Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines for Canada

Do you want to get Canada Visa? If yes, here are all you need to know about Visa requirements and application guidelines for Canada. Canada Visa application and guidelines are a getaway to helping prepare yourself before applying for Canada Visa.

Visa requirements and application guidelines
Canada Visa requirements and application guidelines

Canada is a country in North America that is located directly above the United States. It is a developed country. The number of people traveling to Canada has steadily increased in recent years, but most people are unsure how to get there.

What Exactly is a Canada Visa?

Table of Contents

Canada Visa Requirements And Application Guidelines

A Canada visa is a stamp on your passport that allows you to enter Canada.

It is a permit that allows you to enter the country and stay legally, either temporarily or permanently.

Obtaining a visa to Canada indicates that the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your home country determined that you are eligible and meet the entry requirements.

READ: 30 Essential Things To Know Before Traveling To USA In 2023

However, once you reach the Canadian border and customs, it is up to the border officers to determine whether you are fit to enter. Canada Visa requirements and application guidelines!

If you answer the Canadian Border Services Officer’s (BSO) questions honestly and correctly, they will let you in. Otherwise, even if you have a Canada visa, they can deny you entry if they suspect you are not eligible.

Who Needs a Canadian Visa?

Visa requirements and application guidelines
Visa requirements and application guidelines


People from countries that do not have a visa exemption or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) agreement with Canada will be required to obtain a visa in order to enter the country. People from around 148 countries, in particular, require a visa to visit, work, or immigrate to Canada.

If you are one of these applicants and require a visa to enter Canada, you must apply. You will have a method of applying depending on the type of visa you want, but there are a few general steps you must take.

What are the Types of Canada Visa? Visa requirements and application guidelines

Before you apply for a Canadian visa, you must first decide which visa you want. The following are the various types of Canada visas:

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

You must select the one that best fits your motivation for visiting Canada.

Temporary Canadian Visas – Visa requirements and application guidelines

Temporary Canada visas allow a person to enter Canada for a set period of time determined by the Canadian Consulate or Border Services Officers (BSO). This period can last up to 6 months. The temporary visa, on the other hand, can be single or multiple entries.

You May Also Like: How to Get Small Business Loan For Startups Without Collateral

A single entry visa allows a person to enter Canada once, stay for six months, and then return home. A multiple-entry visa allows a person to enter Canada multiple times before their visa expires and stay for a limited time.

The following are the various types of Canadian Temporary Visas:

Canada Tourist Visa

The Visitor Visa, also known as the Tourist Visa, allows the holder to enter Canada for the purpose of tourism.

Canada Super Visa

The Canadian Super Visa allows Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents’ parents or grandparents to visit their children or grandchildren for an extended period of time.

Diplomatic and official visas

The Diplomatic and Official visa allows foreign officials and diplomats to enter Canada for official duties and purposes.

Courtesy visa

Courtesy visas are granted to individuals who do not meet the requirements for a Diplomatic or Official visa but are deemed important due to their ranks and positions. Members of trade missions or diplomats with touristic intentions are examples of this.

Canada Business Visa

The Business Visa is granted to individuals or groups of business people traveling to Canada for business purposes.

Visa to Give Birth in Canada

This visa is granted to people who meet all of the requirements for a temporary stay in Canada, are pregnant, and intend to give birth in the country. Giving birth in Canada automatically makes the child a Canadian citizen.

Intending Organ Donor Visa

This visa is granted to a person traveling to Canada to donate an organ to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.

Canada Facilitation Visa

Facilitation Visas are granted to Canadian citizens who have dual nationality and do not have a Canadian passport but do have a passport from another country. Due to the extreme hardships of obtaining a Canadian passport, the facilitation visa is stamped on the person’s other nationality visa.

Canada Student Visa: Visa requirements and application guidelines

A Canadian student visa is granted to those who have been accepted to study at a Canadian university. If you are going to Canada to study for less than 6 months, you can only get a TRV visa; however, if you are going to study for more than 6 months, you will need a Student Visa.

Canada Temporary Work Visa: Visa requirements and application guidelines

Temporary work visas in Canada are granted to individuals who have a job offer in Canada and will work for up to 6 months. To obtain this visa, the applicant must have a valid job offer letter from an employer and be eligible for a temporary visa.

Temporary Residence Permit: This permit is for people who need to travel to Canada for various reasons but are not eligible for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). This permit is only valid for the duration of the person’s stay in Canada, for example, two weeks for a workshop.

Working Holiday Visa: The Canada Working Holiday Visas are granted to young people from 30 different countries so that they can work and travel in Canada. It is a random selection visa, which means that applicants will submit their applications and wait to be randomly selected to apply for the work permit.

Permanent Canada Visas – Visa requirements and application guidelines

Permanent Canada visas allow the holder to remain in the country indefinitely. These are also known as immigrant visas and come in a variety of forms, including:

Immigrant Investor Program: The Immigrant Investor Program is designed for people with a net worth of at least CAD$800,000 who want to invest in the Canadian economy. They must invest at least CAD$400,000, which the government will return to them without interest after 5 years.

Startup Visa Program: The Canada Startup Visa is intended for individuals who will contribute to the economy on their own. They must have a net worth of at least CAD$300,000 and commit to owning and managing at least one-third of a Canadian business as well as creating and maintaining employment within three years of arriving in the country.

Recommended: How To Extend Schengen Visa in Europe – Step-by-Step Approach

Self-employment Visa: The Self-employed person visa is for people who have skills in business, athletics, culture, or farming and want to start their own businesses. These individuals must demonstrate their ability to finance the business as well as their expertise in those areas.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP): If you have one of the occupations required in the Canadian province of Quebec and are fluent in French, you can apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which will allow you to move and work permanently there.

Family-Sponsorship Program: The Family Sponsorship Visa allows spouses and dependent children of Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to immigrate to Canada permanently.

Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP): This visa is granted to caregivers who are qualified to care for the elderly, disabled, or children and live in a private home in Canada.

Express Entry Visas – Visa requirements and application guidelines

Visa requirements and application guidelines
Visa requirements and application guidelines

The Canada Express Entry Program is a government-designed electronic immigration system. It enables people from all over the world to apply for immigration to Canada based on their specific skills.

The following listed below are part of this program:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
  • Canadian Experience Class

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) visa is granted to people who have professions that are required in Canada. You must research the types of occupations required in Canada at the time you intend to apply and obtain the necessary points.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) visa is granted to qualified tradespeople working in occupations such as:

  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Carpenters
  • Crane Operators
  • Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Ironworkers
  • Mechanists
  • Welders
  • Plumbers, etc.

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)

This visa is granted under the Provincial Nominee Program to semi-skilled or low-skilled workers who can contribute to the Canadian economy through their work. Workers are assigned to provinces across Canada where there is a greater demand for their services.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class permanent visa is granted to those who have a temporary student visa or a temporary work visa and want to change their status to permanent resident. They have either a Canadian education or work experience and have integrated into Canadian society.

Canada Visa Application – Visa requirements and application guidelines

The application process for a Canada visa is largely determined by the type of visa you require.

To apply for a visa to Canada, follow these simple steps:

  1. Find out if you are eligible for a Canada visa.
  2. Create an online account.
  3. Compile the document file.
  4. Pay the fees
  5. Allow time for your Canadian visa to be processed.
  6. Submit your passport and processing fees.

Find out if you are eligible for a Canada visa

The Canadian government has made it very simple to learn how to get a Canadian visa. They have developed various tests that evaluate applicants’ eligibility by asking them to complete an online questionnaire.

Depending on the type of visa you want, you will be asked several questions, and the system will tell you whether you can apply or not. It will also send you the necessary instructions and steps to fulfill all of the requirements.

How I navigate the Canadian government’s website

To access these questionnaires and determine your eligibility for a Canada visa, go to their website here. The website will display various information and tabs from which to choose, but you must go to the Immigration tab.

When you hover or click on the Immigration tab, a drop-down menu of options appears. The first will be

  • My Application,
  • followed by Visit,
  • Immigrate,
  • Work,
  • Study, and
  • other options.

You must choose the one that corresponds to the visa you wish to apply for. As an extension of the preceding example, if you want to obtain a tourist visa, you must select the Visit tab.

More information will be displayed once you click on the tab that corresponds to the reason you want to visit Canada and the visa you want to apply for.

Regardless of which tab you choose, one of the links will say “Find out if you can apply” or “Find out if you are eligible.” This link must be clicked.

The link will take you to a questionnaire with several questions. They will include personal information, reasons for visiting Canada, and previous travel history. The results will be displayed at the end of the questionnaire.

Receiving the Result/Outcome – Visa requirements and application guidelines

You will see three different types of results, each of which says one of the following:

  1. That You are eligible/qualified for the visa you have chosen.
  2. you are eligible for a different type of visa, which the system will assign to you.
  3. and, You do not qualify for the visa.
Visa requirements and application guidelines
Canada Visa requirements and application guidelines

If you are eligible for the visa you have chosen or a different type of visa, the system will prompt you to enter your contact information (usually your email address), and you will be sent a set of documents.

The documents will include a visa description as well as instructions and details on how to apply. They will also send you a reference code.

The reference code is one of the most important pieces of information in that set of documents because you’ll need it to launch your application. You will be unable to apply unless you have a reference code.

The reference code informs the system of the information you provided during the questionnaire, as well as the type of visa you are applying for.

As a result, you must save the email and the documents. You can write the reference code in a variety of ways, including sending it to yourself, writing it on your computer, or writing it on a piece of paper, but you must not lose it. If you do, you will have to restart the questionnaire process.

Create Your Own Online Account: Visa requirements and application guidelines

The email instructions will tell you whether you must apply for a Canada visa online or in person. Because the Canadian government is digitizing its records, most people will have to apply online. You must first create an account.

There are two methods for creating an account for the application:

  1. Because the Canadian government has partnered with many banks, you can use your online banking login.
  2. Creating a Government of Canada login (GCKey);

You can use whichever one works best for you, as you will need to use your banking information to pay the visa fees in either case.

Compile the Document File: Visa requirements and application guidelines

You can begin your Canada visa application after logging into your account. Start applying for the visa you have been approved using your reference code.

After entering the reference code, the system will display a list of documents required for your Canadian visa application.

Note that you must complete all of these forms online in the system before submitting the application.

Pay the Fees: Visa requirements and application guidelines

The system will take you to the payment page once it has verified that you have submitted all of the required documents.

The Canada visa fees will vary depending on the type of visa you apply for. Your application will be submitted once that is completed.

It will take about 5 business days for the application to appear on your account, and if you apply in person, you will need to take those documents to the Canadian Embassy in your home country.

Wait for your Canadian Visa to be Processed

Depending on the type of visa, the Canadian Embassy will then process your Canada visa application for two or more weeks. Furthermore, they may request additional documents, as well as biometrics and an interview.

If they request biometrics and an interview, you will be required to visit the Embassy in person, even if you applied online. You must make an appointment, or the Embassy will do so for you. You will be required to submit your fingerprints and photographs, as well as answer questions from a Canadian Embassy official, at your appointment.

The official will decide whether you are eligible for a Canadian visa. They can notify you immediately after your appointment or send you a notification later.

All Embassy notifications about your visa will be posted on your account, so keep checking it, even if you did not have to submit biometrics or go through an interview.

Submit your Passport along with the Processing Fees

If your Canada visa application was approved, the next step is to submit your passport to the Canadian Embassy. This can be accomplished by mailing it to the Embassy’s address in your country, along with processing fees.

The processing fees range from $20 to $50, depending on the type of visa you are applying for and must be paid by check or money order. You must also pay for a passport return envelope.

The Embassy will accept your passport and fees, stamp the visa on it, and mail it back to you. If you are notified of their decision immediately following the visa interview, you must pay the processing fees there and then.

After a Successful Canadian Visa Application: What Next?

You can travel to Canada once you have obtained your visa. You will be required to show your passport and documents at the point of entry. The officials will inspect them and question you about your trip to Canada.

After you respond, they will decide whether or not to allow you to enter the country. Officials at the border have the authority to refuse you entry into Canada if they believe you will commit crimes or violate your visa restrictions.

Only border officials are allowed to guarantee that you will visit Canada if you have a Canadian visa.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Canadian Visa?

The processing time for a Canada visa varies depending on the circumstances. It can take anywhere from two to four weeks, and sometimes even longer.

Only after the Canadian authorities have received your complete application will your Canadian visa be processed.

If they require you to obtain additional documents, the processing time will be extended.

Can I Assist Someone in Obtaining a Visa to Canada?

If you want to bring a family member or friend who lives abroad to Canada, you can write them a Letter of Invitation.

The following details must be included in the Letter of Invitation: Regarding the invitee:

  • Full name and birthdate
  • The reason they wish to visit Canada
  • When and for how long do they intend to stay in Canada
  • Their contact details
  • The friendship you have
  • Where they will reside
  • How do they intend to fund their trip

About yourself:

  • Your full name and birth date
  • The type of work you do (your occupation)
  • Your Canadian residency status (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)
  • Your family information – names and birth dates of your immediate family members (spouse and dependents)
  • How many people reside in your home

The Letter of Invitation, however, does not guarantee that they will be granted a visa to Canada. The visa will be granted based on its own merits, but the letter may be useful.

You can sponsor a family member to come to Canada permanently or temporarily through the Canada Family Sponsorship Program.

How Can I Extend My Stay in Canada? Visa requirements and application guidelines

If your visitor visa to Canada is about to expire and you want to stay longer, you must apply for a visa extension. This is known as a Canada Visitor Record.

You must apply for a visa extension for Canada (visitor record) at least 30 days before your visitor visa expires.

Aside from extending a tourist visa, you can also change your study or work permit to a Visitor Record. However, a visitor record is only available while you are in Canada.

More so, aside from extending a tourist visa, you can also convert your study or work permit to a Visitor Record. A visitor record, on the other hand, is only available while you are in Canada.

If you want to leave Canada and return, you will be denied entry if you have a visitor record.

What Happens If I Overstay My Visa in Canada?

If you overstayed your visa in Canada, the next step is determined by how long you have been there.

If you overstayed for less than 90 days, you can regain your visitor status by applying for a Visitor Record and selecting “Restore my visitor status.”

More so, if you have overstayed your visa for more than 90 days, you will be forced to leave Canada. Therefore, you might not be able to get another Canada visa.

However, you should avoid overstaying your visa in Canada. Apply for a visa extension before your visa expires if you believe you will need to stay longer than the duration of your visa.

How Much is a Canada Visa? Visa requirements and application guidelines

The visa fee in Canada is determined by the type of visa you are applying for. There are also various fees to pay, such as a processing fee and a biometrics fee.

A standard Visitor Visa fee, on the other hand, is $CAN100.

What If My Visa to Canada Is Rejected?

If your Canada visa application is denied, you can reapply at any time, as long as your rejection letter does not prohibit you from doing so.

However, you may reapply only if your situation has changed or if you have new information that may help you obtain a Canada visa. Canada Visa Requirements

There is no formal process for appealing a Canada tourist visa decision. Appeals are only available for applications for refugee and permanent residency. The Immigration Appeal Division handles them (IAD).

Will I Be Refunded If My Canada Visa Application Is Rejected?

Even if your application is rejected, visa fees in Canada are non-refundable. That’s because you’re paying a fee for the visa application to be processed, not for the visa itself.

However, in some cases, you may be eligible for a refund if you withdraw your application before it is processed. You will not be refunded once the process has begun.

Furthermore, if your application is approved, you may be eligible for a refund for the following:

  • The fee for the Right of Permanent Residence
  • Fee for Right of Citizenship
  • The fee for an Open Work Permit
  • Fee for International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • The Employer Compliance Fee

You can, however, still request a refund for any of your fees via the Government of Canada: Immigration and citizenship website. Canada Visa Requirements

Can I Apply for a Visa to Canada from Another Country?

In some cases, your country of residence lacks a Canadian embassy or Visa Application Center. In this case, you may need to apply for a Canada visa in another country.

You must, however, apply for a visa only at the Canadian embassy or VAC responsible for your jurisdiction (ie. for the country you are a legal resident of).

You can also apply for a Canadian visa from Country B if you are from Country A and have a residence permit for Country B.

However, if you are simply visiting Country B and do not have legal residency there, you must apply at the Canadian embassy or Visa Application Center in your own country or elsewhere.

More so, you can submit your biometrics at Visa Application Centers around the world. Visit the website of the one closest to you to learn about their fees and services.

Biometrics can be provided at a Canadian Visa Application Center. The Canadian embassy will send you a letter informing you of the date and time you must provide your biometrics.

You must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your Canada visa application to receive the letter.

Do I Need to Submit Biometrics for My Canada Visa Application?

Yes, regardless of the type of visa sought, most visa applicants must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) when applying for a Canada visa.

How Does a Canadian Visa look like? Canada Visa Requirements

A Canadian visa is a stamp in the passport with a distinct appearance. It does not usually include a picture, but it does include the following information:

  • The place the visa was issued;
  • Document number;
  • Date of issuance and expiration;
  • Number of entries allowed;
  • Visa category;
  • Visa type;
  • Passport number.
  • The visa holder’s last and first name;

The examples below show three different types of Canadian visas for visitors, workers, and immigrants.

Canada Immigrant Visa
Canada Immigrant Visa


A Canada Employment Visa


Canada Visitor Visa
Canada Visitor Visa

How Can I Travel to The US as a Canada Visa Holder?

To travel to the United States from Canada, you may be required to apply for a US visa in Canada. If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country, you do not need to apply for a US visa from Canada, but you must apply for ESTA instead.

Did you find the Canada visa requirements and application guidelines helpful?

Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. More so, do forget to send in your questions and comments.

Canada Visa requirements and application guidelines!

Leave a Comment