What is a Visa (TRV)?
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV or Visa) is a document which authorizes certain persons, who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, to attend a border, airport or seaport in Canada. It allows for you to travel to Canada. However, it does not authorize you to stay in Canada. Having a Canada TRV does not mean that you will be permitted entry into Canada.
Your entry into Canada is determined by an immigration officer of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the time you arrive at your port of entry into Canada. The CBSA officer may assess your eligibility for entry and admissibility. If you are found to be eligible and admissible, the CBSA will determine the appropriate maximum length of time you may be allowed to remain in Canada and the terms and conditions of your stay. These terms and conditions may include: your authorization to visit certain persons, businesses and institutions, work, study or engage in other activities in Canada. They may also restrict your location of work or study, occupation or course, program or level of study, employer or institution, or any other such terms as may be authorized by Canada’s immigration laws or be reasonable.
Who needs a Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada?
Not everyone needs a visa to travel to Canada. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada do not need visas. Furthermore, Canada allows persons from certain countries visa-free travel to Canada. However, with the exception of American citizens, persons from all visa-free countries require an electronic travel authorization (eTA) in order to fly to Canada. An eTA is not required for land travel, such as driving or walking across the border between the United States and Canada through a designated port of entry.
Where do I apply for a Visa?
Applications for Canadian visas must be made to the Government of Canada. They can be submitted on-line to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in person or by courier to a Visa Application Centre (VAC) located outside of Canada, or, in some cases for persons who are already inside of Canada, to a Case Processing Centre office of IRCC in Canada.
How long does it take for a Visa (TRV) to be approved?
Processing time for Canadian visa applications varies by method of submission – on-line, by courier or in person – by country, and by Visa-type or class. Estimated processing times for most types or classes of on-line or by courier applications are provided on-line by the Government of Canada. These estimated processing times represent how long it has taken the Government of Canada 80% of applications submitted on-line or by courier. The information is sorted by type or class of application. However, it is important to note that estimated processing times do not necessarily tell you how long it will take for your application to be processed. Your application can take shorter or longer than the posted estimated processing time.
Some applications for visas may be selected for priority, urgent or express processing. A Canada visa application processing officer has the discretion to select any application for priority, urgent or express processing. However, exercising this discretion using requires the applicant to provide some compelling reasons for faster than normal processing.
Other applications that may be selected for priority, urgent or express processing are those which meet the criteria for certain programs or initiatives. Persons who have submitted applications under the CAN+, Business Express or Student Express programs may be eligible for priority, urgent or express visa application processing.
Currently, the Government of Canada does not offer the option for applicants to purchase priority, urgent or express processing.
How much does it cost to apply for a Visa to Canada?
The cost of an application varies by type or class of visa.
The government application fees for some common visa types are listed below:
- A tourist visitor visa costs $100.00 CAD per applicant. Discounts or capped fees may be available for certain eligible groups or families.
- A business visitor visa costs $100.00 CAD per applicant. Discounts or capped fees may be available for certain eligible groups.
- A student visa costs $150.00 CAD per applicant.
- A work visa costs $155.00 CAD per applicant. Discounts or capped fees may be available for certain eligible groups of workers coming to work for the same employer.
There may also be government application fees for certain incidental application services, such as biometrics, employer compliance, or temporary foreign worker labour market impact assessments. Further, some applicants may be expected to pay fees for required documentation or examinations, such as immigration medical examinations, police criminal records reports, or other records or reports.
Some Canadian visa application types are exempt from fees.
How do I apply for a Visa (TRV) for Canada?
Persons interested in applying for a TRV to Canada may do so on-line or by courier or in person to a Visa Application Centre. Persons must complete all required forms, questionnaires and checklists, and submit these with all required documentation, in order for their applications to be considered. Applications can be found incomplete or be refused if not all of these items are completed or submitted.
Am I eligible for a Visa for Canada?
In order to determine your eligibility, officers may examine a number of factors to assess the likelihood that you will comply with the terms and conditions of your temporary stay, and whether you are eligible for the type or class of visa for which you have applied. This may include assessing whether you are likely to leave Canada by the end of the temporary period authorized for your stay, whether you have sufficient funds to support your stay or afford a ticket to leave Canada, whether you have strong ties to your country of origin or permanent residence, including your current employment, job prospects and family ties, and whether you have a legitimate temporary purpose or intent, such as to tour, conduct business, engage in short term work, studies or other permitted activities in Canada. Other factors may also be considered by the officer.
Almost anyone can apply for a TRV for Canada. However, there are some exceptions, including persons who have been statutorily barred from applying, such as persons who recently made a refugee claim and are either awaiting a decision or were recently refused, persons who are required by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to apply for and obtain Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) before applying for a visa, or persons who have been found to have misrepresented on a prior application in the past 5 years.
What documents do I need to apply for a Visa (TRV) for Canada?
Generally, all applicants require a valid passport or travel document that will be valid for the entire period of the intended temporary stay in Canada. Other required documentation will be dependent on the type or class of Canada visa for which you are applying, your country of origin or permanent residence, or the local visa office or VAC requirements. Supporting documentation may include: letters of invitation from Canadian citizens, businesses or institutions, proof of financial ability to support your stay and its purpose, such as bank account balance records, proof of employment, proof of a job offer, proof of studies, proof of acceptance or admittance into a program of study, education records, work history records, national identification cards, proof of property ownership in your country of origin or permanent residence, proof of family or other close relations in your country of origin or permanent residence, or other proof that you will comply with the temporary terms and conditions of your stay and the meet eligibility parameters of your type or class of Canadian visa.
Additionally, applicants may also be required to provide biometrics, including fingerprinting and retinal eye scans, medical examination reports or police records checks.
Other documents may also be requested by the visa officer.
The list of documentation noted here is not intended to be exhaustive. It is recommended that you consult the document checklist for the visa office and with an immigration lawyer to determine what documents you may need to apply for a TRV for Canada.
Failure to provide all required documentation or information may result in the refusal of your TRV application, a finding of not being truthful or forthright, a finding of misrepresentation, or another negative finding that may limit your ability to apply for or obtain a TRV for Canada in the future.
I was refused a Visa for Canada. Can I appeal the decision or apply again?
It is recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer if you have been refused or denied a visa to Canada.
Appealing a refusal: An application for a TRV made outside of Canada can be appealed or contested in at least two ways: by submitting a request for reconsideration to the visa office, or by initiating an Application for Leave and for Judicial Review (JR) in the Federal Court of Canada (FCC).
Reconsideration request: A request for reconsideration must usually be made directly to the visa office which refused the application or to Case Management Branch and must be made shortly after you receive the refusal decision. Delays in submitting a request for reconsideration may result in the request being ignored or the documentation upon which the decision was based being archived or destroyed. Furthermore, requests for reconsideration made after a long passage of time may result in the presumption of a change in circumstances and the information or documentation which was submitted may no longer be considered reliable or indicative of a person’s eligibility for the TRV.
Application for Leave and for Judicial Review: If the refusal decision was made outside of Canada, an Application for JR must usually be made within 60 days of receipt of the decision. If the refusal decision was made inside of Canada, an Application for JR must usually be made within 15 days of receipt of the decision.
Re-applying for a visa: Persons who have been refused a TRV can also typically apply again with new or additional documentation or information at any time. There is typically no waiting period required by law.
However, there are some exceptions. Persons who have been found to have misrepresented are barred from applying for a visa for 5 years. Persons who have been found to have committed certain violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) may be required to apply for and obtain Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) before they may be permitted to apply for a visa to Canada. Persons who have been found criminally inadmissible to Canada may have to apply for and obtain Criminal Rehabilitation before they may be permitted to apply for a visa to Canada.
Do I need a Visa if I have a valid Visitor Record, Work Permit, Study Permit, or Temporary Resident Permit?
A Visitor Record, Work Permit, Study Permit, or Temporary Resident Permit is not valid for travel to Canada. In most cases, persons who needed a visa to initially travel to Canada must also have a valid Temporary Resident Visa to return to Canada.
Some exceptions include American citizens, persons who are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a visa and, if they intend to travel by air, possess a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA), or persons who have valid temporary residency status in Canada and have travelled solely to the United States from Canada and are returning to Canada within the period initially authorized for their stay.
Can you conduct a Visa assessment for me?
Mandelbaum Immigration Lawyers can conduct a Visa assessment for you. Simply provide us with your name, email address and phone number by filling out our comment card, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our office will contact you to arrange a consultation with a lawyer.