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What is Canada’s Visitor Visa and How to Apply?  

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By Rueben W.

 What is Canada’s Visitor Visa and How to Apply?

The Great White North is a bucket list item for all travelers with a sense of adventure. There are too many amazing places to visit and sites to see to ever skip over this beautiful country. From aurora borealis in the north to Niagara Falls in the south, the wild Atlantic in the east to the Canadian Rockies in the west, an unforgettable experience awaits. But before you go, what is Canada’s visitor visa and how to apply? These questions and more are about to be answered right here.

The Canadian flag
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

What is the Canadian Tourist Visa?

The Canadian tourist visa is a permit that allows you to travel to Canada and visit for up to six months at a time. If you visit Canada on this permit, it is imperative that you do not stay past the dates provided for on your permit and that you do not stay for longer than you are allowed to. If you do, it could result in you never being allowed to re-enter Canada again. This permit can be issued in one of two ways:

  1. An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – passport holders from certain countries can apply for a permit to visit Canada entirely online. The fee is only $7, and no outside assistance is required to obtain this permit. Requests are usually processed within a day or two. Make sure you bring your ArriveCAN receipt, which will be emailed to you when you arrive at border control.
  2. Visitor Visa – this one takes a slightly longer and more administrative process for passport holders from countries who do not qualify for an eTA. If your application is successful, you will be granted an official document that is stamped in your passport. You can apply for either single or multiple entry visas. While you may be able to submit a lot of the required forms and documents online, you will likely be required to give biometric information in person at your local consulate. If the process seems like it may be overwhelming or confusing, or you simply don’t have the time, you can enlist the services of a Canadian immigration professional to assist you.

Read more here about Canada’s Visitor Visa.

How Long Can You Stay?

Your Canadian Visitor Visa will allow you to stay for up to six months in the country. When you arrive at your port of entry, border services will ask what your plans are while visiting Canada. If your answers seem evasive, they may allow you to stay for less time and will indicate this in your passport. Be careful with your answers. If, for example, you say you will be looking for a job, they may not allow you entry at all.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for a Canadian Visa?

The basic visa application requirements for a tourist visa are that you must hold a valid travel document, be in good health, and have no past criminal convictions. You will need to show that you have ties such as a job, financial assets, or a family that will take you back to your home country. You must also show that you have enough money to cover the cost of your trip. Lastly, and most importantly, you must be eligible for entry to Canada.

What Should I See in Canada?

It’s hard to know where to begin, mostly since it depends on your interests because depending on the season, there really is something for everybody.

Hiking – the Canadian Rockies are a vast, majestic mountain range with world-renowned national parks such as Jasper and Banff, which are home to thousands of miles of incredible trails.

Sightseeing – from the CN Tower in Toronto to a taste of Europe in old Quebec, Canada’s past is storied and steeped in fascinating history. From monuments of old to some of the quirkier sights (we’re looking at you, Mac the Moose), there is plenty to discover in Canada.

Eating – let’s face it, one of the main reasons anyone goes anywhere is to taste the local foods. Well, you won’t be disappointed with Canadian fare. Get ready for beaver tails, lobster rolls, berry pie, and best of all, poutine!

Partying – Our city boasts an amazing nightlife scene. Gastown in downtown Vancouver has some of the best live music venues and nightclubs in the world, and the same goes for Toronto, and just about every town will have a bar or pub with a few friendly faces.

Activities – from skiing down mountains and ice skating on frozen lakes in the winter to hiking the same mountains, swimming, and canoeing in the same lakes in summer, the number of activities both indoor and outdoor to be enjoyed in Canada are endless.

With so many incredible experiences to be had in Canada, you should be on the next flight out! Are you ready to discover Canada? For more information on what Canada’s visitor visa is and how to apply, visit CanadianVisa.org.