Every year lots of people travel to Canada to do sightseeing, visit friends/family, do business, etc. But, you might need a Canada visa to enter the country. While some countries are exempt from Canada visas, many more have to apply for it. If you are going to visit Canada, knowing about the Canada Visa Application is the first step.
In this blog, we will cover general information about visas, a passport, the countries that need a Canada visa, different types of Canada visas, fees, processing time, etc.
What is a visa?
A visa is an official permission to a foreigner. It allows them to enter, remain within, or to leave that country.
A visa includes:
- Restriction on the time of the foreigner’s stay, areas within the country they may enter.
- The number of permitted visits.
- Peoples’ right to work in the country.
There are different visas. Each of them provides rights for the bearer in the host country.
The visa gets glued or attached to the bearer’s passport.
What is a Passport?
It is a traveling document. The government approves the identity of its people by passport. It contains:
- Bearer’s name
- Place of birth
- Date of birth
- The date of the issue
- Date of expiry
- Passport number
- Photo and signature
There are various passports. It depends on the condition of the bearer in their home country. For traveling out of your country, you need a passport.
Types OF Passport:
- Ordinary passport
- Diplomatic passport.
- Official passport
What is the Difference Between a Passport and a Visa?
A visa is a temporary license to travel to a foreign country. A passport verifies your nationality and identity during your travel. Passport is also the document to travel outside your country.
What is a Canada Visa?
It is a mark on your passport which shows you can enter the country. It is legal permission to travel into the country, stay for a temporary or permanent period.
Having a Canadian visa means that its government found you eligible to enter the country.
Yet, when you get to the border and customs, it is up to officers to find you qualified to enter.
When you give correct and honest answers to the Canadian BSO questions, they will allow you to enter. The officers can deny your entrance and ask you to go back to your home country, even if you have a Canada visa.
What Countries Need a Canada visa?
Whether you need a Canada visa or not depends on your nationality and the duration of your stay. A few countries are exempt from Canada short say visas. Almost all countries need a Canada long-stay visa. If you want to make sure that you need a visa or not, see the purpose of your visit, the duration of your stay, and look for the particular visa you need. In each visa type, you will know whether you need a Canada visa or not.
Different Types of Canada Visa
Different types of Canada visas are as follows:
Temporary Canada Visas.
The Temporary Canada visas let you enter and stay in Canada for a specific time. Border Services Officer (BSO) or the Canadian Consulate decides the specific time for you to stay in the country. This time is up to six months.
But Canada’s Temporary visa could include multiple entries or single-entry visas.
By single entry visa, you can enter Canada only once, stay for up to 6 months and return to your home country.
By a multiple entry visa, you can enter Canada several times until your visa expires.
The Canadian Temporary Visas include:
- Tourist/ Visitor Visa
- Super Visa
- Diplomatic and Official Visa
- Courtesy Visa
- Business Visa
- Give Birth in Canada visa
- Intending Organ Donors Visa
- Facilitation Visa
- Student Visa
- Temporary Work Visa
- Working Holiday Visa
- Temporary Residence Permit
Permanent Canada Visas
The permanent Canada visas allow permanent settle to the holder in the country.
An immigrant visa is another name for these visas and may be of different types:
- Immigrant Investor Program
- Startup Visa Program
- Self-employed Persons Visa.
- Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
- Family-Sponsorship Program.
- Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP)
Express Entry Visas
The Canadian Government has designed the Canada Express Entry Program. It is an electronic immigration program. People from all over the world can apply for Canada immigration based on their skills.
The following items are part of this program:
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
People who have qualified trades in such occupations receive this visa:
- Plane Mechanics
- Crane Operators
- Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics
- Electrical technician
- Machine operator
- Plumbers, etc
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
This visa is for those who have careers that the Canadian government needs.
At the point when you will apply, you must check what jobs Canada needs.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
The Canadian government grants this visa to semi or low-skilled workers. These workers contribute to the Canadian economy through their work.
Immigrant workers distribute to different Canadian provinces. It depends on where the demand for their work is higher.
Canadian Experience Class
This one is for people who have a temporary worker or student visa. They intend to switch to permanent resident status. Such people either have work experience or Canadian education. They have already settled into Canadian society.
How to find out you are eligible for a Canada visa?
The Canadian government has made this easy. They have created tests to check your eligibility. You need to answer their questionnaire.
You should answer some questions, depending on your visa type. The system will tell you whether you can apply. It will also send you steps and instructions to meet all the requirements.
The Canadian government website
You need to go to the Canadian government website to find the questionnaires. The website has different tabs and information. Yet, you need to go to the Immigration tab.
When you click on one part, it will show you a list of options. The options include:
- My Application
- And others.
You should choose the one that matches with the visa you want to apply for. If you want to study in Canada, you need to click on the Study tab.
Then you will see more information related to your visa.
Whatever tab you have clicked, one link will say:
- “Find out if you can apply.”
- “Find out if you are eligible.”
You need to click on this one.
The link takes you to the questionnaire. You must answer all questions. They cover different topics, from personal information to travel intentions and travel history.
The system will show you the results at the end of the questionnaire.
Receiving the results
You will see three different results:
- You are eligible for the chosen visa.
- The system will match you for a different visa.
- You are not eligible for the selected visa.
The system will ask you to put your contact information. If you are eligible for a different visa or the one, you have selected. Then they will send you some documents.
The documents will contain:
- A description of the visa
- A reference code
- Details and applying instructions
One of the most important information on the sent document is the reference code. You need to use this code to start your application.
You can not apply without a reference code. The reference code contains your information during the questionnaire. So, you must save the documents in the email.
You must save the reference code in your own way. You need to start the questionnaire process all over again if you lose the reference code.
Create your online account
When you received instructions, you must apply for a Canada visa online or in person. The Canadian government is digitalizing its records. So most people have to apply online. You should create an account to do that.
The two ways to create an account for the application:
- The Canadian Government works with many banks, you can use your online banking login.
- Creating a Government of Canada login (GCKey);
In each way, you can use banking details to pay the visa fees. So, you can use the one that fits you better.
Complete the document file
When you enter your account, you could start the process of a Canada visa. By your reference code, you can start applying for the visa the system deemed you fit.
The system will show you a list of documents for your visa application once you enter the reference code.
You should gather all the required documents for a Canada visa. Then, you should submit all your forms online in the system.
Pay the fees
When the system verifies the submission of the documents, it will lead you to the payment page.
Based on the visa, you have to pay its fee. When completed, the system will submit your application. It will take about 5 workdays to see your application on the account.
If you want to apply in person, you have to take all the documents to the Canadian Embassy in your home country.
Processing of your Canadian Visa
Depending on the visa type, it takes about two or more weeks to process your application.
The Canadian authorities may ask for more documents. They might ask for your biometrics or have an interview.
If the embassy asks for an interview and biometrics, you have to visit the Canadian embassy or consulate in person. The embassy will arrange an appointment, or you need to make a one yourself.
At the embassy, they will take your photographs and fingerprints. You also need to answer to a Canadian Embassy official questions.
The embassy decides you are eligible to get a Canada visa or not. They will send you a notification later or tell you immediately their decision.
All notifications about your visa will appear on your account. So check it over and over.
Even if the embassy did not ask your biometrics or interview, check your account often.
Submission of your passport and processing fees
When you get a successful application notification, submit your passport to the Embassy.
You can mail it to the Canadian Embassy in your home country with processing fees.
Depending on the visa type, the processing fees differ from $20 to $50. Pay the fees by money order or check.
You also need to pay for a return envelope for your passport.
When the Embassy receives your passport and fees, they will stamp the visa on it. Then, they will mail the stamped passport back to you.
After a Successful Canadian Visa Application
When you receive the visa on your passport, you may travel to Canada.
When you are at the customs to enter Canada, officials ask for your passport and documents. They will check them and ask some questions about your travel intentions.
The officials will let you enter the country or not after your answers. They have the authority to not let you enter Canada, if they believe:
- You will not respect your visa restrictions
- Or you may commit crimes
Having a Canada visa will not guarantee your entrance to Canada. The border officials are the only ones allowed to do that.
The Required Time to Get a Visa to Canada
For each specific visa, the Processing time is different. It can take 2-4 weeks or even longer.
When authorities receive your complete application and requirements, your visa processing begins.
If the Embassy needs more documents, the processing will take more time.
What if Your Canada Visa gets Rejected?
If the Embassy rejects your application, you could re-apply again. But, your rejection letter should not ban you from re-applying.
You can re-apply only:
- If your situation has changed
- If if you have new information that may help you get the Embassy approval.
Let’s sum up…
In this blog, we explained all the general information about Canada visas application.
The people who need to apply for a Canada visa, different types of visas, the general required documents, and the application process got covered.
You can check the Visa library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience of applying for a Canada visa, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the applicants choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for readers.