic travel authorization or visitor visa
  • You should be in good health
  • You should have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • You also have to convince a border services officer (BSO) that you have ties with your own home country such as a job, home, financial assets or family. You should convince the border services officer that you are in Canada only for the time being and that you will return back to your home country.
  • You are financially sound and you have enough money for your stay. The amount of money you will need can vary. It depends on things such as how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.

What can Prevent you to Travel as a Visitor to Canada

One thing you should know that holding an electronic travel authorization does not guarantee that you will be allowed to enter in Canada. The person holding electronic travel authorization needs to convince the border service officer that he/she is eligible to enter in Canada. There are several grounds on which the admissibility may be denied:

  • Criminal Activity

  • Human Rights Violation

  • Security Reasons

  • Financial Instability

  • Organized Crime

  • Poor Health Conditions

Contact Akrami & Associates

Visit Visa and electronic travel authorization allows those that are qualified to enjoy, explore and leisure the country has to offer. Though by reading it appears the process is easy and simple but in reality, it is complicated and would require the guidance and assistance of an immigration professional. The application criteria set by the government of Canada is very strict in regards to such a visa and those whom apply stand the possibility of having their visa denied/ refused if any vital or minute detail is missed.

Contact Akrami & Associates to determine what steps you need to take as a visitor to Canada. Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients successfully and would love to make your entry to Canada as easy as possible.

Contact us at 1 416 477 2545 or you can also login to our website We are here to assist, facilitate and navigate you in all your visa needs. We provide tailored information, guidance and services which best suits your needs.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way

Applying for Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
Immigrate to Canada through Express Entry

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