A visitor is a person who wants to come to Canada to work, study or visit. A visitor is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Every visitor, unless exempted, must obtain a visa before arriving. All visitors who require a visa must have the visa when they appear at a port of entry.
Do I need an Electronic Travel Authorization?
All air travellers from visa exempt countries require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before they board a flight. This includes those who are transiting through Canada. It only includes travellers arriving by air. For more information, click here.
How do I apply for a Canada visit visa?
- Submit a visit visa application to the responsible Canadian visa office in your country or region.
- You may need to attend an interview where the visa officer will verify:
- Your reasons for visiting Canada.
- Your ability or willingness to leave Canada when the visa expires.
- Your overall admissibility to Canada.
- A visit visa is issued and you can come to 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.
Which countries require a visa to visit or transit through Canada?
Citizens of the following countries and territories require a Visa to VISIT or TRANSIT Canada:
- Brazil (note: some Brazilian citizens may be eligible for an eTA if they meet certain requirements)
- Burkina Faso
- Cameroon, Republic of
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- China, People’s Republic of
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Congo, Republic of
- Costa Rica, Republic of
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Israel (only Israeli citizens holding valid Israeli “Travel Document in lieu of National Passport”)
- Ivory Coast
- Korea, North
- Macao S.A.R.
- Maldives Islands
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia, Fed. States
- Myanmar (Burma)
- Palestinian Authority
- Romania (holder of a non-electronic passport, such as a temporary passport)
- St. Lucia
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent)
- Sao Tomé e Principe
- Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan (except holders of the ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number)
- Trinidad and Tobago
Do I need to provide biometrics to enter Canada?
Canada will expand its biometrics collection to the vast majority of immigrants during 2018.
Everyone who applies for a visit visa, work permit, study permit or permanent residence will need to provide fingerprints and a photo.
From July 31 2018, the program will be expanded to cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will be required to provide biometrics from December 31, 2018.
Who is exempt from biometrics collection?
- Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents, plus citizenship applicants.
- Travellers from visa-exempt countries who have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
- U.S. citizens with work or study permit.
- Anyone aged under 14 or over 79.
- Heads of state, cabinet ministers, those with diplomatic status on an official trip.
- Those with a U.S. visa who are transiting through Canada.
Biometric screening is already mandatory for all temporary resident applicants who are a national of a country or territory listed below.
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Sri Lanka
- Palestinian Authority
Which countries are exempt from requiring a Canada visa?
- Anguilla (conditions apply)
- Bermuda (conditions apply)
- British Virgin Islands (conditions apply)
- British Subjects (conditions apply)
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cayman Islands (conditions apply)
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands (conditions apply)
- Gibraltar (conditions apply)
- Holy see (conditions apply)
- Hong Kong (conditions apply)
- Israel (conditions apply)
- Korea (Republic of)
- Latvia (Republic of)
- Lithuania (conditions apply)
- Montserrat (conditions apply)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn (conditions apply)
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- St. Helena (conditions apply)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Taiwan (conditions apply)
- Turks and Caicos Islands (conditions apply)
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom: British citizens and British overseas citizens (Re-admissible to the UK)
- United States citizens and permanent residents (with evidence of permanent residence)
Citizens of British dependent territories: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you are a citizen of a British dependent territory who derives their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands.
British National (Overseas): You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold a British National (Overseas) passport issued by the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong.
British Subjects: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold a British Subject passport issued by the United Kingdom which contains the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Holy See: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold a passport or travel document issued by the Holy See.
Taiwan: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes your personal identification number.
Israel: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold a national Israeli passport.
Romania: You do not need a visa to visit or transit in Canada if you hold an electronic passport.
Canada welcomes more than 35 million temporary residents each year. Unless they are Canadian citizens or Canadian Permanent Residents, individuals coming to Canada for the purpose of visiting, studying or working may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to enter Canada.
Types of Non-immigrant Visas:
Canada Visitor Visa
A visitor visa allows you to enter Canada as a visitor or tourist. Generally, you can stay in Canada for up to 6 months as a visitor.
Canada Student Visa
A study permit allows a foreign national to study in Canada at a specific Canadian educational institution and in a specific program.
Canada Work Visa
A work permit allows a foreign national with an offer of employment from a Canadian company to work in Canada on a temporary basis.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa
A super visa allows parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status.