Canadian VISA requirements

Whether or not you need a visa to enter Canada depends on several factors including your nationality, your country of origin and the length and purpose of your stay. Below is a simplified guide of the types of visa there are and the requirements you need to meet to get one.

Short-Term VISAs

The CIC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is the governing body in charge of regulating student, tourist and worker VISAs and they have a standard application process. The visitor VISA in Canada is called a TRV, or Temporary Resident Visa, and is issued by high commissions embassies and Canadian consulates. TRV’s cover several categories of visas and permits including Transit VISA, Tourist Visa, Study Permit and Work Permit. A single form from the CIC can be used to apply for any of the above. Bear in mind the fact that Quebec has a separate permit procedure, and you may be required to contact the Quebec immigration office before submitting an application.

Tourist VISAs

In order to qualify for a Canadian Tourist VISA you must be healthy and may need to be examined by a doctor prior to your arrival. You must also respect Canadian laws for the entirety of your stay. A valid passport, identification documentation, and travel documentation are also essential. In some instances you may be asked to prove the purpose of your trip.

Transit Visas for Canada

A traveller stopping in Canada for less than 48 hours may require a Transit Visa in some cases; check if you’re not sure.

Work Permits

As Canada is a highly popular destination for skilled workers applications for work permits are common.

The CIC allocate work permits according to the need for the applicant’s skill. In almost every instance of a foreigner seeking temporary work in Canada a valid work permit is required. Applicants must satisfy certain conditions, such as being in receipt of a job offer from a Canadian employer, before they qualify for a work permit. Furthermore, you must have a Social Insurance Card in order to work legally in Canada.

Study Permits

Over 130,000 students a year go to Canada to study at one of their institutions. If the period of study extends beyond 6 months a study permit must be obtained. If a child is already living in Canada with parents who are pursuing permanent residency or are refugees then the child does not need a Study Permit.

Permanent Residency

200, 000 people a year are permitted to enter Canada as permanent residents. Once a permanent residence application is approved the individual receives a Permanent Resident Card and can expect almost all the same rights as citizens of Canada.

Obtaining permanent Canadian residency is a complex, time consuming process, and one which is often subject to change. There are six categories within which an individual may apply: Skilled Worker Class Immigration, Family Class Immigration, Quebec-Selected Immigration, Provincial Nomination, Business Class Immigration and International Adoption.

Skilled Worker Class Immigration

Evaluation for Skilled Worker Class Immigration is based on language skills, education level, age, work experience and arranged employment and adaptability. An individual’s criminal history is also taken into account.

Business Class Immigration

Classes of individuals in the Business Class category that qualify for permanent residence include self employed persons, investors and entrepreneurs. Each class must meet different requirements.

Provincial Nomination

The Provincial Nomination category is for those individuals who want to reside in a specific province. The province is able to nominate individuals to be considered, and requires the individual to contact the representative immigration office and apply for nomination.

Family Class Immigration

Close family members of an individual might be able to aid their application for permanent residency if they are already permanent Canadian residents.

Québec-Selected Immigration

There is a separate permanent residence evaluation process in Quebec. It is divided into categories such as permanent/temporary workers, businesspeople and students.

International Adoption

International adoption is the process whereby Canadian permanent residents adopt children from foreign countries. It is an arduous process, but everything is done to protect the rights of the children.

Obtaining a Permanent Resident VISA

To begin with contact your nearest consulate, high commission or embassy of Canada. You will be asked to fill in an application, pay the application fee, provide a medical certificate, a criminal record check and attend interviews with immigration representatives. Subject to the nature and category of your application additional information/documentation may be required.

Fees for permanent residency

Fees for permanent residency vary according to the category/ class of your application as well as the age/status of the applicant. Fees can fluctuate from $75 to $1,050 and are paid in Canadian dollars.