What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a Canadian Visa?


Quick Answer

To obtain a Canadian visa, an individual must submit an application to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as of 2015. The department requires a valid passport with blank visa pages and at least 90 days remaining before expiration. Canadian immigration officers review visa applications and may deny applicants based on various risk criteria, including the applicant's background, health, experience, language abilities and criminal record.

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Full Answer

There is no distinction between a work visa and a temporary resident visa, but business travelers should carry documentation from a Canadian employer or host company. Students must obtain a Canada Study Permit. Parents and grandparents can apply for a super visa, which lasts up to two years.

Applicants can apply online unless the applicant is a citizen of a country from a predetermined list of countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan, for which Canada requires photographs and fingerprints. Applicants must submit these in person.

Visitors from 51 exempt countries, including the United States, do not require a visa to visit Canada. Visitors from visa-exempt countries other than the United States, including individuals who are transiting through Canada to another destination, must obtain electronic travel authorizations. The approval process is less vigorous than with a visa, and the authorization is valid for up to five years and multiple entries.

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