Shabnam Akrami Blogs

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

How to Apply for a Visitor Visa to Canada

How to Apply for a Visitor Visa to Canada

Steps on How to Apply for a Visitor Visa

Have you always dreamed of visiting Canada but are unsure of how to go about doing so? Many foreign nationals from all over the world have the desire to come to Canada to visit the country’s beautiful landscapes and tourist destinations. However, many of these foreign nationals also come from countries which require a visa to enter Canada successfully. It is important to recognize that there are specific requirements and documentation that you must provide in order to obtain a visitor visa. In this article, I will explain who needs a visitor visa in order to enter Canada, eligibility requirements for a visitor visa, how to apply for a visitor visa and further steps.

What is a Visitor Visa and Why Do I Need One

A visitor visa is created and intended for foreign nationals from countries that are not visa-exempt and would like to come to Canada. Additionally, the visitor visa will then give these foreign nationals proper authorization to enter Canada for a temporary period. Visitor visas are also referred to as Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs). Most importantly, in order to determine whether you will need a visitor visa prior to arriving and entering Canada, you must research whether your country of birth is visa-exempt or not. If your country of birth is visa-exempt, then you will not require a visitor visa prior to entering Canada; on the other hand, you will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Yet, if your country is not visa-exempt, then you will require a visitor visa prior to travelling and entering Canada.

In order to accurately determine whether your country is visa-exempt or not, I highly recommend going on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website and choose your specific country to find out whether or not you need a visa.

Ultimately, what you need to travel with can depend on the type of travel document you intend on travelling with. This will all depend on several factors, such as your passport; the country that issued your travel document; how you intend on travelling to Canada; and lastly, your nationality. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine what type of travel document you need before entering Canada. Keep in mind, should you not have the proper documentation to travel, you may be delayed or refused entry into Canada.

Eligibility Requirements for a Visitor Visa

If you are travelling to Canada just for tourism or even if you are travelling to Canada in transit to another country, you will require a visitor visa in order to enter the country. There are specific requirements needed in order to successfully obtain a visitor visa. It is extremely important to meet all of the requirements in order to successfully apply for a visitor visa.

The eligibility requirements of a visitor visa are:

  • Valid travel documentation (i.e. passport)
  • Good health
  • No criminal or immigration-related convictions or offences
  • Sufficient ties to your home country (i.e. a job, home, family or financial assets)
  • Intention of exiting Canada at the end of your authorized visit
  • Enough financial support & funds for the duration of your authorized visit

Apart from these eligibility requirements, other requirements may be requested during the application process such as a medical examination, biometric data collection or a police clearance certificate. Keep in mind, if you are unable to provide the additional requirements, you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada and will be refused entry into the country.

Additionally, another important factor to consider when applying for a visitor visa, that is not necessary but beneficial, is a letter of invitation from a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. If you are travelling to meet with family or a friend in Canada, it would be extremely useful to the application if they can provide you with a letter of invitation. Immigration may also want to see financial support from the inviter; therefore, it is important to acknowledge this before submitting the letter of invitation with your application.

How to Apply for a Visitor Visa

If you would like to apply for a visitor visa, you will need to obtain the application package first and foremost, if you decide to apply in paper form. If you decide to apply online instead, the instructions are slightly different. However, for both application methods, Immigration Canada will request specific documentation and forms to be filled out. The process of applying for a visitor visa can be overwhelming and complicated for individuals who are unfamiliar with what Immigration Canada is looking for. Therefore, should you need guidance and assistance with applying for a visitor visa, it is always recommended to seek out professional help, such as Akrami & Associates, in order to help make your application strong.

What if my Visitor Visa is Refused

Due to the fact that many individuals who apply for a visitor visa and get an approval often overstay their authorized period of stay, these specific applications are highly scrutinized and dissected by immigration officers. The ultimate goal of the immigration officer is to determine which individuals will actually leave Canada at the end of their stay, as well as making sure that these individuals abide by all of the eligibility requirements. As a result, there are many visitor visa applications that are refused. If your visitor visa is refused, this does not mean that you did something wrong. What this means is that the immigration officer is not satisfied with either the information or documentation you provided. In most cases, the immigration officer will indicate why the application was refused. If you would like to reapply for a visitor visa, it is suggested to take all of the refusal reasons into consideration and make your application stronger by providing the immigration officer the information they were missing. At Akrami & Associates, we can definitely help you determine how to make your visitor visa application stronger than the last one.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you would like to visit Canada and explore the country and if you feel as though you’d be eligible for a visitor visa, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Visitor visa applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar; it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients enter Canada as visitors for tourism or other purposes. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a visitor visa, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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