When You Need To Apply for a Visitor Visa in Canada

by | Jun 25, 2024

A Visitor Visa, also known as a Temporary Resident Visa, allows individuals from other countries to stay in Canada for up to 6 months. Although applying for a visitor visa may seem daunting, supplying all the requested information will simplify the process. Depending on your circumstances, you may require entirely different documentation altogether. Read on to learn more. 

Determine Your Eligibility

Before you start the application process, you must determine your eligibility for a visitor visa. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the purpose of your visit and your country of citizenship.

To be eligible for a Canadian visitor visa, you must have a valid passport, be in good health to travel, and have enough funds to support yourself during your stay. You must also demonstrate your intention to return home after your visit. 

The application process will be more complicated for individuals with criminal records or previous immigration violations. 


Check the List of Countries Requiring a Visitor Visa

Canada maintains a list of nations whose citizens require a visitor visa to enter. This list is regularly updated and can be found on the government’s official website. If your country is on the list, you must apply for a visitor visa before arriving in Canada. 

Remember to allow sufficient time for the visa application process. The waiting period varies depending on your home country and the time of year. Count on your request taking at least one month to process. 



If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program, you won’t need to apply for a visitor visa. With eTA status, citizens of participating countries can travel in Canada for up to 90 days without a visitor’s visa. 

Citizens of countries on the eTA list who hold valid passports are eligible to apply for an eTA.The application process is simple and can be done online. It is usually considered much easier to obtain than a visitor visa. 

Visitors from approved countries may not even require an eTA if arriving by boat, cruise ship, train, or from a vehicle entering via the United States. 

As Canada’s next-door neighbours, permanent residents of the United States are typically exempt from the visitor visa requirement. However, Americans are still subject to certain conditions and restrictions. 

Are you unsure whether or not you are visitor visa exempt? If so, it’s always best to check with an immigration consultant before finalizing your travel plans. 


Understand the Application Process

Applying for a visitor visa to Canada involves several steps: 

  1. Complete the Online Visa Application: Fill out the online application form, providing accurate and truthful information.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, travel itinerary, and proof of funds.
  3. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required fee using an accepted payment method.
  4. Submit the Application: Submit the completed application and supporting documents to the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.
  5. Wait for Processing: The processing time for a visitor visa application can vary; check the current processing times and plan accordingly.
  6. Receive a Decision: Once the application is processed, you will receive a decision on your visa application. If approved, you will be issued a visitor visa.

In some cases, you may be required to provide a police certificate from your home country or any country where you have lived for a significant period. You may also need to provide additional supporting documents such as a letter of invitation, proof of enrollment in a conference or event, or medical treatment.

The processing time for a visitor visa application to Canada can vary depending on various factors, including the volume of applications, the complexity of the case, and the processing office’s workload. You can always check your application’s status online

Plan Ahead

Careful planning is necessary when applying for a visitor visa to Canada. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Best Times to Apply: You should apply for a visitor visa well before your travel dates. Allow at least one full month for processing. Applying early will reduce your stress levels as you make your preparations. 
  2. Understanding Visa Validity and Length of Stay: Visitor visas are typically valid for up to six months, but the length of stay allowed in Canada can vary. Your travel plans must align with the visa validity and conditions.
  3. Return Ticket: When entering Canada, it is advisable to have a return ticket or evidence of future travel. This documentation helps demonstrate your intention to leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

When planning your trip to Canada, you need to be organized. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your trip:

  1. What to Pack: Ensure you have all the essential travel documents, such as your passport, visa (or electronic travel authorization), and any required medical or vaccination records. Pack appropriate clothing, personal items, and any necessary medications. Ensure you have a valid credit card for expenses.
  2. Arriving in Canada: Familiarize yourself with the customs and immigration procedures at the port of entry. Be prepared to present your travel documents, answer any questions from customs officials, and declare any goods or items you are bringing into the country.

Being well-prepared and informed reduces the chances of delay at your point of entry. 

Seek Professional Assistance

Not every visit to Canada is straightforward, and people’s circumstances differ. 

If you have concerns about something in your past that may prevent entry, an immigration consultant can advise on the necessary steps to improve your chances of success.

Suppose you are applying for a visitor visa in Canada with a criminal record. In that case, it’s crucial to be transparent and honest in your application. Provide all requested documentation, including details of your conviction, and explain any rehabilitation efforts and other relevant information.

In other cases of visa refusal or inadmissibility, a Canadian immigration consultant consultant can reevaluate your application. Even if you’ve been denied entry, you can still appeal and overcome any issues using the right approach. 


Are You Ready to Apply for Your Visitor Visa? 

Volte Intercontinental Visa and Immigration, Inc. can help you acquire the documentation you need to visit Canada and prevent any hassles during your stay. 

Remember, just because you have a visitor’s visa or an eTA doesn’t mean you are guaranteed entry. 

And if you plan on seeking employment in Canada during your visit, consider applying for a work permit instead. Understanding the process and your responsibilities will make your travel much more enjoyable. If you’re unsure where to begin or have more questions, filling out our no-commitment assessment form is a great place to start.