The Canada visa requirements are a general prerequisite to getting a visa. A visa is a document that grants you entry into any country and will permit you to move freely upon entry and also be treated as an equal to its citizens – in this case, Canada.
However, applicants should note that applying for this Canadian visa is not for everyone, that is, there are specific countries that do not necessarily need a visa to gain entry into Canada notably the European countries.
Click here to ascertain whether you need a visa to enter Canada. If you are on the list of countries whose nationals require a visa for Canada, then you need to apply for a Canadian visa. There are different types of Canadian visas, and these visa requirements may vary a little bit. The purpose of the visit and length of time determines the type of visa you need to apply for.
Types of Canadian Visa
There are different types of Canadian visas and these visas depend on the route to go through. The various types of Canadian visas are as follows:
- Tourist visa: This visa is for people who want to visit Canada for tourism purposes only. It does not guarantee you to work or study in Canada at all. You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your planned departure from Canada and you must plan on leaving Canada within 90 days after your arrival.
- Permanent resident visa: This visa is for people who want to live permanently in Canada. It allows you to work and study in Canada, as well as travel freely within the country. You must have a valid passport that is at least six months after your planned departure from Canada and you must plan on leaving Canada within 180 days after your arrival.
- Work visa: This visa is for people who want to work in Canada. You must have a valid passport that is at least six months after your planned departure from Canada and you must plan on leaving Canada within 90 days after your arrival.
- Study visa: This visa is for people who want to study in Canada. You must have a valid passport that is at least six months after your planned departure from Canada and you must plan on leaving Canada within 180 days after your arrival.
- Investor visa: This visa is for people who want to invest in or develop a business in Canada. You must have a valid passport that is at least six months after your planned departure from Canada and you must plan on leaving Canada within 90 days after your arrival.
- Refugee visa: This visa is for people who are fleeing their home country because of a fear of persecution. You must have a valid passport that is at least six months after your planned departure from Canada.
Regardless of all these types of Canadian visas, there are general documents applicants must present in order to have an easy application process.
Note: These documents are assumed to be true and correct, if for any reason it is detected that it was forged then it will be automatically denied. In addition to that, they (documents) should be available at all times and on time to avoid visa delays.
Documents Required For The Canadian Visa Application Process
- Your passport;
- Birth certificate (Age);
- Passport photographs;
- Appropriate Canada visa application form;
- Proof of paid Canada visa fees;
- Proof of clean criminal record;
- Proof that you are in good health condition through a medical exam;
- Concise photographs in specifications with the photo requirements for a Canada visa;
- Proof of financial means;
- Proof that you will come back to your home country as soon as the Canadian visa expires;
- Identity and Civil Status Documents;
- A cover letter explaining in detail the purpose of your travel to Canada;
- Letter of support/invitation to Canada.
When you apply for a Canadian visa, an application visa will be downloaded from the IRCC website. Here, you will find all the documents and requirements needed to fill in correctly and submit. It comes with a checklist that helps you know which documents are available and which you are to have handy before applying for the Canadian visa.
All the documents reported on the checklist are available, filled, signed, and submitted. All countries have different document requirements, so do well to make your research on what document is expected of you from your country.
Birth Certificate (Age)
This birth certificate may vary from route to route, that is, when applying for a study visa it may be necessary for the Canadian visa process but applicants applying for the work visa may not need it. This document just needs to show the age of the applicant to differentiate between an adult and a minor and the age of the adult and cross-referenced to the purpose of the visit.
Only adults are to be the primary applicants on the application however, the minor must be a dependant ad be escorted to the embassy for the interview upon scheduling one at the embassy. If a minor is to travel alone then there are other requirements, do well to make more research on that, alternatively, you can ask the officer at the embassy about the documents you need and the necessary requirements for the visa.
A passport must be valid and all travel documentation is required and must be valid. Photocopies of all these documents are to be presented, and all the information therein must be clear and legible.
Your passport number.
The date of issue and expiry.
Your personal information like your name, passport photo, place of birth, and date of birth.
There is a required passport photograph specifically tailored for the visa application. It should be properly taken with no headgear whatsoever to be worn, glasses and makeup are also not allowed. It is most preferred to be taken in a white background as well. Not having a standard passport photograph could lead to delays in your visa processing or in some cases outright denial of the Canadian visa.
Proof of Paid Canada Visa Fees
All visa fees are expected to be paid with proof to be shown at the embassy. Receipt of any kind that carries the transaction will serve as your proof of payment. The receipt should be attached to the application letter, and the fees are to be paid differently depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
There are two types of fees:
- Application processing fees;
- Biometric fees.
These fees are of different amounts and for different purposes. In addition, the fees increase according to the number of people in your family that are applying for the visa. Although, they all have different price ranges.
Proof of Funds
This is one important part of the Canadian visa application journey, the proof of funds simply means the financial document you are expected to present at the embassy to show to the officer there that you are capable of handling all financial issues that may befall you upon entry into Canada.
- This financial document also gives the officer at the embassy the reassurance that you should be granted the Canadian visa since you will not be a burden to the Canadian government.
- These financial documents can be anything that proves your financial capability and must be official, financial documents like;
- Bank statements.
- Letter of employment showing annual earnings.
- Evidence that shows you have properly arranged to receive financial support from your friends/family to cover the duration of your stay.
- Evidence of total income gotten by your Canadian host or family member.
This bank statement will be issued by the bank obviously but what you may not know is that the embassy needs to know about your financial ordeal for at least a month or two depending on the route of the visa you are applying to. The duration they look at differs based on the type of visa being applied for.
As stated earlier, the employment letter has to carry your salary earnings for a minimum of a year. Payslips and proof of salary earnings will be required and checked if you cannot be able to provide a bank statement.
Evidence that shows you have properly arranged to receive financial support from your friends/family to cover the duration of your stay
If any of the above mentioned cannot be presented, then do well to have proof of the aforementioned title. If your friends and family are willing to be your sponsor then it has to be handwritten and cast on a stone before taking major steps to the embassy.
Evidence of total income gotten by your Canadian host or family member
If the sponsor is already in Canada then the onus is on the sponsor to provide her financial documents that can show that you (the applicant) will not be a burden to the Canadian government and that the sponsor can handle both his or hers and yours as well.
Proof of Clean Criminal Records
This is almost as important as the proof of funds, this is because you need to prove to the embassy that you have no criminal record whatsoever. The Canadian government will not like to bring in an application that will be a burden, so also a criminal. Therefore, applicants are to go to the police stations and collect a police certificate that will be presented at the embassy.
Furthermore, if you have been in a particular country (which is not your home country) you will be asked to get a police certificate of good behavior.
Proof that you will come back to your home country as soon as the Canadian visa expires
Applicants must find ways to convince the officer at the embassy that they do not plan on staying longer than the duration that is stated on their visa unless they can renew and change the visa type. If this is not done then you are expected to come back to your home country.
Regardless of your purpose, it is best to show proof that you are to come back to your home country once you are done with your purpose of visiting, that is, after the expiration of the Canadian visa. Once the embassy officer detects an ounce of lie on your breath then you can as well kiss your Canadian visa goodbye. You need to be as convincing as possible to scale through this stage.
Documents that applicants are supposed to submit as proof of return is
Proof of employment – copies of your employment letter are what is needed. The company has to be a registered company that is able to tie you down to the job, your job role at the company, and when you are expected to return to your home country.
Deed to a property – if you own a property or properties then you can as well present these documents as proof that you will return to your home country
-If you are a breadwinner, or you have family members to take care of then you can provide proof of this as well as you need to show that you are responsible for them.
Proof that you are in good health condition through a medical exam
A medical exam is needed to show that you are in good health of both mind and body. Medical reports are taken to ascertain your health status, without this, unfortunately, you will not be granted entry into Canada via your visa. Although, if you plan on staying for about six weeks or less then this may not be needed unless you will be working with other people closely.
There is a panel of medical practitioners that will handle the medical examinations, the tests you are to undergo will not be done by your doctor as they believe it could be forged. Panel Physicians allowed for every country can be found on IRCC’s website.
The Purpose of Traveling to Canada
The purpose of traveling to Canada should be clearly stated and printed out. The document needed could be;
- An invitation letter that must come from your sponsor or the family member/friend you plan to visit;
- Contact information of the people who can support your stated purpose of visit;
- Any other important documents that support your purpose of travel.
- The requirements also depend on the country you are applying from.