When someone wants to go to Canada for a short period of time, usually less than 6 months, they have to get a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Within this group of visas, there are different types depending on the reason why you want to go to Canada.
One of these types is the Canadian Visitor Visa which is also known as a Tourist Visa for Canada. People from countries that do not have a visa exemption or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) agreement with Canada will need this visa to enter the country.
The Canada Visitor Visa is a Temporary Resident Visa for Canada which allows the holder to go to Canada for purposes such as:
· Tourism or holidays in Canada.
· Visiting family.
If you have been issued a Visitor visa to Canada and the officers find that you do not have any criminal intentions, you will be allowed to pass the port of entry and begin your holiday or family visit in Canada.
Who needs this visa?
Most travellers will need a Visitor visa which grants them entry to Canada, although there are nationals of countries which will only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or they are completely exempt and can enter freely with their passports without needing a visa.
What you’re allowed to do with a Tourist Visa
With the Canadian Tourist visa, you are allowed to travel around Canada for less than 6 months as long as you are in good financial standing. You are not allowed to get Canadian documents or stay in the country permanently. You are also not allowed to work or study, and you will not be allowed to file for health care or other governmental benefits.
Eligibility for Tourist Visa
To be eligible to apply for the Temporary Resident visas for Canada you must be able to fulfill the following criteria:
· Be at least 18 years old to apply as the primary visa applicant.
· Have a valid government-issued passport with at least one blank page that is not the last page of the passport.
· Submit copies of your current immigration status in another country or in Canada.
· Prove that your stay in Canada is temporary and that you will return to your home country once your visit is over.
· You must prove that you do not plan to work or study in Canada.
· Have enough funds to cover your stay in Canada.
· No criminal history
· Fill and sign a Visa Application Centre (VAC) Consent Form.
· Sign and date the appropriate documents where necessary.
· Translate and certify all the documents that you have that are in another language other than English or French.
· Be ready to pay the necessary visa application fees and visa processing fees.
· Be ready to attend an interview or give biometric information.
· Go through a medical examination if the Canadian Consulate asks you to.
The Canadian Consulate decides for how long to give you the Tourist Visa for Canada on a case by case basis. There are cases when they only give the visa for that timeframe that you want to visit Canada, and then there are also cases when they give you the visa until your passport expires. This all depends on whether they believe you will return to your home country or not.
Despite how long your Canada Tourist Visa is valid, you are not allowed to stay there for more than 6 months at a time. So, after 6 months you must return to your home country, stay for some time and then you can return to Canada again for 6 months.
If you want to stay longer than 6 months in Canada with a tourist visa, you will need a visitor visa extension. This extension is called a Visitor Record.
You have to apply for a visa extension for Canada (visitor record) at least 30 days before your visitor visa expires. You can apply to extend your visa for Canada either online on the IRCC’s website or on paper.
Your dependents, such as your spouse and minor children can come to Canada with you with a Tourist Visa. However, they must have their own application, and everyone should pay separate fees. You must submit the applications together at the Visa Application Center or online so that you are processed as a family.