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Visa waiver for citizens of Poland

You might find the following questions and answers helpful:

1. I am a Polish citizen. What documents do I need in order to enter Canada as a visitor?

You need a valid Polish machine readable passport. You may proceed to Canada directly and do not need to appear at the Canadian Embassy before you travel.

Holders of non-biometric Polish passports  require a Temporary Resident Visa in order to enter Canada as a visitor. Biometric passports are all passports issued by the Polish government as of 28 August 2006 (except temporary passports, which are not biometric).

1A. How can I find out whether my passport is machine readable?

A machine readable passport is a passport, which can be scanned with the use of appropriate computer equipment. The vast majority of valid passports issued by the Polish authorities are machine readable. However, some passports issued by Polish diplomatic missions abroad may not be machine readable (especially passports completed by hand, which do not have a machine readable strip at the bottom of the photo/personal information page). If in doubt, please enquire at your local passport office in Poland, a Polish diplomatic mission nearest to you or simply send us an e-mail with a scanned copy of the photo/personal information page of your passport.

2. How long will I be allowed to remain in Canada as a visitor?

The period of time that a person is allowed to remain in Canada is determined by an Immigration Officer when you arrive at a Canadian port of entry (airport or land border). Unless stated otherwise, this period is up to six months.

2A What can I do if I want to stay in Canada longer than six months?

After your arrival in Canada, you may apply for an extension of time. Details and application forms can be found on our web site at www.cic.gc.ca.

3. I would like to study in Canada. Do I need a Study Permit?

It depends. If the duration of your course of study in Canada is under six months, you may study in Canada without a Study Permit. If you intend to study in Canada for a period of more than six months, you should apply for a Study Permit.

If your initial course of study is under six months, but you intend to continue your studies in Canada at another course immediately afterwards, you should apply for a Study Permit. Once you obtain a Study Permit abroad, you may extend it in Canada. You may not, however, obtain a Study Permit in Canada, if you enter Canada as a visitor.

4. I would like to work in Canada. Do I need a Work Permit?

Yes. It is illegal to work in Canada without a work permit. A work permit can be obtained at the Visa Section in Warsaw. The processing of an application can take as little as one day. For more information on working in Canada, please visit our web site at www.cic.gc.ca.

5. I am a stateless person, but have been residing in Poland for several years. Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa in order to visit Canada?

Yes. The waiver of the Temporary Resident Visa requirement is for only for citizens of Poland. Stateless persons who are residents of Poland but who are not citizens of the country do not qualify for the waiver. For nationals of other countries, please visit our web site at www.cic.gc.ca to determine whether you need a Temporary Resident Visa.

6. I am a holder of a Polish passport, which was issued in 2003 and is valid until 2013. Can I enter Canada as a visitor without a visa?

No. Holders of non-biometric Polish passports require a Temporary Resident Visa in order to enter Canada as a visitor. Biometric passports are all passports issued by the Polish government as of 28 August 2006 (except temporary passports, which are not biometric).

7. I am travelling with my child, who is under 18 years of age. The father of the child will not be travelling with us. Is my child's Polish passport sufficient for her/him to enter Canada?

No. The Canadian government takes the issue of kidnapping very seriously which is why we require travelling minors to be properly documented. Therefore, you should also bring your child's birth certificate and a notarized consent from the child's father allowing her/his travel to Canada. The documents must be translated into English or French.

8. Our child, who is under 18 years of age, will be travelling to Canada alone. Is my child's Polish passport sufficient for her/him to enter Canada?

No. The Canadian government takes the issue of kidnapping very seriously which is why we require travelling minors to be properly documented. Therefore, your child should also bring her/his birth certificate and a notarized consent from her/his parents authorizing travel to Canada.  The application should also include the name of the adult who will be responsible for the child in Canada.The documents must be translated into English or French.

9. I was refused a visa to Canada in the past. Can I travel to Canada without a visa now that the requirement has been lifted?

Yes, providing that the visa was not refused due to a criminal, medical or other inadmissibility.

10. I had a criminal conviction in Poland in the past. Can I travel to Canada now that the visa requirement has been lifted?

No, because you may be inadmissible to Canada. You should visit the Visa Section in Warsaw along with your original conviction and a recent police certificate from the Polish authorities. We will assess the information and provide you with an opinion regarding your admissibility to Canada. If you travel to Canada, you risk being turned back to Poland at a Canadian port of entry.

11. I had a criminal conviction in Canada in the past. Can I travel to Canada now that the visa requirement has been lifted?

No, because you may be inadmissible to Canada. You should visit the Visa Section in Warsaw along with any documentation about your conviction in Canada. We will assess the information and provide you with an opinion regarding your admissibility to Canada. If you travel to Canada, you risk being turned back to Poland at a Canadian port of entry.

12. I was refused a visa to Canada for misrepresentation in the past. Can I travel to Canada now that the visa requirement has been lifted?

Yes, but only if two years have passed since the decision to refuse your application was made. If not, you are still inadmissible to Canada. If you travel to Canada before the two year period has elapsed, you risk being turned back to Poland at a Canadian port of entry.

13. A Deportation Order was issued against me in Canada in the past. Can I travel to Canada now that the visa requirement has been lifted?

No, because you may be inadmissible to Canada. You should visit the Visa Section in Warsaw along with any documentation about your deportation. We will assess the information and provide you with an opinion regarding your admissibility to Canada. You may require an Authorization to Return to Canada before you travel. If you travel to Canada, you risk being turned back to Poland at a Canadian port of entry.

14. I have an active application for a Permanent Resident visa at your office. Can I visit Canada while my application is processed?

Yes, you may visit Canada within the period of stay granted by an Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry (usually six months). Please remember that your application for a Permanent Resident visa will have to be finalized and approved before you can reside in Canada permanently. Your application will continue to be processed in Warsaw and could not be transferred to an inland office in Canada. You will therefore have to obtain your Permanent Resident Visa from Warsaw.

15. I am a Permanent Resident of Canada, but have not resided in Canada in the last five years. I intend to visit Canada. Can I travel to Canada on my Polish passport?

A determination will have to be made as to whether you have lost your Permanent Resident status before you are admitted to Canada as a visitor. This determination may either be made at a Canadian port of entry or at the Visa Section in Warsaw. Given the volume of travellers arriving at ports of entry across Canada, you risk delays if you decide to have your Permanent Resident status determination made upon your entry to Canada. A Permanent Resident status determination can be made at the Visa Section in Warsaw. If it is determined that you have lost your Permanent Resident status, an appropriate decision will be issued to you in writing and you will be free to travel to Canada as a visitor. If, on the other hand, there are reasons due to which you have retained your Permanent Resident status, we may issue you a Permanent Resident Travel Document, which will enable you to resume your residence in Canada.

16. I am a Permanent Resident of Canada, but have lost my Permanent Resident Card. I intend to return to Canada. Can I travel to Canada on my Polish passport?

Yes, you may, however a determination will have to be made at a Canadian port of entry that you indeed are a Permanent Resident, before you are admitted to Canada. Given the volume of travellers arriving at ports of entry across Canada, you risk delays if you decide to have your Permanent Resident status determination made upon your entry to Canada. A Permanent Resident status determination can be made at the Visa Section in Warsaw. After the determination is completed, we may issue you a Permanent Resident Travel Document, which will enable you to resume your residence in Canada.

17. I would like to go to Canada for a few months to work while I am on my school holidays or just to earn a little money. How do I do this?

International Experience Canada provides young Poles and young Canadians each year  with the opportunity to acquire professional or hands-on experience, as well as to improve their knowledge of languages, culture and society of the other country, while holding a temporary work permit.

Through International Experience Canada, you can apply for a temporary work permit to travel and work in Canada for up to one year.

18. I intend to visit Canada. Must I have a return ticket with a fixed date of return with me?

There is no requirement that you must purchase a fixed date return ticket in advance. The airline on which you are traveling may require you to have a return ticket with either an open return date or fixed return date before allowing you to travel. You may be questioned at the port of entry to Canada about the length of your intended stay. You would not normally be expected to show evidence of your precise date of departure, only that you are planning to leave Canada at the end of your stay.

19. Who will make the final decision regarding my entry to Canada?

Once you arrive in Canada, you will be greeted by a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. The officer will ask to see your passport. Make sure that you have it with you, and that it is not packed in your luggage. This will speed up your entry to Canada.

Even if you do not need a visa to enter Canada, the officer will ask you a few questions. The officer will confirm that you meet the requirements for admission to Canada. In most cases, this will only take a few minutes.

You will not be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information, or if you do not satisfy the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada. You will also have to convince the officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay in Canada.

The officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. Ask questions if you are unsure about anything.

20. What documents must I have with me when I arrive in Canada?

You must have a valid passport.

You may also bring any other documents which, in your opinion, could convince a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer that you indeed are a genuine visitor to Canada.Such documents are not compulsory and it is entirely your choice whether you bring them with you to Canada or not.

If your child under 18 years of age is travelling alone, she/he should also bring her/his birth certificate and a statement from her/his parents or legal guardians travel to Canada.  It should also include the name of the adult who will be responsible for the child in Canada.The documents must be translated into English or French.

If you are travelling with a child under 18 years of age, you should also bring the child's birth certificate and a statement from the child's parents or legal guardians allowing her/his travel to Canada. The documents must be translated into English or French.

Holders of non-biometric Polish passports  require a Temporary Resident Visa in order to visit Canada. Biometric passports are all passports issued by the Polish government as of 28 August 2006 (except temporary passports, which are not biometric).

21. I was refused a Temporary Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa in the past. Should I contact the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw for advice before travelling to Canada?

No, unless you were refused due to a previous criminal conviction, a medical condition,

a previous deportation from Canada, misrepresentation or commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity. The refusal letter you were given or sent will have stated the reason for the refusal.

22. I intend to travel to Canada in order to study or work and my studies or employment are exempt from a study or work permit. Must I complete a medical examination prior to entering Canada?

Please note that as a citizen from a visa exempt country, travelling to Canada for study or work permit exempt training/ internship/work in health care and certain other related fields you might need to undergo a medical examination by a Designated Medical Practitioner prior to your trip.

You need to undergo a medical examination if your training/ internship/work will:

  1. bring you into close contact with people, namely:
  1. training/internship in the health sciences field, including staff and employees, clinical laboratory workers, patient attendants in nursing and geriatric homes, medical students admitted to Canada to attend university, medical electives and physicians on short-term locums;
  2. teachers of primary or secondary schools or other teachers of small children;
  3. domestics;
  4. workers who give in home care to children, the elderly and the disabled; and
  5. day nursery employees.

Please contact the Immigration Section of the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw if your training/ internship is related to one of the fields mentioned above.

23.  I do not have a biometric passport. I will be travelling to the Dominican Republic or other country for my holiday. My flight will have a refueling stop in Canada. Will I need a Canadian temporary resident visa?

Yes. You will need a transit visa. You must complete the same form and present the same documents as for any other temporary resident visa. You must also include documents concerning your travel arrangements (reservation, ticket or documents from your travel agent). There are no fees for transit visas.

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Date Modified:
2012-10-24