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Visiting Canada

The following information will guide you in applying for a temporary resident visa to Canada. You will also find more information on visiting Canada on Citizenship and Immigration Canada site.

  1. Do I need a visa?
  2. What types of visas are there?
  3. How do I get an application form?
  4. What are the processing fees?
  5. How do I apply?
  6. What are the basic requirements for a visitor visa?
  7. What documents should I provide to obtain a visitor visa?
  8. I live in Canada. How do I invite a friend or relative to visit me?
  9. I live in Canada. How do I invite my parent(s) to visit me?
  10. I live in Canada. How do I invite a business person to visit?
  11. My application was refused. What can I do about it?
  12. What can I do to support the application of my friend, relative, or business contact who was refused? Can I find out what the reasons were?
  13. I am a holder of a single entry Temporary Resident Visa. I also have a valid USA visa. Will I be able to visit the USA from Canada and subsequently return to Canada on my single entry visa?
  14. The Family Information Form (which is an integral part of the Temporary Resident Visa application form) requires that I provide the addresses of my family members. Which addresses should I provide?
  15. I am employed on an unofficial basis and cannot provide a work certificate in support of my application. What should I do?
  16. I have a criminal record. Can I apply for a visa?
  17. How long can I remain in Canada on the Temporary Resident Visa that was issued to me?
  18. Can I work in Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa?
  19. Can I study in Canada on a TRV?
  20. I intend to apply for a multiple entry visa. My passport expires in one year’s time. If a visa is issued to me, would it remain valid beyond the expiry date of my passport?
  21. What does the expiry date printed on my visa mean?
  22. My children (both under 18 years of age) are listed on my passport. Is my passport sufficient for us to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa?
  23. I am on holiday and am spending just a few days in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Can I submit my application to Warsaw or must I apply in the country where I usually reside?
  24. If I submit my application in person rather than by mail, can I get my visa the same day?
  25. Is an invitation stating that my expenses will be paid for me sufficient as proof of my financial situation?
  26. My child aged under 16 years will be applying for a Temporary Resident Visa. He or she intends to travel alone to Canada. What must he/she present along with his passport?
  27. Do I have to take out medical insurance for my stay in Canada?
  28. 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?

 

1. Do I need a visa?

Citizens of Belarus require temporary resident visas in order to visit Canada.

Citizens of Estonia and Latvia do not require temporary resident visas in order to visit Canada.

Citizens of Lithuania and Poland do not require temporary resident visas if they are holders of biometric passports (i.e. Polish and Lithuanian passports issued as of 28 August 2006) Citizens of Lithuania and Poland require temporary resident visa to visit Canada if they are holders of passports issued before 28 August 2006.

All stateless persons  require a temporary resident visa in order to visit Canada.

Citizens of Belarus require a visa to enter Canada as visitors.

United States of America permanent residents [Green Card holders] who are in possession of their status document or who can provide other evidence of permanent residence do not require a visa to visit Canada.

If you are a citizen of another country, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada site to see if you require a visitor visa to enter Canada.

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2. What types of visas are there?


A single entry visa allows you to enter Canada only once. If you have a valid USA visa and are visiting the USA on your trip to Canada, the visa may also be used for repeated entries into Canada from the USA within the time allowed for your stay in Canada.

A multiple entry visa allows you to enter Canada from any country as often as you wish during the validity of the visa. A multiple entry visa can be valid for up to five years or until one month before the expiry date of the passport, whichever comes first.

A transit visa is required when a traveller will be in Canada for 48 hours or less en route to another country. There is no fee for a transit visa, which can be issued as either a single or multiple entry. The applicant must demonstrate to the visa officer that they have an onward ticket and a visa, if required, for their ultimate destination.

The visa validity is determined by a visa officer. Single-entry visas are normally valid for six months, and multiple-entry visas may be valid for longer periods, even up to five years. The validity date on the visa (or “enter by” date) is the day by which you must enter, not leave, Canada. The officer at a Canadian port of entry will determine the length of stay allowed.
We cannot issue visitor visas with a validity that exceeds the passport validity. If your passport will expire soon, you may want to renew it before you apply for your Canadian visa.

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3. How do I get an application form?


Download the application.

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4. What are the processing fees?


The application fee schedule.

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5. How do I apply?


You can apply by courier, mail, through a travel agent, by leaving your application during working hours or in person.

We do not interview every applicant for a visa.

Find our opening hours and learn about the methods of submitting your application.

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6. What are the basic requirements for a visitor visa?


All applicants wishing to visit Canada must satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for the stay, that they will not contravene the conditions of admission (for example, that they will not work or study without prior authorization) and that they do not belong in a category of persons inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

In reaching a decision, an officer considers several factors, which may include:

  • the applicant's travel and identity documents;
  • the reason for travel to Canada and the applicant's contacts there;
  • the applicant's financial means for the trip and those of the hosts;
  • the applicant's ties to his or her country of residence, including immigration status, employment and family ties;
  • whether the applicant would be likely to leave Canada at the end of the authorized stay.
  • whether the applicant would be likely to engage in illegal work while in Canada.

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7. What documents should I provide to obtain a visitor visa?

Please refer to the website  How to apply for a temporary resident visa

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


If you are inviting a friend or relative to visit, please link to the checklist above which indicates what documents are required as part of an application.

Please remember that although you may provide documentation in support of an application of a friend or relative, 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 others may be prepared to offer on that person's behalf.

Please refer to the website  How to apply for a temporary resident visa

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9. I live in Canada. How do I invite my parent(s) to visit me?


You should make sure that you provide evidence of your employment and income in Canada, such as a current letter from your employer and a Notice of Assessment issued by the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency for the previous tax year.

Please refer to the website  How to apply for a temporary resident visa

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10. I live in Canada. How do I invite a business person to visit?


You should make sure that you provide a signed and dated letter confirming the invitation and explaining the purpose of the visit.

Please refer to the website  How to apply for a temporary resident visa

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


Written reasons for the refusal are given to unsuccessful visa applicants. There is no formal appeal mechanism for visa refusals of visitor applicants.
If your circumstances have changed appreciably and you believe that they would result in a different decision, you may wish to reapply.

An applicant can reapply at any time. Please note, however, that a person should do so only if his/her circumstances have changed appreciably and he/she believes that they would convince a visa officer to arrive at a different decision. If there is no change in an applicant’s situation, then it is unlikely that a new application would result in the issuance of a visa.

More information on what to do if an application is refused.

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


Please remember that although you may provide documentation in support of an application of a friend, relative, or business contact, 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 others may be prepared to offer on that person's behalf.

As a federal government department, we are bound by the Privacy Act not to discuss the details 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 (PDF * 39.38 KB) to do so.

More information on what to do if an application is refused.

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13. I am a holder of a single entry Temporary Resident Visa. I also have a valid USA visa. Will I be able to visit the USA from Canada and subsequently return to Canada on my single entry visa?


Yes. If you have a valid USA visa and are visiting the USA on your trip to Canada, the visa may also be used for repeated entries into Canada from the USA within the time allowed for your stay in Canada.

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14. The Family Information Form (which is an integral part of the Temporary Resident Visa application form) requires that I provide the addresses of my family members. Which addresses should I provide?


You should provide the present addresses of your family members, i.e. the addresses, at which they are currently staying, rather than their official or registered addresses where they are not in fact living.

If your family members are residing or staying abroad, you should provide their address in the country in which they are presently residing or staying, regardless of whether their residence or stay in that country is legal or illegal.

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15. I am employed on an unofficial basis and cannot provide a work certificate in support of my application. What should I do?


You should indicate your employment on your application form and attach a written explanation, accompanied by any available evidence that you are in fact making an income.
 

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16. I have a criminal record. Can I apply for a visa?


Yes. You must provide information about the nature of your conviction in the relevant space on your application form. You should also provide a recent police certificate and the original conviction certificate.

Please note that not all convictions result in a visa refusal. We will look at the documents you provide and determine whether your conviction will or will not result in inadmissibility to Canada.

You should not conceal information about your conviction from us. If we find out about your conviction from other sources, you may become inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.

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17. How long can I remain in Canada on the Temporary Resident Visa that was issued to me?


The length of your authorized stay in Canada is determined by the officer at a Canadian port of entry. This period will be recorded under the Canadian entry stamp in your passport. If there are no remarks under the entry stamp, you are allowed to remain in Canada for a period of up to six months.
You should note, however, that the visa issued to you at this office was issued on the basis of your intended period of stay in Canada, as indicated by you in your application form. If you remain in Canada for a longer period than initially indicated, the credibility of the statements made by you at the time of any future application could be affected.

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18. Can I work in Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa?


No. A Work Permit is required in order to work in Canada.

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19. Can I study in Canada on a TRV?


Yes. You may study at a course with a maximum duration of six months. You must obtain a Study Permit for longer courses of study.

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20. I intend to apply for a multiple entry visa. My passport expires in one year’s time. If a visa is issued to me, would it remain valid beyond the expiry date of my passport?


No. Any visa issued to you would expire before the expiry date of your passport. If your passport is cancelled and no longer valid for travel, the Canadian visa issued in that passport becomes void automatically.

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21. What does the expiry date printed on my visa mean?


It means the final date by which you must enter Canada. Once you have arrived in Canada, an officer at a Canadian port of entry will determine how long you can remain.

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22. My children (both under 18 years of age) are listed on my passport. Is my passport sufficient for us to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa?


Yes, but only if your children’s photographs were affixed in your passport by the passport issuing authority of the country, which issued your passport. A letter of authorisation for the children’s travel from their other parent will also be required if he/she is not applying together with you.

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23. I am on holiday and am spending just a few days in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. Can I submit my application to Warsaw or must I apply in the country where I usually reside?


Although it is preferable to submit your application for a Temporary Resident Visa to the office responsible for the country where you usually reside, you may submit it to Warsaw.

See List of countries and the corresponding visa offices.

Please note that the visa officer will want to know why you did not apply in your home country.

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24. If I submit my application in person rather than by mail, can I get my visa the same day?


A visa can usually be issued the same day. For citizens of certain countries or in more complex cases (if further information is required) the processing can take several days, even several weeks.

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25. Is an invitation stating that my expenses will be paid for me sufficient as proof of my financial situation?


When an application for a Temporary Resident Visa, the applicant’s general financial situation is taken into account. You must therefore submit proof of your own financial situation, notwithstanding the invitation from your host in Canada. If your host is offering to support your visit, he/she must provide evidence, such as a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment of his/her ability to do so.

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26. My child aged under 18 years will be applying for a Temporary Resident Visa. He or she intends to travel alone to Canada. What must he/she present along with his passport?


If your child is applying in person, he/she must be accompanied by one parent or guardian. The application must include the original (not a photocopy) of the child’s birth certificate (full version) and a letter of authorization from both parents stating that they are aware of the child’s travel to Canada and that they consent to it. It should also include the name of the adult who will be responsible for the child in Canada.

If one or both of the parents are deceased, a death certificate should be provided. If both parents are deceased, consent of the child’s legal guardian must be attached along with court documents confirming the guardianship.

If the whereabouts of one of the parents are unknown, but the parent was not deprived of parental rights, you must obtain the consent of the court in your jurisdiction for the child’s travel to Canada.

The application should also include a letter of invitation from the host in Canada and documents confirming the financial arrangements for the trip. Certificates of employment and income from the child’s parent(s) or guardian should also be provided. 

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27. Do I have to take out medical insurance for my stay in Canada?


Medical costs can be very high in Canada. We strongly recommend that you take out insurance valid for your entire stay in Canada.


28.   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.


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Date Modified:
2013-03-14