Who Needs to Get a Canadian Visitor Visa?

A visitor visa is also known as a Temporary Resident Visa and it allows people from other countries to enter Canada. It is an official immigration document and anyone that is wanting to visit Canada from a country that is not visa-exempt will need to apply for one. This applies to temporary workers, visitors and students.

How to Get Started with Your Application

Canadian visas for visitors are categorized into 2 different types including:

  • Single-entry visas
  • Multiple-entry visas

If you are granted a single-entry visa you will only be allowed to enter Canada one time. Multiple-entry visas, on the other hand, allow individuals to enter and then leave the country multiple times as long as the visa remains valid. If you are wondering whether you should be applying for a single or multiple type of visa, this is a question that you don’t need to consider. When you submit the application you will be automatically applying for a multiple-entry visa and if you aren’t accepted for that type you’ll be considered instead for a single-entry visa. The single-entry visas are only provided when unique circumstances exist.

Multiple-Entry Canadian Visitor Visas

A visitor visa that allows you multiple entries into Canada allow the holder of the visa to remain in Canada for up to 6 months at a time. This is assuming of course that the visa is still valid. The maximum amount of time that a visa may remain valid is 10 years but the visa officer that issues the document can determine the time frame of the validity period.

If you currently have another type of document like a work or a study permit and qualify for a visa, you will automatically get a visitor visa. This will allow you to come into the country where you will receive your visa permit. In most cases you will be receiving a visa that allows for multiple entries into Canada. If you need to leave the country temporarily while you are studying or working, there is no need to re-apply for another visitor visa to enter Canada again – assuming that your visa and your permit still remain valid.

When You Will Require a Canadian Visitor Visa

Anyone that wants to enter the country without a visitor visa must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Be travelling from a country that is visa-exempt

For example, American citizens and permanent residents of the United States that are travelling from that country do not have to apply for a visitor visa in order to enter Canada. There are other countries as well that are visa-exempt. If you live in a country that is not visa-exempt but you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you’ll be able to travel back into the country without requiring a visitor visa.

Expired Permanent Residency Cards

If a person’s permanent residency card has reached the date of expiration he is not allowed to apply for a visitor visa. Instead, these individuals must apply for a PRTD (permanent resident travel document). As well, Canadian citizens and dual citizens cannot submit an application for a visitor visa. They must have a Canadian passport that is valid. If the citizen is travelling to Canada for business purposes, however, and not as a foreign temporary worker, he may need to apply for a business visitor visa.

Visa-Exempt Countries

Canada has a number of agreements set up with different countries allowing individuals from these countries to travel to Canada without a visa. People travelling to Canada from these countries are allowed to stay for up to 6 months at a time. If foreign nationals coming from countries that are visa-exempt plan to travel to Canada by air, they must hold an electronic travel authorization that is valid.

If travelling by sea or by land, however, the only document required is a valid passport that has been issued by the country that is visa-exempt. There is one exception to this rule and this applies to United States citizens. Every day thousands of people travel across the Canada/US border, which is the world’s longest land border that remains undefended. US citizens are able to make their way into Canada with a US passport that is still valid. As long as they don’t plan on staying more than 6 months, the passport is enough and no electronic travel authorization or visitor visa is necessary.

Permanent residents of the US or holders of green cards are also visa-exempt but they must have an electronic travel authorization to fly into Canada. They must also present a valid passport and green card to gain admittance into the country.

How to Submit an Application for Travel to Canada

The application for a visitor visa can be filled out online or a paper application can be filled out instead. Every member of a family must submit a separate application and this also includes dependent children, but all of the documents can be submitted together. There may be additional biometric information required depending on the citizenship of the person applying. In some cases a photograph and fingerprints are required and if you need to submit this additional information you will receive a prompt to do so.

How to Extend a Visitor Visa

Both multiple and single-entry visas allow you to stay in Canada for a period lasting up to 6 months. After this time, if you remain in the country, you will be staying illegally. If you want to extend your stay so that you can remain in Canada for longer than 6 months you must submit your application when your visa status is still valid. It’s highly recommended that you apply for the extension of the visa a minimum of 30 days before the expiration of your temporary resident status. Find out more about applying for visitor visas and the type of insurance you’ll need to get approved for one by visiting our website now at https://comparebuysave.ca.