A temporary resident / visitor visa is an official document stamped in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements needed to travel to Canada.

Most travelers require a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need a visa if you are transiting through a Canadian airport on your way to your final destination.

Travel Documents Required

You must meet some basic requirements to travel to Canada. You must:

  • Have a valid travel document, like a passport
  • Be in good health
  • Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • Convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
  • Convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • Have enough money for your stay.
  • The amount of money you will need depends on how long you will stay and if you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
  • You may also need a medical exam and letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.

Some people are not admissible to Canada, which means they are not allowed to enter the country. You can be inadmissible for several reasons, including being involved in:

  • Criminal activity
  • Human rights violations
  • Organized crime

The Canadian visitor visa application involves a two-step process:

First Step: The foreign national must first submit a visit visa application to the responsible Canadian visa office in the country or region where they reside. At this time, the applicant may need to attend an interview where the visa officer will verify the applicant’s reasons for visiting Canada, the applicant’s ability or willingness to leave Canada within the visa validity date and the applicant’s overall admissibility to Canada.

Second Step: Once a visit visa has been issued, the applicant may land in Canada. At the port of entry an immigration officer will question the applicant to ensure admissibility.

A visitor visa may be for single entry or multiple entry use. Single entry visas may be issued up to six months before the expected date of travel. The maximum validity date for multiple entry visitor visas is up to ten (10) years or one month prior to the expiry date on the passport/re-entry visa, whichever is earlier. POE officers will routinely grant entry for a period of six months to a person requesting entry as a visitor.

A foreign national who has an immigrant visa already in process is not prohibited from applying for a temporary resident visa.

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