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Find Out If You Need a Visitor Visa to Travel to Canada
What You Need to Know About Visitor Visas in Canada:
Canada is home to millions of visitors each year. In fact, more than 35 million people visit Canada every year to enjoy the many opportunities our country has to offer, including visiting family and friends.
If you wish to come to Canada for a temporary purpose like a vacation, or to visit family or friends, you may need a ‘Temporary Resident Visa’, unless you are a citizen from a “visa exempt” country like the USA or Australia.
A ‘Temporary Resident Visa’ is often referred to as a TRV in our industry. You will most likely need to file Form IMM 5257. Form IMM 5257 is used by individuals who want to apply for a TRV to visit Canada for a temporary purpose such as tourism, visiting family or friends, or business trips.
5 Main Documents You Will Need With Your TRV Forms
There are five major documents you are required to show or scan and send to us when applying for a TRV. Note that each immigration case is a little different depending on your specific situation, but generally you should have the following documentation when applying for a ‘Temporary Resident Visa’ in Canada:
- Proof of your ties to your home country
- Proof of funds for your visit to Canada
- ID such as a passport or county resident card
- A letter of invitation from the person inviting you to come to Canada
- Proof that you will be staying in Canada only on a temporary basis
Disclaimer: There may be other documents and information that you may need. Individuals must obtain a TRV before departure from their home country. Individuals cannot obtain a TRV upon arrival in Canada.
Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About TRVs
What if you leave Canada and then return before your visitor visa expires?
Visitor visas have different “features”. Some are single entry visas, which mean that they are for one entry to Canada only. If you leave Canada and wish to return, you will have to apply for another visa unless you are traveling to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. However, some visas are multiple entry visas which allow people to leave and return to Canada during the validity of their visas.
Can I extend my visitor status?
If you are in Canada on a visitor visa and wish to apply for an extension of your stay in Canada, you need to get ‘visitor status’. You can apply for visitor status from within Canada at a Canadian immigration office or simply contact us. However, you should apply before the expiration of your current visitor status. As a general note, when you come to Canada as a ‘visitor’, you will be given visitor status for a six month period. If your visitor status expires but you have already applied for an extension and are waiting for your renewal, you have what is called ‘implied status’, until a final decision is made on your extension application. If your application for an extension is refused, you can apply for ‘restoration of status’, so long as your application is made within 90 days of the refusal date.
Who does not need a visitor visa for Canada?
Some people do not require a visa to visit Canada, such as citizens of:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe.
If you are someone who has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and in possession of your alien registration card (USA Green Card), or can provide other evidence of permanent residence, you do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, either.
If you are a British citizen or British Overseas Citizen who is re-admissible to the United Kingdom; a Citizen of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands you then do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada.
If you are a Turkish citizen traveling on a diplomatic passport; or a person holding a passport or travel documents issued by the Holy See, you too do not need a TRV to travel to Canada.
Who does need a visitor visa for Canada?
Pretty much everyone else who was not mentioned as being exempt will need a TRV to travel to Canada, such as citizens of:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brazil, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cambodia Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, (The), Democratic Republic of Congo, (The), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, (only Israeli citizens holding valid Israeli orange “Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport”) Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, (former Yugoslav Republic of) Malagasy Republic, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, (Burma) Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pacific, Islands, U.S. Trust Territory Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St., Lucia, St. Vincent, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Syria, Tadjikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
How long does it take to process a TRV?
If ALL requirements including fees are submitted on time, it may take less than a week for some cases and even two months or more depending on your application, but we recommend applying at least 2 months in advance of your planned departure to Canada in order to avoid disappointment. It can be done faster with guidance of professional immigration help from us.
One or more of the following factors could delay the processing of your application:
- Incomplete applications
- Medical exam required
- Background or security checks required
- Criminal record
- Interview required
- Verification of documents needed
Other Important Temporary Resident Visa Information
In order to qualify for a Temporary Resident Visa, individuals must show the officer that they meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and that they will be in Canada for a temporary stay.
Individuals must also:
- Satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their stay
- Show that they have enough money to maintain themselves and their family members in Canada and to return home
- Not intend to work or study in Canada (unless authorized to do so)
- Have no record of criminal activity
- Not be a risk to the security of Canada
- Be in good health (complete a medical examination if required)
Why Seeking Professional Immigration Help is Important
While the procedures for applying for a TRV may seem uncomplicated, some applicants apply without seeking any help from an immigration lawyer, thinking that they can ‘do it themselves’.
For TRV applications, there is actually a higher risk of refusal in cases where the application is not properly prepared. The standards are very high. We find that the number one reason why applications are denied is due to forms not being correctly filled out. It is a shame when someone cannot fulfill their dreams because of one missed ‘dotted i‘ or ‘crossed t‘.
Contact us to do everything for you and your approval is 100% guaranteed.
Why Hire Us to Help You with Your TRV Applications
Many of our clients are happy to relieve themselves of the headaches of preparing paperwork and having to deal with government red tape by outsourcing this work to our professional team of immigration experts.
It is extremely satisfying to see our clients enter Canada to visit their family and friends or to travel through Canada’s wonderful landscape without all the hassles of filing tons of complicated paperwork. We have literally helped millions of people successfully visit Canada on a 100% bases with our extensive experience.
Getting started is easy. Just fill out our immigration assessment form here and we’ll get back to you (within 24 hours) to discuss your eligibility and options.
Canadian Investor Immigration Program: Business Visas
Canadian Investor Applications: Business Immigration Visas
The objective of the Business Immigration Program is to encourage investment and employment in Canada through the migration of people who have the ability to successfully establish or invest in a business in Canada. If you are a high net worth individual, you may qualify for immigration to Canada under the Business Immigration Program. The application process, however, is very complicated and can be lengthy. It is essential that in order to apply successfully, your documentation is properly prepared and procedures are followed. A misstep in making and submitting your Investor application can mean undue delays and even a refusal.
Our immigration law firm has over 32 years of experience in handling Investor applications for Canada. Our experienced immigration lawyers are able to assess your case and recommend a course of action to best serve your needs. Contact us for a comprehensive assessment of your case.
Advantages of Applying for Canadian Immigration as an Investor
Obtaining Canadian immigration as an Investor has its advantages. If you apply as an Investor, you will not necessary require a working level of English or French nor have to meet stringent educational requirements. Also as an Investor immigrant, you permanent residence status in Canada will be unconditional meaning that you do not have to meet harsh terms and conditions requiring you to actively manage a business in order to maintain your status.
How to qualify for the Investor Immigration Program for Canada
To qualify as an Investor, an applicant destined for any province in Canada you must:
- Have successfully operated, controlled or directed a business;
- Have accumulated through his or her own endeavors a net worth of at least CAD$1,600,000
- Invest CAD$800,000 for five years with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada which acts as an agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds. (Note: Your $800,000 can be financed so that you could invest say, $200,000 of your own capital)
What about the Investor program for Quebec?
Investor applicants under the Quebec Investor Program must:
- Have at least three years of managerial experience in a profitable commercial, industrial or agricultural business or, alternatively, have at least three years of managerial experience in a government, governmental organization, or international organization;
- Have accumulated a net worth of at least CAD$1,600,000 through legitimate economic activities; and
- Invest CAD$800,000 for five years in a Quebec-approved investment fund.
Other Immigrant Investor Programs for Canada
There are three Business Immigration Categories:
- Self Employed
Entrepreneur Immigration Program
NOTE: This program has been cancelled. The Canadian government plans to re-open the category.
In the past, an Entrepreneur must also meet certain conditions in connection with his or her business in Canada. The Entrepreneur must:
- Establish, purchase or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada within 2 years of landing in Canada which will result in a significant contribution to the economy
- Engage in active and ongoing participation in the management of the business
- Employ at least one Canadian Citizen or Permanent resident other than the Entrepreneur and his dependents.
To ensure that these conditions are met, Entrepreneurs are required to report to immigration officials their progress, on a regular basis within this two year period.
Self-Employed Immigration Program
To qualify under the Self-Employed category, an applicant must demonstrate an intention and ability to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will keep him or her employed and make a “significant” contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed business will generate sufficient revenues to support the applicant and his or her dependents. Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, consultants, and operators of small business outlets that may be in demand are examples of applicants who may qualify.
Assessment in this category is based upon:
- Business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed description);
- Artistic qualifications (when applying under the artistic/cultural component of the Self-Employed description); and
- Net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business)
Have questions about the Investor Immigration Program?
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