Just above the ‘Land of the Brave and Home of the Free’ called the United States of America, lies another country called ‘the Great White North‘ with one of the most stunning natural geographies and spectacular cities in the world. Canada, a country blessed with cultural diversity, nature and wildlife, food and festivities, safety and affordability, and lastly, activities for the whole family to enjoy, just got easier to visit for many countries. Canada is also a top tourist destination for adventure and extreme sports junkies.
Do you need a Visa to travel to Canada?
Though the Canadian government has not yet explored the option of’ Visa on Arrival’, many countries like the United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom and many of its Overseas Territories (like Bermuda, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, and Gibraltar), most Western European nations of the European Union (EU), Japan, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore are exempt from Visa requirements to travel. Instead, the option of eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization is the new requirement for foreign nationals from the visa-exempt list who travel to Canada by air. This new process is mandatory from March 15, 2016. The eTA can be applied to through the internet which makes travel application easier.
The Government of Canada has released a list that exempts many countries from requirement of Canadian Visas for travel to any or all of its provinces. (LINK: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp)
Do you need an eTA or a Visa?
While some countries can apply online for an eTA, others have to apply for visas. The list of countries that require a visa for entry into Canada has been published by the Canadian Government here.
Where can you apply for a Canadian Visa?
The Government of Canada has over 130 processing centers called the Canadian Application Visa Centers or VAC, situated in more than 90 countries across the world. For those citizens who do not have the option of eTA and have to apply for visas need to visit a VAC to provide Biometric details required as per Canadian Law.
Other documents that should be provided for Visa applications
Please take careful notes to adhere to the stated specifications towards all documents:
- A Completed IMM 5257 Application Form
- A Completed IMM 5645 Family Information (if required by the VAC)
- Provide two recent full-face photographs with minimum dimensions of 35x45mm. The photograph should be taken against a white or similar (light colored) background, meeting the mentioned requirements.
- Proof of financial support (Relevant bank statements or pay slips).
- Your valid passport with at least one blank page. And the expiry date must be at least one month later than the end of your planned visit.
- A copy of your planned itinerary and a photocopy of return ticket.
Types of Visas and duration of validity
With a Canadian visitor’s visa you can travel within Canada for up to six months. There are two types of visas that can be applied to: namely a single entry visa and a multiple entry visa. As the name dictates, the single entry visa can be used only once, with travel limit of six months. However, if you decide to leave Canada before, another trip will cost you a fresh application towards a new visa. Multiple entry visas allow for multiple entry and exits during the six months without reapplying for a visa. This visa is valid up to 10 years, or one month before your passport expiry date.
What will these Visas cost you?
The single entry and the multiple entry visas cost 100 CAD. Family visa have been capped at 500 CAD (cumulative amount).
Process at the point of entry (immigration desk) at airport or on land
There is a very thorough check of all the required documents at the immigration desk by the Canadian Border Services Agency. They are required to question visitors on their plans to leave the country as per the visa. In case of doubt, the agency officers may require a cash bond to ensure compliance towards the visa conditions. In addition, the agency officers have the authority to impose a reduction on duration of visa validity from six months to a limit of their choosing.
Some useful information
Make sure that you and those with you carry all documents including all flights details of connecting flights or proof of return. And if you are travelling with minors must make certain that all documents pertaining to their travel and proof of guardianship, or guardian’s consent, is required. Under Canadian Law children below 18 are considered minors.
For more information and to apply for visas, send us an online enquiry (Y-Axis). You can also enquire on additional information for our other Y-Axis services (Y-Axis) or read the information provided through various sub links.
Visiting Canada just got alot easier
Posted on December 11, 2015