If you would like to travel to Canada, you need to find out the travel document that you need. While some people only require their passports, others require visas whereas others require the Electronic Travel Authorization Canada eTA. Here we will look at visas.
The first thing you need to understand is who requires a visa. People who travel to the country for studies, work and temporary residents as well as permanent ones require visas.
All visa applications are handled by Visa Application Centres (VACs) available in all countries all over the world. The centres receive applications for study permits, work permits and tourist visas but not for immigrants. The VACs do not issue visa but only provide administrative support. All applications are assessed by the Consulate General of Canada (CGC) before approval.
This means that you will only get a visa if it is approved by the immigration officers at the CGC. What are the requirements for visa to Canada? These will depend on the type of travel you intend to carry out.
Temporary resident visa
This is ideal for tourists and visitors who do not intend to stay for long. These will be required to fill out the VAC consent form, visitor form (IMM 5257) and family information form (IMM 5484).
Other documents you will be required to carry are fee payment done by an acceptable method, photocopy of the information page of your passport, two photos, proof of financial support, photocopy of marriage certificate, purpose of travel, current immigration status and other documents that the VAC will request.
A checklist document should also be attached with boxes next to the documents provided checked. The photographs must have the mouth closed with a neutral expression and facing squarely to the camera. Note that minors and the elderly will need to provide additional documents.
This is required by people who will be in Canada for the purposes of studying. They will be required to fill VAC consent form, study permit form (IMM 1294) and family information form (IMM 5645).
You will be required to attach copies of:
- Two photographs that meet the same criteria as those mentioned above for temporary resident visa
- Letter of acceptance at the school you will be studying
- Proof of financial support
- Marriage certificate
- Other documents required by the VAC
- Marked checklist form
This is for people who intend to work in Canada. They will need to fill the VAC consent form, work permit form and family information form. They will also need to provide two photographs, valid passport, proof of employment, marriage certificate or birth certificate for anyone accompanying you and other documents the VAC may specify.
Permanent resident travel documents
These people will be required to fill in the VAC consent form and the application for permanent resident travel document form (IMM 5524).
Documents to be provided are:
- Fee payment proof
- Documents checklist
- Two photos
- Valid current passport and copies of previous passports used in the last five years
- Two pieces of evidence to show permanent resident status in Canada
- Bank statements/employment records/club memberships/rental agreements etc from the past five years
- Birth certificate/marriage license for people accompanying Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Others advised by the VAC.