Canada is a developed country in North America that is located directly above the United States. The land of deep green forests surrounded by glints of ice and snow-capped mountains, the refreshing scent of pine trees filling the air, the soothing music of gentle breezes, and the occasional strong wind. Millions of people aspire to live in Canada.
People’s desire to visit Canada has steadily increased in recent years, but most people are unsure how to get there.
What is a Canada Visa?
A Canada visa is a passport stamp that allows you to enter Canada. It is a permit that allows you to enter the country and stay legally for some time or permanently.
A visa to Canada means that the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your home country has ascertained that you are eligible and meet the entry requirements.
However, once you arrive at the Canadian border and customs, it is up to the border officers to determine whether you are eligible to enter or not.
They will let you in if you answer the Canadian Border Services Officer’s (BSO) questions honestly and correctly. Otherwise, even if you have a Canada visa, they can deny you entry if they suspect you are not eligible.
What are the different types of visas available in Canada?
Before you apply for a Canadian visa, you must first decide which visa you want. The following are the different types of visas available in Canada:
- Visitor visas.
- Student visas.
- Work visas.
- Permanent Residence visas.
- Business Immigrant visas.
- Express Entry Program visas.
You must select the one that best fits your purpose for visiting Canada.
Temporary Canada Visas
Temporary Canada visas allow a person to stay in Canada for a set period determined by the Canadian Consulate or Border Services Officers (BSO).
This period can last up to 6 months. The temporary visa, on the other hand, can be single or multiple entries.
A single entry visa allows a person to enter Canada once, stay for six months, and then return home. A multiple entry visa allows a person to enter Canada multiple times before their visa expires and stay for a limited time.
The following are the various types of temporary visas available in Canada:
Tourist visa for Canada
The Visitor Visa, also known as the Tourist Visa, entitles the holder to enter Canada for tourism.
The Canada Super Visa
The Canada Super Visa is a type of tourist visa issued by the government that allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to visit their children or grandchildren for an extended period.
Diplomatic and official visa
The Diplomatic and Official visa allows foreign officials and diplomats to enter Canada for official business.
Courtesy visas are granted to individuals who do not meet the requirements for a Diplomatic or Official visa but are deemed necessary due to their ranks and positions.
Members of trade missions or diplomats with a tourist program, for example, fall into this category.
The Business Visa is issued to individuals or groups of business people travelling to Canada for business purposes.
Visa to give birth in Canada
To give birth in Canada, you must first obtain a visa. This visa is granted to people who meet all of the requirements for a temporary stay in Canada, are pregnant, and intend to give birth in the country. When a baby is born in Canada, he or she automatically becomes a Canadian citizen.
Intentional Organ Donor Visa
This visa is granted to a person visiting Canada to donate an organ to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Facilitation Visas are granted to Canadian citizens who have dual nationality and do not have a Canadian passport but have a passport from another country. Due to the extreme hardships of obtaining a Canadian passport, the facilitation visa is stamped on the person’s other nationality visa.
A Canadian student visa is granted to those who have been allowed to study at a Canadian university. You can only get a TRV visa if you are going to Canada to study for less than six months.
If you plan to study for more than six months, you will need a Student Visa.
Temporary Work Permit
Temporary work visas in Canada are issued to individuals who have a job offer in Canada and intend to work for up to six months.
To obtain this visa, the individual must present a valid job offer letter from an employer and meet the requirements for a temporary visa.
Temporary Residence Permit
This permit is intended for people who need to travel to Canada for various reasons but are not eligible for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). This permit is only valid for the duration of the person’s stay in Canada, such as two weeks for a workshop.
Working Holiday Visa
Young people from 30 countries are granted the Canada Working Holiday Visa, which allows them to work and travel in Canada.
It is a random selection visa, which means applicants will submit applications and then wait to be randomly selected to apply for a work permit.
Permanent Canadian Visas
Permanent Canada visas allow the holder to stay in the country indefinitely. These are also known as immigrant visas and come in a variety of forms, including:
Immigrant Investor Program
The Immigrant Investor Program is for people with a net worth of at least CAD$800,000 who want to invest in the Canadian economy.
They must invest at least CAD$400,000, and the government will return this investment to them without interest after five years.
Startup Visa Program
The Canada Startup Visa is intended for individuals who will be personally involved in contributing to the economy.
They must have a net worth of at least CAD$300,000 and commit to owning and managing at least one-third of a Canadian business, as well as creating and maintaining employment within three years of arriving in Canada.
Self-employed Person Visa
The Self-employed Person visa is intended for people who can start their businesses and have business, athletics, culture, or farming skills. These individuals must demonstrate their ability to finance the business as well as their expertise in those areas.
Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
If you work in one of the required occupations in the Canadian province of Quebec and speak French fluently, you can apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which will allow you to relocate and work permanently there.
The Family Sponsorship Visa allows Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents’ spouses and dependent children to immigrate to Canada permanently.
Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)
This visa is granted to caregivers qualified to care for the elderly, the disabled, or children in a private home in Canada.
Express Entry Visa
The Government of Canada created the Canada Express Entry Program, which is an electronic immigration system.
It allows people from all over the world to apply for permanent residency in Canada based on their specific skills.
This program includes the following:
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) visa is granted to people who are qualified tradespeople in occupations such as:
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Crane Operators
- Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics
- Welders, etc.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) visa is granted to people with professions in demand in Canada.
It would help if you researched the types of occupations required in Canada when you intend to apply and obtain the required points.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
This visa is granted under the Provincial Nominee Program to semi-skilled or low-skilled workers who can contribute to the Canadian economy through their work.
The workers are assigned to different provinces in Canada, where there is a greater demand for their services.
Canadian Experience Class(CEC)
The Canadian Experience Class permanent visa is granted to those who have a temporary student visa or a temporary work visa and want to change their status to permanent resident.
They have either received a Canadian education or have worked in Canada and have integrated into Canadian society.
Visa Application for Canada
The application process for a Canada visa is primarily determined by the type of visa you require.
To apply for a visa to Canada, follow these simple steps:
1. Find out if you qualify for a Canada visa.
The Canadian government has made it very simple to learn how to obtain a Canadian visa. They have developed various tests that assess applicants’ eligibility by asking them to complete an online questionnaire.
You will be asked several questions depending on the type of visa you want, and the system will then tell you whether you can apply or not. It will also send you the necessary instructions and steps to complete all of the requirements.
2. Set up an online account.
It will be specified in the email instructions whether you must apply for a Canada visa online or in person. Most people will have to apply online because the Canadian government is digitizing its records.
You must first create an account before you can do so.
There are two ways to register for the application:
- Because the Canadian Government has partnered with many banks, you can use your online banking login;
- or create a Government of Canada login (GCKey).
You can use whichever one works best for you because you will have to use your banking details to pay the visa fees either way.
Compile the document file
You can begin your Canada visa application after logging into your account. Begin applying for the visa for which you have been deemed eligible using your referral code.
After entering the reference code, the system will display a list of documents required for your Canadian visa application.
Documents Required for a Canada Visa
A Canada visa requires the following documents:
- A valid Passport.
- Appropriate visa application form for Canada.
- Proof of payment of Canada visa fees.
- Evidence of a clean criminal record.
- A medical exam serves as proof of good health.
- Photographs that meet the photo requirements for a Canada visa.
- Financial proof is required.
- Evidence that you will return to your home country when your Canadian visa expires.
- Documents are proving one’s identity and civil status.
- A cover letter outlining the reason for your trip to Canada.
- Letter of recommendation/invitation to Canada.
You must fill out all of these forms online in the system before applying.
Pay the fees
The system will take you to the payment page once it has verified that you have submitted all of the required documents.
Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you will be required to pay Canada visa fees. Your application will be submitted once that is completed.
It will take about five business days to see the application on your account, and if you apply in person, you only need to take those documents to the Canadian Embassy in your home country.
Wait for your Canadian Visa to be processed.
Depending on the type of visa, the Canadian Embassy will process your Canada visa application for two or more weeks.
Furthermore, they may request additional documents or request that you submit your biometrics and attend an interview.
If they request biometrics and an interview, you will be required to visit the Embassy in person, even if you applied online.
You must make an appointment, or the Embassy will do so for you.
You will be required to submit your fingerprints and photographs, as well as answer questions from a Canadian Embassy official, at your appointment.
The official will decide whether or not you qualify for a Canadian visa. They can inform you of their decision immediately following your appointment or later.
All Embassy notifications about your visa will be posted to your account, so keep checking it even if you did not have to submit biometrics or go through an interview.
Submit your passport along with the processing fees.
If your Canada visa application was approved, the next step is to submit your passport to the Canadian Embassy.
This can be done by mailing it to the Embassy’s address in your country, along with the necessary processing fees.
Processing fees range from $20 to $50, depending on the type of visa applied for, and must be paid by check or money order. You must also pay for a passport return envelope. The Embassy will accept your passport and fees, stamp it with the visa, and return it to you via mail.
If you were notified of their decision shortly after the visa interview, you must pay the processing fees and get your passport right away.
Following a Successful Canadian Visa Application
You can travel to Canada once you have received your visa. You will be asked to show your passport and documents at the point of entry. The officials will inspect them and ask you a few questions about your trip to Canada.
Following your response, they will decide whether or not to allow you to enter the country. Officials at the border have the authority to refuse your entry into Canada if they believe you will commit crimes or violate your visa restrictions. Only border officials can guarantee that you will visit Canada if you have a Canadian visa.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Canadian Visa?
The processing time for a Canada visa varies depending on the circumstances. It can take anywhere from two to four weeks and sometimes even longer. Only after the Canadian authorities have received your complete application will your Canadian visa be processed.
If they require you to obtain additional documents, the processing time will be extended.
How Much Does a Canada Visa Cost?
The cost of a visa to Canada varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. There are also various fees to pay, such as a processing fee and a biometrics fee.
A Standard Visitor Visa fee, on the other hand, is $CAN100.
What if your Canada visa application is rejected?
If your Canada visa application is denied, you may reapply at any time, as long as your rejection letter does not state that you are not permitted to reapply.
However, you may reapply only if your situation has changed or have additional information that may assist you in obtaining a Canada visa.
There is no formal process for appealing a decision to grant a tourist visa to Canada. Only refugee and permanent residency applications are eligible for an appeal. The Immigration Appeal Division is in charge of them (IAD).
How to Extend Your Stay in Canada?
If your visitor visa to Canada is about to expire and you want to stay longer, you must apply for a visa extension. This is known as a Canada Visitor Record. You must apply for a visa extension for Canada (visitor record) at least 30 days before your visitor visa expires.
Apart from extending a tourist visa, you can also change your study or work permit to a Visitor Record.
However, a visitor record is only available while you are in Canada.
If you want to leave and return to Canada, you will be denied entry if you have a visitor record.
Is it necessary to submit biometrics with my Canada Visa application?
Regardless of the type of visa applied for, most visa applicants must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) when applying for a Canada visa.
Biometrics can be provided at a Canadian Visa Application Center.
The Canadian embassy will send you a letter informing you of the date and time you must provide your biometrics.
You must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your Canada visa application to receive the letter. There are Visa Application Centers located all over the world where you can submit your biometrics. Visit the website of the one closest to you to learn about their fees and services.