A Canada Tourist Visa is an official document issued by a Canadian Visa Office which is attached to your passport. It is proof that you have met the requirements to enter the country as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, a student, or a worker). It is officially referred to as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). They are classified into two and they are;
- Single entry visa: Single entry visas are granted for a period of up to 6 months.
- Multiple-entry visa: Multiple-entry visitor visas are granted for up to 10 years or one month prior to the expiry date on the passport or re-entry visa (whichever date comes first).
Getting a visitor’s visa is proving to be difficult this period because of the corona outbreak pandemic. To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID 19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that will limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most people cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Visitor Visa applications are still being accepted but there may be delays to the processing time due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Applicants can continue to apply for visitor visas, otherwise known as temporary resident visas (TRVs), via online applications only. Paper applications are not being accepted at this time. Though travel restrictions still apply, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are resuming processing in an effort to be proactive on future processing times, according to a media release.
Applications will be prioritized for individuals who are currently eligible to travel based on current travel restrictions. If you’re traveling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry.
You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements. Canada has put measures in place to ensure applicants have the time they need to complete all steps of the application process, including giving their biometrics.
Your application will be checked to make sure you have all the documents needed for a Canadian Visitor Visa. If it’s incomplete, your application will be returned without processing it. The documents needed for your application include
- A valid passport;
- Proof of good health;
- No criminal history or immigration-related convictions;
- Proof that you intend on returning to your home country (stating you have ties such as a job, home, financial assets, or family);
- Proof of funds to sustain you during your stay;
- The intended duration of your stay and temporary residence.
Note: When an immigration officer is processing a visa application, they all actually have one important question in their mind, which is ‘Will this applicant go back to their home country after they have stayed beyond their visit to Canada?’ More often than not, this will be the main concern, especially if the applicant is from a developing or underdeveloped country because many of the visitors from those countries do not go back.
There is no exact information on Canada’s visitor visa approval rate, but the rate at which Canada rejected Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) or Visitor Visa has increased to more than one in four in 2018, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The IRCC may also ask you to:
- go to an interview with our officials in your country
- to send more information
- get a medical exam
- get a police certificate
Most applications are processed in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office and if you need to do any extra steps (listed above).
Your passport will be returned and other original documents to you after we process your application. Your original bank statements or any documents found to be fake will be returned. If your application is approved, the visa will be stamped inside your passport. If your application is refused, you will receive an explanation.
Improving Your Application
Applications for visitor’s visa are quite competitive and the only way to stand out is to improve on your application. There are ways in which you can improve your application letter, these factors are worth considering
- In your letter you have to convince the visa officer that you have plans of coming back to your country, you can only do this by showing proof of standard business ownership. The visa officer has to be convinced that there is something tangible tying you down to your country. Aside from owned businesses, other things to show could range from school, family, employment stability, and assets owned.
- Give a very distinct and clear reason as to why you are visiting the country. It could be a family celebration/function, family emergency, work-related, or pleasure.
- Upon application you are to include your accommodation plans, this will convince the visa officer that you have a place ready and you will not be a nuisance in Canada. Your invitation letter and documents such as arranged registration to validate your client.
- Proof of funds is another important step to take to improve your application. Unfortunately, if you do not have sufficient funds in your account your application is bound to be rejected.
Do I Need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
Before a traveler coming from visa-exempt country boards an airplane, an eTA is required including those going through Canada. The eTA is very similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in the US. The eTA is valid for up to 5 years or when your visa expires, whichever comes first.
I hope your application is successful and your visit is enjoyable.