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Visitor visa: How to apply and travel free to Canada, Free Visa Application



Canadian Student Visa: Step by Step Guide

How to apply

Before you apply for a visitor visa

  • Get the documents you need for a visitor visa.
  • Find out what to do for your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) 
    • Most applicants need to give their biometrics if it’s the first time they apply.

Get detailed instructions for your situation

Answer some questions to get specific instructions on how to apply for a visitor visa. Why are you applying for a visitor visa? (required) To unite with a family member To visit on business To attend a funeral or provide support to a critically ill person To join a vessel (marine crew member) To assume a diplomatic post To come with an immediate family member who’s assuming a diplomatic post To handle the affairs of a victim of Ukraine Airlines PS752 To get the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) None of the above.

Visitor visa: How to apply and travel free to Canada, Free Visa Application

Your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Temporary changes to biometrics

Book your biometric appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays.

If you can’t book an appointment by the deadline on your biometric instruction letter, there may be measures in place to help you.

Processing your visitor visa application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the documents you need.

If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.

We may also ask you to

We’ll tell you what to do if you need to do any of these.

We process most applications in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office and if you need to do any extra steps (listed above).

We’ll return your passport and other original documents to you after we process your application. We won’t return original bank statements or any documents we find to be fake.

If we approve your application

If you applied online

If you applied on paper

If we refuse your application

If you applied online

If you applied on paper

Before you travel to Canada – Documents you need

Before you travel to Canada

In some situations, you’ll need to bring documents with you when you travel to Canada.

Situations where you may need extra documents on arrival

If either of the following situations applies to you or someone you’ll travel with, have the documents indicated in hand.

You have a child under the age of 18 (a minor child)

In Canada, a child under the age of 18 is considered a minor.

You may need to show

  • a letter that authorizes the minor child to travel to Canada, and
  • other documents, such as adoption papers or a custody decree, depending on if the minor child travels alone or not

Find out more about minor children travelling to Canada

You were invited to come to Canada

If you got a letter from a person or company that invited you to Canada, bring that letter with you. A border services officer may ask to see it.

Find out more about letters of invitation

Your arrival in Canada

A valid visa and travel document don’t guarantee that you can enter Canada.

We determine if you meet all entry requirements

When you arrive, we’ll check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

  • If you enter Canada at one of 4 major Canadian airports
    • Your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk.
    • The system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted.
  • If you enter Canada at a land port of entry
    • Your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints.

You enter Canada

If you pass the identity check, health assessment, and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer may stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You’re normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.

In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada, depending on the purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.

You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. The officer must be convinced that

  • you’re eligible for entry into Canada
  • you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved length of stay
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