The Canadian visitor visa is an official temporary document that allows anyone who bears the document in his or her passport a conditional authorization into the territory and country of Canada, this is usually stamped into the official passport of the bearers country of origin or citizenship. It is often for a specified period of time depending on the type of visa that is obtained.

The visitor visa is one of several types of visas that can be used for travel and as entry documents into Canada, others include; tourist visa, study or work permit or business visa, immigration and naturalization visa and student visa. Most immigrants often require one of these types of visa to immigrate into Canada except for some special diplomatic and exempt personalities.

Types of Visitor Visa in Canada

There are basically two kinds of visitor visa in Canada; the single entry visa and the multiple entry visa. The single entry as the name implies permits foreign nationals to enter and exit from Canada just once within the period of validity of the visa. The multiple entry on the other hand permits foreigners to enter and exit Canada as many times as they like within the valid period of the visa. The visitor visa duration can last up to six months in validity. The visitor visa is also sometimes called a TRV; temporary resident visa. If seeking a study or work permit, the TRV is often included as part of the required documents. Otherwise, it isn’t when seeking just a visit visa.

Canada Visitors Application

As a prospective visitor to Canada, now is the best time to consider making Canada your permit home of residence as it is becoming more and more easy and accessible to do so as the government of Canada has become more than ever poised to encourage young skilled foreigners to consider making Canada their new home, by the ease of application procedures.

To find out if you require a visa application, you must first consider if your country of nationality or residence is on the visa exempt list through a bilateral agreement with the government of Canada or not. If not, you proceed to apply, in the application process you will be required to submit a biometrics at a Visa application centre (VAC), if your application is online, after submitting your application you will wait to receive a letter which will inform you if you are to submit a biometrics or not.

Steps to apply for Canada Visa
  1. Application submission
  2. Biometrics capture and collection
  3. Application assessment
  4. Immigration decision
  5. If approved, travel to Canada
  6. Upon arrival, biometrics verification
  7. Upon positive verification, enter Canada

Biometrics basically involves the digital capture of your photo and fingerprints, this is usually done at a visa application center or VAC. Temporary residence applicants (visitor visa, study permit, work permit) only have to give biometrics once every ten (10) years.

Submitting Canada Visa Biometrics

Applicants may need to submit biometrics (finger prints and passport) depending on your country of origin and whether or not you have submitted a biometric for another temporary permit application in the last 10 years. Appointments and fees may apply, again depending on modalities in your visa office. Steps below may be required.

  1. Pay the biometrics fee as you submit your application.
  2. Get the biometrics instruction letter; this confirms you to submit your biometrics and where to go to get it done.
  3. Visit an official biometrics collection service point: this must be done in person.
  4. For further instructions you can visit CIC biometrics information page.

Canada Visa Form

The visitor visa application form/document can be submitted online or on paper, most visitors will require this to enter or transit through Canada. At the point of entry the border officers may let you stay up tp six months or above in the case of visiting, this will be stamped into your valid passport or a visitor record will be issued to you which will indicate the date you are meant to exit the country.

Canada Visa Processing time and cost

How much is Canada Visa Fee?

The application cost from a $100 above while the biometrics fee is $85. Duration for a visitor visa varies by country. Processing time often do not include the time required to give your biometric and the time it takes to send your application between a VAC and the visa processing office.

How long does visiting visa application take?

Your processing time is the period between when your complete application is received and when a decision is made by the issuing immigration. However, for most visa applications outside of Canada it often takes close to or more than a year (365) days of processing time. For instance, the processing time for a visitors visa for Nigeria is 354 days and for India is 101 days.

Processing time also depends on the volume of applications received, thus most processing time is either projected or historical, meaning they are estimations of how long it takes to process 80% of the total number of applications recorded in the past.

Who is eligible for Canada visiting visa?

There are basic requirements necessary to obtain a visitor visa or to even start an application. The top on the list of these are:

  • Having a valid travel document. E.g a passport.
  • Be able to convince your immigration officer that you will exit the country at the end of your visa validity.
  • Convince your immigration officer that you have reasons to return back to your country, such as a job, family, home e.t.c.
  • Have enough money for your intended stay.
  • Be in good health.
    Have no criminal or immigration related offense records.
  • Have an invitation letter from a friend or family who lives in Canada.
  • You may also require a medical examination proof.
What makes an applicant inadmissible to Canada?

The following reasons may make one inadmissible to Canada and consequently a rejection decision on visitor visa application:

  • Known involvement in criminal activity.
  • Financial reasons.
  • Health reasons.
  • Known involvement in organized crime.
  • Known involvement in human rights violations.

Applying for Visa Extension within Canada

On entering into Canada, you used one of the following documents; a visitor visa ( also called a temporary resident visa), an electronic travel authorization and a valid passport. If however, after the expiration or before the expiration of your visa or any of these documents it becomes necessary that you extend your stay in Canada as a visitor you will need to apply for a Visitors Record.

What is Visitors Record and When Should you Apply for a Visitors Record?

A visitors record is different from a visa, it is document that gives you status in Canada and allows you to stay longer, it also includes an expiry date. That is the new date by which you must exit Canada. It doesn’t also, guarantee that you can leave and re-enter the country, when this expires and you exit, you will have to reapply for a visitor visa again. You however, must apply for this before your current visitor visa expires. The application fee for a visitor record is $100 and the processing time is 208 days. You must reapply for an extension or for a visitors record before your current visa expires.

Who can apply for Canada Visitor Record?

Anyone who has or is in possession of any visa type that is about to expire and not just a visitor visa can apply for a visitors record. If you intend to extend your stay in Canada or change your permit type from study permit or work permit you will need to apply for a visitors record. Regardless of how or with what travel document you entered Canada, so long as you intend to extend your stay as a visitor, you must apply for a visitors record and you should apply at least 30 days before the expiration of your current status.

Where can you to apply for visitors’ record?

Essentially, a prospective applicant will need to use the “check if you’re eligible to apply” tool in CIC website to determine eligibility to apply for visitors’ record (visa extension) in Canada. There is a complete step by step checklist to guide you through the application, see the official Canada government website. You may apply for visitors record in other to extend your stay in Canada.

What Happens After You Submit Your Visitor Visa Application?

After your application have been submitted the processing immigration will check through your documents to ensure the all the required documents are intact, if this is incomplete your application will be returned without processing. Thus, it is very important to make sure your provide all the necessary and valid documents before you submit your final application. In addition to this you may also be asked to: submit or provide more information, provide a police report, provide a medical report and to attend an interview with Canada representative official in your country of residence.

Further documents needed before you travel to Canada

In the light of the global covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted to severe restrictions on travels around the world, and necessitated the need to prevent and guard against the spread of the virus from place to place and therefore, the provision of a clean bill of health and negative status record as regard the covid-19 virus by would-be travelers, visitors and immigrants to the immigration and border officers at the point of entry. These include a mandatory quarantine and covid-19 testing records and other requirements. With these you will also be required to submit: a quarantine plan after entry, a covid -19 symptom self-assessment record and a travel and contact information.

Financial Implications For A Visitor Visa Application

  • The application fee for visitor visa or a super visa for a single or multiple entry into Canada is $100 per person.
  • Visitor visa for a single or multiple entry for a family of five(5) or more into Canada. All members applying at the same time is $500.
  • To extend a visitor visa by applying and obtaining a visitors record is $100 per person.
  • To restore a visitor visa is $200 per person.

Proof of Financial Support for Canada Visitor Visa

One of the essential documents required for processing your application and for entry into Canada is the proof that you have sufficient financial support for atleast the first 3 months of your stay in Canada. This is accomplished by ensuring you provide a bank statement of not more than one week prior to your departure for Canada and must have atleast the equivalent of 2,500 Canadian dollars.

If you however, have in your bank statement the equivalent of 10,000 Canadian dollars or more, whether in the form of cash, securities (stocks, bonds, treasury bills e.t.c.) or bank drafts, cheques e.t.c you must mention it to the border service officer, if you don’t and found out, you could be fined or jailed.

If you can’t or couldn’t get a bank statement alternatively you can provide a letter on official letter head of your bank, issued not more than one week before your departure, which clearly shows your account balance and its signed and stamped and it must be an original letter not a photocopy.

How to help a family member or friend apply to Visit Canada

You can assist a family or friend to visit Canada by considering first and foremost:

  • The type of traveling documents they possess and will travel with,
  • The country in which their traveling documents were issued,
  • Their nationality
  • And how they intend to travel.

Before traveling do well to find out what type of traveling documents they require. You can also provide them with an invitation letter to support their traveling documents, this is however, not a guarantee that their application will provide them the visa.

Why online application is better than paper route
  • No courier fees, shipping fees or mail delivery time, your application is delivered instantly.
  • Online applications are often processed more quickly because the digital and electronic process is faster and easier than tradition manual processing.
  • Applying online provides you the necessary assistance and information to ensure your documents and application requirements are fulfilled before you submit.
  • Avoid unnecessary delays, incomplete applications are easily returned to you for review and necessary action or correction.
  • You can easily respond to any further documents requirement as soon as possible.
  • You get up to date status on your application via your online account.

Grounds for denial or rejection of Canadian Visa

  • Inability to provide sufficient and accurate supporting documents.
  • Inability to meet required health and medical standards.
  • Inability to supply proof of financial sufficiency for your stay in Canada.
  • Inability to clear security checks.
  • Overstaying your stay or violating conditions of your previous visitor visa

In other scenarios it might be a fault from the visa officer, in this case, a visa appeal can be instigated with a higher possibility of win if you seek out a visa immigration lawyer, otherwise, it is only advisable to reapply, but not before the reasons for the initial rejection has been duly noted and rectified. This can be done by carefully reviewing the rejection letter and noting the queries in it or by asking for the the rejection note of the visa officer, which may as well be provided for your review.