Many nationalities looking to travel to Canada for a visit or tourism are able to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or enter Canada without a visa. However, passport holders who are required to apply for a tourist visa before traveling, have the option to obtain a Canada Visitor Visa. Also known as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), the Canada Visitor Visa is an official travel visa to Canada that is placed inside your passport. Most travelers will need a Canada Visitor Visa and some may also need one to transit through a Canadian airport.
There is one standard type of Canadian Visitor Visa (Tourist visa) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) that is granted to most applicants with a stay of up to 6 months. However, there are other types of TRVs that may be obtained for more specific types of travel including:
Depending on your nationality, the purpose of travel, and other factors, the requirements for a Canada Visitor Visa do vary. To apply for a Visitor Visa, you will need to submit the correct documents and supplemental materials. You should verify exactly which documents are required before submitting your application.
The general documents required for a Canada Visitor Visa are listed below.
Every applicant is required to submit a valid identity document as part of their application. Accepted identity documents include regular, official, or diplomatic passports, an alien’s passport for stateless persons, a US Permit to Re-Enter (Form I-327), a US Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571), or a refugee travel document for non-citizens.
All applicants must submit a completed Canada Visitor Visa application form. The requirements for the form may vary depending on the type of Canada Visitor Visa.
Every applicant over the age of 18 must submit a Family information form (IMM 5645 or IMM 5707).
Applying for a Canada Visitor is a straightforward process. You can apply for Canada Visitor Visa either online or on paper.
Check the eligibility requirements to be sure you can travel at this time on a Canada Visitor Visa.
Assemble the required documents for your unique situation. The required documents will depend on your nationality, country of citizenship, and purpose of travel.
Applicants can apply online by creating an account, uploading their documents, and paying the application fees.
Most applicants, especially those applying for the first time, will need to give biometrics including fingerprints and a photo. This is typically done at a visa application center.
Once complete, you will send your Canada Visitor Visa application to be processed by officials from the Government of Canada. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed.
If you apply online and your application is successful, you will be sent a decision letter and a letter with instructions on how to submit your passport so you can receive the actual visa.
* If you applied on paper, you will have already sent your passport and will therefore receive it back with the visa inside.
Instructions will be provided about the next steps to take and what documents you will need upon arrival to Canada. Some additional documents besides your visa and passport may be required.
The processing time for a Canada Visitor Visa depends on your nationality, the issuing country of your passport, and the specific type of Visitor Visa you are applying for. However, most Visitor Visas are processed in a few weeks or less.
Depending on the nature of your application, you may be asked to conduct an interview with Canadian officials in your local area, send some more documents, get a medical exam, or submit a police certificate. All instructions will be sent by the official application processing if your application is successful.
Most applicants can apply online through the Government of Canada website through the IRCC Portal. If necessary, the Canada Visitor Visa can also be obtained at a visa application center.
In order for your application to be processed, you will need to pay the Canada Visitor Visa fees of $CAN 100 for the visa application and $85 CAN for the biometrics information fee, if applicable. Other fees may apply depending on your nationality, the specific visa type you are looking to obtain, and other factors.
Most applicants will be granted a 6 months stay with their Visitor Visa. Some exceptions may apply depending on the purpose of your visit.
Applying for a Canada Visitor Visa online or on paper is a straightforward and simple process provided you are eligible for this type of visa and you have assembled all the appropriate documents.
You must be able to pay the 100 CAD visa application fee and the 85 CAD biometrics information fee, if applicable. In some cases, you will be asked to show a bank statement to verify that you have enough funds to support yourself for the entire duration of your stay in Canada.
Incomplete applications will not be processed and are automatically rejected. Complete applications might be rejected if you do not submit the correct documents or you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Visitor Visa.
Check if you need a visa
Check your passport ranking