A Visitor Visa is an official document issued by an immigration officer that allows a foreigner from a non-visa exempt country to enter Canada on holiday (vacation), visiting family, or conducting business, etc . Visitors are restricted in length of stay and subject to various conditions. There used to be two types of visas: single entry and multiple entries. As of February 6, 2014, all visa applicants will automatically be considered for a multiple entry visa. Visitor visas can be valid for up to 10 years and the visitors stay may be extended from within Canada.
The requirement for a visa also applies to temporary residents who are transiting in Canada. For more information, please see list of Countries and territories whose citizens require visas in order to enter Canada as visitors (www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp).
The following aspects are main areas that an immigration officer will look into when assessing a visitor visa application.
• whether you will leave Canada at the end of your stay,
• whether you have enough money to support yourself and your accompanying family members in Canada,
• not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so,
• be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity,
• not be a risk to the security of Canada,
• be in good health (complete a medical examination if required)
Note, if you have criminal record or medical issues, you may need to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit to overcome your inadmissibility.
Get help with your visa from Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang at Max Can Immigration in Markham, Canada.
Visa Policy by Country
Please note: If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, who would normally require a visa to visit Canada, and you are a permanent resident of the United States, you are likely eligible to apply for an eTA instead, to fly to Canada, or can otherwise travel to Canada by car, train or bus, without a temporary resident visa.
Citizens of Afghanistan are required to apply for temporary resident visas in order to travel to Canada for tourist purposes, for business or to transit through Canada (for example on the way to the US).
Citizens of Albania are required to get visas.
Citizens of Algeria are required to get visas.
Citizens of Andorra are eligible to apply for Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs). You should apply for an eTA at the official website. There is no need to use a third party. If your eTA application is refused, you will need to apply for a temporary resident visa.
Citizens of Angola are required to get visas to come to Canada.
British Overseas Territories Citizens of Anguilla are not required to get visas to visit Canada if they are eligible for eTAs. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for Anguilla.
Antigua and Barbuda
Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are not required to get temporary resident visas to Canada if they can get approved for eTAs. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for Antigua and Barbuda.
Citizens of Argentina are eligible to apply for eTAs in lieu of visas. If your eTA application is refused, you will need to apply for a temporary resident visa to travel to Canada.
Citizens of Armenia are required to apply for visitor visas to come to Canada for business, tourism or to transit through the country.
Dutch citizens of Aruba should apply for eTAs, not visas, when travelling to or through Canada. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for Aruba.
Australian citizens can apply for eTAs to travel to Canada rather than visitor visas. Of course, if your eTA application is rejected, you need to apply for a visitor visa (temporary resident visa).
Austrian citizens, like other citizens of EU-member states, do not need visitors visas if they can successfully apply for the eTA.
Citizens of Azerbaijan need temporary resident visas to travel to Canada.
Citizens of the Bahamas are required to apply for eTAs to travel to Canada. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for Bahamas.
Citizens of Bahrain are required to possess temporary resident visas before travelling to Canada for business, pleasure or merely to transit through a Canadian airport.
Citizens of Barbados can directly apply for eTAs, rather than visas, provided they qualify for the eTA program. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for Barbados.
Citizens of Belarus must have visitor visas to travel to Canada to transit, or for tourism or business.
Citizens of Belgium, like other citizens of EU-member states, do not normally require visitor visas for Canada, and can apply for eTAs.
Citizens of Belize are required to apply for temporary resident visas before travelling to Canada.
A citizen of Benin must apply for a visitor visa to come to Canada.
British Overseas Territories Citizens of Bermuda are required to apply for eTAs before travelling to Canada by plane. If you are travelling to Canada by boat or driving through the United States - or taking the train or a bus - you will not need an eTA but you should still bring your passport.
It is mandatory for citizens of Bhutan to apply for and receive temporary resident visas before travelling to Canada.
Citizens of Bolivia must apply for visitor visas before travelling to Canada.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are required to apply for visitor visas before travelling to Canada, regardless whether the visit is to transit or for business or tourism purposes.
Citizens of Botswana must apply for temporary visitor visas in order to successfully travel to Canada.
Citizens of Brazil are required to apply for temporary resident visas to travel to Canada except under the following two circumstances:
- You received a Canadian temporary resident visa within the past ten years, traveled to Canada with the visa and returned to Brazil. In this case, you are eligible to apply for an eTA instead.
- You currently hold a valid US non-immigrant visa. In this case, you are eligible to apply for an eTA instead.
British Virgin Islands
British Overseas Territories Citizens of the British Virgin Islands are eligible to apply for eTAs instead of visitor visas. Learn more about Canada's visa policy for the British Virgin Islands.
Citizens of Brunei are not required to get visitor visas if they can successfully apply for the eTA.
Citizens of Bulgaria may apply for an eTA in lieu of a visitor visa for the purpose of travelling to Canada.
All citizens of Burkina Faso are required to apply for temporary resident visas before travelling to Canada.
Burma (now Myanmar)
Citizens of Myanmar must apply for temporary resident visas before travelling to Canada.
It is mandatory for citizens of Burundi wishing to travel to Canada to apply for visitor visas.
Citizens of Cambodia must apply for temporary resident visas.
Citizens of Cameroon are required to apply for visitor visas to travel to Canada.
If you are in Canada as a visitor, your legal stay is usually a maximum of six months, though a shorter period of time may be indicated on the entry stamp in your passport. You must leave Canada before the required date unless you have student or worker status.
If you have a valid study or work permit, you can stay in Canada, even if your temporary resident visa has expired. Your temporary resident visa is a travel document and its validity is necessary for you to travel to Canada, not to remain in Canada. If you have a valid study permit or work permit, but you have an expired visa, there is no need to renew the visa until you plan to travel outside of Canada. (There is an exception: if you are travelling to the United States by car, you do not need a valid visa to return to Canada if you have a valid work or study permit.)
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
Citizens of Cabo Verde are required to apply for visitor visas in order to travel to Canada.
Citizens of the Cayman Islands can apply for eTAs. See Canada's visa policy for the Cayman Islands.
Central African Republic
People's Republic of China
Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
Republic of the Congo
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Republic of Cyprus
Holy See (see Vatican City)
Ivory Coast (see Côte d'Ivoire)
Republic of Macedonia
Federated States of Micronesia
New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
São Tomé and Príncipe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Vatican City (Holy See)
Zaire (see Democratic Republic of the Congo)