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Visitor Visa

Every year, more than 35 million people visit Canada. Many of these people must apply for a Visitor Visa (formally referred to as a Temporary Resident Visa) under Canadian Immigration laws

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires all visitors, except those exempt by regulation, to obtain a Visitor Visa before coming to Canada. Visitor Visa applicants must demonstrate to visa officials that they have significant family, social, economic and cultural ties to their country of origin and that they have sufficient means to support themselves during their visit to Canada. Applicants must also satisfy visa officials that there is no risk that they will overextend their visit to Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada defines Visitors as people who wish to enter Canada for a temporary purpose, such as tourists, temporary foreign workers and international students. All Visitors to Canada must apply for and be granted Visitor Visas by Immigration Canada, unless they are citizens of visa exempt countries. Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. Visitors should ensure they have health insurance to pay their medical costs before they leave for Canada.

To be able to visit Canada, visitors:

  • must be in good health and might require a medical examination;
  • must respect Canadian laws;
  • will need a valid passport, proof of identity or other travel documents;
  • will need a Visitor Visa if they are from certain countries; and
  • may need a letter of invitation.
Upon arriving in Canada, visitors will be asked a few short questions by an Immigration officer. The officer will stamp the visitor's passport or advise the visitor how long he/she may stay in Canada.

After arriving, a visitor may want to change the conditions of his/her visit. This is possible in special cases and must be done before the visitor's status as a temporary resident expires.

Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. Visitors should ensure they have health insurance to pay their medical costs before they leave for Canada

Single Entry Visitor Visas allow entry to Canada only once. However, Immigration Canada allows holders of Single Entry Visitor Visas to leave and re-enter Canada within the validity of their Visitor status if such travel is to and from the USA or St. Pierre.

Multiple Entry Visitor Visas allow entry to Canada from any country on repeated occasions. These entries may occur at any time prior to the expiry of Visitor status.

Transit Visitor Visas allow entry into Canada for a period of no more than 48 hours, and apply to foreign individuals whose bus or flight stops in Canada on route to another country.

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