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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. Where do I apply?
  2. What kind of visa can I get in Shanghai?
  3. Can I get an immigrant visa in Shanghai?
  4. What kind of visa do I need to go to Canada?
  5. How do I get an application form?
  6. How do I apply?
  7. How do I complete the application forms?
  8. Can I contact the Visa Section if I have questions about what documents to prepare?
  9. How much does it cost?
  10. How long does it take to get a visa?
  11. Is there an express service?
  12. I am not going to visit Canada, but my flight stops in Canada on the way to my final destination.  Do I still need a visa?
  13. Do I have to have a passport before I can apply?
  14. What supporting documents do I have to submit with my application?
  15. Can my friend/relative/spouse apply for a visa for me?
  16. Can someone else submit my application or collect my application results?
  17. Who can translate my documents?
  18. Can I apply by mail to the Canadian Consulate in Shanghai?
  19. What can I do to support the application of my friend, relative, or business associate who was refused? Can I find out what the reasons were?
  20. My application was refused. What can I do about it?
  21. If my application is refused do I have to wait before I apply again?
  22. Can I apply for a new visa or authorization once I am in Canada?
  23. What if I become sick or injured while in Canada?
  24. When should I apply?
  25. How to read the EXPIRY DATE on a visa?
  26. Who may require a medical exam and why?
  27. Do I need a multiple entry Temporary Resident Visa if I intend to travel to the United States during my visit to Canada?
  28. Do I need a Canadian visa if I have a United States Visa?

Temporary Resident Visa

  1. How long will my visitor visa be valid?
  2. How long can I stay in Canada? Can I visit the United States and return to Canada?
  3. I am part of an official delegation that will travel to Canada. I filled in an application months ago but have heard nothing about my visa. Why is it taking so long?
  4. I am not going to visit Canada, but my flight stops in Canada on the way to my final destination. Do I still need a visa?
  5. Do I need a Canadian visa even if I already have a US visa?
  6. Can I visit Canada while I have an immigration application in process?
  7. I live in Canada. How do I invite a friend or relative to visit me?
  8. What advice can you give a Canadian resident inviting a business person from China to visit?
  9. Who can be an inviter?

Short Term Study (6 months or less)

  1. Can I study at a Canadian college or university?
  2. How much money will I need during my studies in Canada?
  3. If my application is refused, will the Consulate help me to get back money paid to the school in Canada?
  4. Can my spouse and/or child come with me to Canada, or visit me at a later date?
  5. Is there a quota for Chinese students in Canada?

Work Permit

  1. Do I need a Work Permit?
  2. Can I get an “open” Work Permit to work for any employer?
  3. When should I apply?

Returning Residents

  1. Do I need a returning resident permit?
  2. When should I apply?
  3. When I have a new passport is it valid with my Permanent Resident Card?

General Information

1. Where do I apply?

Contact information.

2. What kind of visa can I get in Shanghai?

The Consulate General processes applications for Temporary Resident Visas, Travel Documents, Study Permits and Work Permits.

3. Can I get an immigrant visa in Shanghai?

No. Immigration applications must be processed in Beijing.

4. What kind of visa do I need to go to Canada?

The answer depends on your intentions. If you plan to be in Canada only for a short period of time to conduct business or visit, you should apply for a visitor visa. If you plan to study or work, you should apply for a study permit or a work permit. If you would like to settle permanently in Canada, you must submit an immigration application following the instruction on CIC website. .

5. How do I get an application form?

To get an application form online.

6. How do I apply?

You can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or Travel Document by submitting your to the nearest visa application centre (VAC). (link to Vac website). Please visit CIC’s website for information on how to apply for Permanent Resident applications, or for information on how to apply online for a Temporary Resident Visa or Travel Document.

7. How do I Complete the application forms?

The following text does not contain instructions for all the boxes on the forms. Most questions are clear; instructions are provided only when necessary. Note the following:

  • Attach a separate sheet of paper if you need more space and indicate the number of the question you are answering.
  • You must answer all questions. If you leave any sections blank, your application will be returned to you and processing will be delayed. If any sections do not apply to you, answer “N/A” (“Not applicable”).
  • If your application is accepted and information you provide on the forms changes before you arrive in Canada, you must inform, in writing, the visa office to which you applied. You must do this even if your visa has already been issued.

WARNING! It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on this form. We may check to verify your responses. Misrepresentation will result in a two-year ban from entering Canada.

8. Can I contact the Visa Section if I have questions about what documents to prepare?

Our Application Kits list which documents are required. The applicant should complete all parts of the application and provide all requested documents.

Due to the volume of requests, our office is unable to provide individual assistance in completing application forms. Applicants should respond to all questions to the best of their ability and provide a separate explanation where appropriate.

Applications which are not fully completed or do not enclose required documents will normally be refused. *Always use the application kit from the office where you will submit your application.

9. How much does it cost?

See application fee details.

10. How long does it take to get a visa?

Straight forward applications are usually processed in Shanghai within our processing standards. If you do not complete your application properly or submit the correct documents and processing fees as required in the application kit, or if you attend an interview, or if a medical check is required, the processing standard may be longer.

11. Is there an express service?

No, our office does not offer an express service, it is the responsibility of the applicant to verify our processing standards prior to application.

12.I am not going to visit Canada, but my flight stops in Canada on the way to my final destination.  Do I still need a visa?

Yes.  If you are transiting through Canada to another destination within 48 hours, you will require a Temporary Resident Visa known as a Transit Visa. The application process is the same as above, but there is no application fee.  For countries and territories that require a transit visa.

As part of Canada's Transit without Visa program, a China Transit Program has been put in place. This program will allow Chinese nationals holding valid U.S.A. visas to travel to and from the U.S.A. through the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) Terminal 1 without obtaining a Canadian transit visa. To qualify, please visit CIC website for detailed information: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/twov/index.asp

13. Do I have to have a passport before I can apply?

Yes, the passport is a required document for all Temporary Resident Visa applications.

14. What supporting documents do I have to submit with my application?

All of the application kits you will need from the Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai are downloadable. These kits are for applicants applying from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and list all the supporting documents required.

Application kits for other regions of the world can be found at this Citizenship and Immigration Canada link.

15. Can my friend/relative/spouse apply for a visa for me?

Your relative or spouse may submit an application on your behalf, but in the end you must satisfy the visa officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which may involve a personal interview. You must authorize our office in writing if you wish us to release your passport or any personal information on your behalf to any other person.

16. Who can translate my documents?

The translation of a document into English or French must be accurate. The document(s) may be translated by yourself or another individual. Translation by a professional agency is not required. Please know that all translations must accompany the original document(s) or notarized copies. Submitting only the translation is not acceptable.

17. Can I apply by mail to the Canadian Consulate in Shanghai?

No. Mail applications must be submitted to the one of the Visa Application Centres operating in China. For more information visit http://www.vfsglobal.ca/canada/China/english/index.html

18. What can I do to support the application of my friend, relative, or business associate who was refused? Can I find out what the reasons were?

Please remember that although you may provide documents to support the application of a friend, relative, or business associate, the decision of the visa officer is ultimately based on the applicant’s circumstances, and not on any personal or financial guarantees that you or anyone else might be prepared to offer on that person’s behalf.

As a federal department, we are bound by the Privacy Act not to discuss the detail of any case with anyone except the applicant and certain authorized persons. Before we can release information to you the applicant must provide us with specific written permission to do so. Even with written authorization we do not release personal information over the telephone.

Please see the CIC publication: Temporary Resident Visa: What to do if an application is refused

19. My application was refused. What can I do about it?

Written reasons for refusal are given to unsuccessful visa applicants. Once you are in possession of the written reasons, there are limited avenues of appeal.

Permanent residents requiring a travel document to return to Canada may choose to appeal refusals to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Instructions are provided with a copy of the refusal letter. The appeal can be based on facts, law or equity.

The IRB cannot consider appeals of visa refusals of temporary residents (visitors, students, or workers). Refused applicants are advised to make new applications only if their circumstances have changed.

20. If my application is refused do I have to wait before I apply again?

No, applicants are welcome to submit a new application at any time, providing any new or additional information or documentation they wish to be considered.

Applicants who have been refused may submit new applications at any time, but should be advised to do so only if they can provide new or additional information or documentation not already submitted in the previous application.

21. Can I apply for a new visa or permit once I am in Canada?

No. You must make an application at a visa office outside Canada for a new visa. You can only apply for an extension of your visitor status or change conditions from within Canada.

22. What if I become sick or injured while in Canada?

You are responsible for any medical expenses you incur. Buy traveller’s health insurance just in case.

23. When should I apply?

Processing times for the services delivered at a visa office depend on three factors - the volume of applications, their complexity and the amount of resources (staff) available to the visa office.

Please note that all applications are considered on their own merits - if further documentation or information are required, processing times may take longer - and even several weeks - depending on the circumstances.

24. How to read the EXPIRY DATE on a visa?

The EXPIRY DATE on your visa means: you must ENTER Canada before this date.
The visa validity is determined by a visa officer. A multiple entry visa may be valid for up to 10 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Please make sure you clearly indicate your intended travel date on the application form.

* Temporary Resident Visitor Visas cannot have an expiry date that exceeds the passport validity. If your passport will expire soon you may want to renew it before you apply for a Canadian visa.

25. Who may require a medical exam and why?

After a Temporary Resident Visa application has been submitted, the applicant will be notified by our office if a medical exam is required.

Please note that the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that a visa officer be satisfied that anyone issued a visa will not be a danger to public health or cause excessive demand on health and social services. Medical instructions are issued at the discretion of a visa officer. The medical examination MUST be completed prior to travel to Canada.

Only persons who have received medical instructions need take a medical exam. For a list of Designated Medical Practitioners nearest to you.

26. Do I need a Canadian visa if I have a United States visa?

Yes you require a visa for Canada. A United States visa does not permit entry to Canada.

*Unless you have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and are in possession of your Alien Registration Card (Green Card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence then you do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada as a visitor.


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Temporary Resident Visa

1. How long will my visitor visa be valid?

Visitors to Canada will automatically be considered for a multiple-entry visa. You may be granted a visa valid for up to 10 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.  However, we cannot issue visitor visas with a validity that exceeds the passport validity. So if your passport will expire soon, you may want to renew it before you apply for your Canadian visa.

2. How long can I stay in Canada? Can I visit the United States and return to Canada?

The duration of your stay in Canada will be decided by the immigration officer at the Port of Entry (airport or highway border crossing). The usual amount of time is six months from the day you arrive. If you think you will want to stay in Canada for more than six months, or if you will be visiting the United States and returning to Canada during your trip, explain the circumstances to the immigration officer when you arrive.

3. I am part of an official delegation that will travel to Canada. I filled in an application months ago but have heard nothing about my visa. Why is it taking so long?

Please check with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or other authorized institutions about your application before writing directly to our office. All applications for visas for official delegations are submitted to foreign embassies by the MFA or other authorized institutions. This is a requirement of the Government of the PRC, not of our Consulate. Sometimes it takes several weeks for the MFA to submit completed applications, collect the passports, and return them to the holders once our office reaches a decision. Keep in mind that our office also has processing standards.

4. I am not going to visit Canada, but my flight stops in Canada on the way to my final destination. Do I still need a visa?

Yes. If you are transiting through Canada to another country destination within 48 hours, you will require a Temporary Resident Visitor Visa known as a Transit Visa. The application process is the same as above, but there is no application fee. For countries and territories that are transit visa exempt.

5. Do I need a Canadian visa even if I already have a US visa?

Yes.

6. Can I visit Canada while I have an immigration application in process?

You may apply for a temporary resident visa even if you have a permanent resident application in process, but to be successful, you must be able to convince a visa officer that you would leave Canada at the end of your proposed visit.

7. I live in Canada. How do I invite a friend or relative to visit me?

The documents that are required from the inviter(s) are listed in the Application Kit, Please download the Application Kit and read the instructions carefully.

8. What advice can you give a Canadian resident inviting a business person from China to visit?

Business between Canada and China grows every year, and with it the number of applications for visas made by Chinese business people. Unfortunately, this increase in applications includes not only bona fide visitors who have legitimate business reasons for making temporary visits, but also applicants who submit fraudulent or misleading documents. As a result, our office often checks with the Canadian invitors to ensure that an invitation that has been extended is genuine. The verification process takes time. It is intended, however, to protect the reputation and business interests of Canadian companies. You also should keep in mind that many businesses are still largely state-run, and so representatives may be considered officials by the PRC government, which can slow the visa application process (please see #3 above).

Before writing to our Embassy to request information about the case of a business person whom you have invited, please remember that it is the Visa Section, and not the Commercial Section, that has the final say in issuing visas. The visa section cannot provide information about a visa application without the written consent of the applicant.

If you intend to invite a business person, you should provide that person with the following documents that they will submit with their application to prevent our office from requesting them at a later date:

  • formal letter of invitation that includes your full name and title, business address, contact telephone and facsimile numbers, the name and title of the person you are inviting, the intended duration of the visit, a brief summary of the reason for extending the invitation, and a statement concerning who will pay for the trip expenses;
  • a copy of any additional documents that outline the business to be conducted during the visit or previously conducted with the business of the person you are inviting, which may include, but would not be limited to:
    -contracts, purchase orders, bills of landing, or service agreements, contact names, titles, addresses, and phone and facsimile numbers for third parties with whom you have arranged meetings on behalf of the person you are inviting;
    -notarized copy of your immigration status document (if you are a temporary resident of Canada, to prove that you are legally in Canada).

In addition, if you have not previously invited any Chinese business visitors or have not invited within the past two years, please provide a copy of your Canadian business registration document, and a copy of the Summary of your most recent Corporate Notice of Assessment form from Canada Customs and Revenues Agency.

9. Who can be an inviter?

Please be advised that anyone living in Canada, or with legal status in Canada may act as an inviter. If you are inviting a friend, family member or business associate please download the Application Kit for a complete list of required documents.

Please visit our website for more information on how to write a letter of invitation. Please do not mail or fax the invitation letter prior to the submission of the application. Documents or letters of support that are submitted independently of an application will not be kept on file and will not be considered.

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Short Term Study (6 months or less)

1. Can I study at a Canadian College or University?

Canadian colleges, universities and technical institutes encourage applications from qualified international students. If you are going to study in Canada, you need a Study Permit. Applicants going to study in any field in Canada for less than 6 months only, do not require a Study Permit and will be processed as visitors. If you intend to study in the province of Quebec, you must also have received a certificate of acceptance from the Quebec Government.

2. How much money will I need during my studies in Canada?

To obtain a Study Permit you must demonstrate that you will have enough money during your stay in Canada to pay for tuition fees, books, living expenses for yourself and accompanying dependants, and return transportation for both yourself and accompanying dependants. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada guidelines, you will require approximately $10,000 CAD per year, not including tuition fees, to cover your living expenses. If your dependants are planning to accompany or join you, you will require an additional $4,000 for the first dependant, and $3,000 for each subsequent dependant, in addition to return airfare.

3. If my application is refused, will the Consulate help me to get back money paid to the school in Canada?

No.

4. Can my spouse and/or child come with me to Canada, or visit me at a later date?

If you proceed to Canada alone, it is possible that your dependants will not be able to join you there. If you wish your spouse and/or child to accompany you to Canada or to join you at a later date, you must provide proof that you will be able to support them (please see #2 above). Since funding provided by Canadian institutions or governmental organizations is normally sufficient for one person only, you will likely be required to provide proof of additional funding and/or savings. Your dependants will also be required to demonstrate to a visa officer that they have sufficient ties to China to ensure their departure from Canada.

5. Is there a quota for Chinese students in Canada?

No.

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Work Permit

1. Do I need a Work Permit?

The Work Permit Application Kit is for all applicants wishing to work in Canada for a temporary period. This includes Post-doctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars, Live-in Caregivers and Intra-company transferees.

2. Can I get an "open" Work Permit to work for any employer?

No.

3. When should I apply?

Please apply well in advance. Our office will endeavour to process Work Permit applications in 3-4 months. Please note that application processing times may take longer if further information or medical exams are required. Our office is unable to provide exact information regarding each application prior to submission and there is no express service.

In all cases an application will be delayed if the Visa Office has to take extra steps to assess your case. Both the applicant and the employer should make sure that the information and documents that are requested in the application kit are complete prior to the submission of an application. Processing standard in Shanghai will vary according to the number of applications received.

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Returning Residents

1. Do I need a returning resident permit?

If you are a Permanent Resident outside Canada and do not have a valid Permanent Resident Card, your Permanent Resident Card has expired, or you have lost your Permanent Resident Card, and you wish to return to Canada, you need to apply for a Travel Document.

2. When should I apply?

Please check our processing times prior to application.

In all cases an application will be delayed if the Visa Office has to take extra steps to assess your case. The applicant should make sure that the information, documents and fees that are requested in the application kit are complete prior to the submission of an application. Processing times in Shanghai will vary according to the number of applications received.

3. When I have a new passport is it valid with my Permanent Resident
Card?

You may use your Permanent Resident Card (Maple Leaf Card) with any valid passport.

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Date Modified:
2014-02-14