A visitor is a foreign national who seeks to come into Canada for a temporary purpose (such as work, study or visit).

Every visitor, except for the citizens of visa exempt countries, must apply for and obtain a visa before appearing at Canadian borders or airports. All visitors who are required to obtain a visa must be in possession of the visa when they appear at the Canadian border or airport.

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

Step One

The foreign national must first submit a visit visa application to the Canadian visa office in the country where they are present legally. 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, the applicant’s social and economical ties to his home country and the applicant's overall admissibility such as medical and criminality.

Step Two

Once a visit visa has been granted, the applicant may arrive into Canada. At the port of entry an immigration officer will question the applicant to ensure admissibility.

A visitor visa will have multiple entry use. Visa 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. Border Services officers will routinely grant entry for a period of six months to a person requesting entry as a visitor. If there is no entry stamp made by Canadian border officials at the time of entry, then the entry is valid for six months.

Basic Eligibility

To apply to visit Canada, you must:

  • have a valid travel document or passport,
  • be medically admissible.
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you have socio-economic ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will ensure yours return to your home country,
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized period of stay.
  • have enough funds for your stay.

You may also need a:

  • letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.
  • A Bank Statement to prove access to sufficient funds
  • A hotel booking if you claim that you are coming as a tourist