What Type of Visa Do I Need to Go to Canada?

Canada is a country in the North American continent located right above the United States and is known as a highly developed country. The demand for people to travel to Canada has been steadily increasing in the last few years, but most people wonder how they can get to Canada.


There are different reasons for wanting to travel to Canada and depending on the purpose of your visit/length of time you plan on staying there can you then decide the kind of visa to apply for. If you are on the list of countries whose nationals require a visa for Canada, then you need to apply for a Canadian visa.

There are two types of Canadian visitor visas: single entry visas and multiple entry visas. A single-entry visa allows foreign nationals to enter Canada for one time only. A multiple entry visa allows holders to enter and leave Canada as often as they want as long as the visa is valid.


You don’t need to choose which kind to apply for, applicants are automatically considered for multiple entry visas and are only issued single-entry visas under unique circumstances.

Multiple entry visitor visas permit the holder to travel to Canada for six months at a time as many times as they want, as long as the visa remains valid. They can be valid for up to 10 years, but the exact validity period is at the discretion of the visa officer issuing it.

Canadian Visa

A Canada visa is a stamp on your passport which allows you to enter the country of Canada. It is permission for you to travel to the country and legally be able to stay either temporarily or permanently.

Getting a visa to Canada means that the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your home country decided that you are eligible and fulfill the requirements for entry. However, once you are at the Canadian border and customs, it is up to the officers at the border to evaluate whether you are fit to enter.

If you answer the Canadian Border Services Officer (BSO) questions honestly and correctly, they will allow you to enter. Otherwise, if they suspect that you are not eligible to enter, they can deny you and ask you to go back to your home country even if you have a Canada visa.

Most travelers need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport.

What you need depends on:

  • the type of travel document you will travel with;
  • the country that issued your travel document;
  • your nationality; and
  • how you will travel to Canada.

If you do not have the proper documents, such as an ETA or visa, you may be delayed or prevented from boarding your flight to Canada.

Documents Needed for Canadian Visa

  • Your passport.
  • Appropriate Canada visa application form.
  • Proof of paid Canada visa fees.
  • Proof of clean criminal record.
  • Proof of being in good health through a medical exam.
  • Photographs in accordance with the photo requirements for a Canada visa.
  • Proof of financial means.
  • Proof that shows you will return to your home country once the Canadian visa expires.
  • Identity and Civil Status Documents.
  • A cover letter that explains the purpose of your travel to Canada.
  • Letter of support/invitation to Canada. 

Types of Canadian Visa

Before you apply for a Canadian visa, you must first know which visa you want to apply for. Here are the types of Canada visas:

  • Visitor visas;
  • Student visas;
  • Work visas;
  • Permanent Residence visas;
  • Business Immigrant visas;
  • Express Entry Program visas.

As an applicant, you have to decide what you are going to Canada to do before you apply.

Visitor Visa

Anyone who intends on entering Canada but is not a citizen or a permanent resident must need this visa.  Canadian permanent residents are not permitted to apply for a visitor visa, even if their permanent resident card has expired. They must instead apply for a permanent resident travel document (PRTD).

Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, are also not permitted to apply for a visitor visa. They must be traveling on a valid Canadian passport. If you are transiting through or coming to Canada for business, not as a temporary foreign worker, you may need a business visitor visa. If they choose to visit by land or by sea, they only require their valid passport issued by a visa-exempt country.

The only exception is citizens of the United States. The Canada-U.S. border is the longest undefended land border in the world, and thousands of Canadian and U.S. citizens cross that border every day.

Visitor visas, whether single entry or multiple entries, allow foreign nationals to legally live in Canada for up to six months at a time. At the end of this period, your legal status will expire and you must leave Canada. Foreign nationals who would like to extend their stay beyond six months must apply to do so while their temporary resident status is still valid.

Visitor Visa Application

Applicants can apply online with a paper application, or in person at a Visa Application Center (VAC). If you are traveling as a family, each family member, including dependent children, must complete their own application. However, you may submit all of the applications together.

Applicants may be required to include biometric information in their application, depending on their country of citizenship. If biometrics are required, the applicant will need to provide their fingerprints and photograph at a biometric collection service point.

Student Visa

As the name goes, this is strictly for applicants willing to come to study in Canada. To have this particular visa, applicants must be given admission by a recognized institution in Canada.

If applicants do not have this, they will be denied the visa. If you are going to Canada to study for less than 6 months, then you can only get a TRV visa, but for more than 6 months of studies, you will need a Student Visa.

Canada Visa Application

The Canada visa application process depends mostly on the visa type you need to apply for.

To apply for a Canada visa, you need to go through these simple steps:

  • Find out if you are eligible for a Canada visa;
  • Create your online account;
  • Compile the document file;
  • Pay the fees;
  • Wait for processing of your Canadian visa;
  • Submit your passport and processing fees.