Visitor’s Visa


Do you need a visitor visa to enter Canada? That depends on your citizenship. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, then you will require a visa prior to entering Canada for a visit or holiday. That means you have to apply for a visitor visa at the Canadian consulate responsible for geographic location before you can come to Canada. You should enquire at the consulate because each one often has different procedures and different document requirements.

Why do people from the above countries require a visitor visa? Simple – history has shown that visitors from these countries tend to stay in Canada after arriving and CIC requires a method for tracking the in flow of people from these countries.

What does the Visa officer consider when considering an application for a visitor visa? The primary question is this: “Is the applicant seeking admission to Canada for a temporary purpose?” In other words, is the applicant a bona fide visitor, or does the applicant have other intentions to remain in Canada after the visitor visa expires?

Generally, an applicant must show that he or she:

– is not criminally or medically inadmissible

– has a valid travel document or passport valid for the length of the visitor visa

– will return to his or her country at the expiry of the visa.

How do you show that you will not overstay your visa in Canada? You should supply as much documentation as you can showing your ties to your country including:

– sufficient funds for your stay in Canada (or a letter from a relative if you are staying with family in Canada stating they will be responsible for your living expenses)

– return airline tickets

– evidence of employment in home country

– proof of assets such as a property or bank accounts

– evidence of family in your country

– any other evidence which helps to show ties to your country

Canada immigration law does recognize a dual-intention to visit and to apply for permanent residency. Such a dual intention will not prevent a visitor visa from being issued, so long as the applicant can convince the Visa officer that he or she will leave Canada once the visitor visa expires.

Nearly all rejected visitor visa applications are rejected because the applicant could not show an ability and willingness to leave Canada once the visa expires, or could not show sufficient funds to support himself or herself once in Canada.

You should always remember that a misrepresentation or failure to disclose material facts could lead to an immediate refusal of a visitor visa and remaining inadmissible to Canada for the following 2 years.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile