Canada has much to offer in terms of vacation, tourism, employment and other opportunities. Over 35 million people flock to Canada every year for holidays, work or studies. The numbers increase every year as people wish to visit their family and friends residing in Canada. Depending on the purpose of your visit, you will require a visa that allows you to travel for your specific purpose.
Types of Canadian Visas
- Visitor Visas - These visas are required by citizens of select countries. The visa is granted for a vacation in Canada. Your stay must be temporary and you must return to your country when the visa expires.
- Parent and grandparent super visa - If you wish to visit your children or grandchildren in Canada, then this super visa is for you. You will need to follow all the requirements that include a duly signed written promise from the person in Canada that they will take care of you financially while you stay in Canada. The validity of this visa extends up to 10 years.
- Study Permits - Student visas are issued to international students who wish to pursue their education in Canada. There are special programs for those who wish to stay in Canada permanently after their studies. The student visas allow the holder to bring their family or spouse. The holder can also apply for open work permits easily.
- Work Permits - Based on the type of work you will be carrying out in Canada, you might be eligible for a work permit. You can check your eligibility online. Certain conditions must be met in order to qualify for a work permit.
- Temporary Resident Visa - This visa is applicable to those who are inadmissible to Canada, but have justifiable reasons to travel to Canada. In these situations, the safety or health risks imposed to the Canadian Society outweigh the inadmissible policy.
- Permanent Resident Visa - This visa is granted to those who are not citizens of Canada but have permission to live and work there. There is no specific amount of time granted but the individual must reside in Canada for at least 2 years out of every 5 years.
- ETA Document - The Electronic Travel Authorization is a document that allows the individuals to travel to Canada with a validity of 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever is earlier. American citizens or visitors who hold a valid Canadian visa do not require ETAs. The process to get an ETA is extremely simple and quick and it is better to get one before booking flight tickets.
Eligibility to Apply For Canada Visa
The eligibility criteria depends on the type of visa you qualify for. Each visa has a different set of requirements. To find out more, there are handy tools online which enable you to enter your details and find out which visa suits your requirements. The main requirements are:
- You need a valid travel document, for example, a passport.
- You should also carry valid identification.
- You should have sufficient money or income to fund your stay. This will vary based on the duration of your stay, the type of stay and whether you will require accommodation or you will be staying with friends or family.
- You need to be in good health. You might require a health checkup.
- You should have ties back in India that will ensure you leave Canada once your visa expires. Ties include a job, family, a home or financial assets. Basically, you need to convince the immigration office that you will return home.
- You might require a letter of invitation your employer, family, friends or school to come to Canada.
How to Apply For a Canadian Visa
Almost all applications for the Canadian visa is done through VFS global. The process is detailed and clear. Let’s take a look at the VFS process here.
- The first step to applying for a Canadian visa is to read the requirements and application form thoroughly.
- Download the correct form and the checklists you require.
- Fill out the form and attach your documents electronically. You then need to print it on a white, non-glossy, bond sheet of paper with a laser printer.
- In case you cannot fulfil the documents required, you can fill out the waiver form and sign it. Then attach it to your application form.
- After this, you can proceed to pay the fees. The process and instructions are given in detail on the Canadian Visa Office website.
- If you choose to submit your application through the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), by mail or in person, then additional CVAC service fees must also be paid.
- Keep your passport, photographs, the required documents and filled-in application forms ready. Visit the CVAC with these documents.
- A service charge inclusive of tax will be applicable. This needs to be paid in INR cash.
- You will be given a receipt with a unique tracking number. You will be able to track the status of your application online.
What Documents Are Needed to Apply for a Canadian Visa
- You need a passport. You can also show any other valid travel document, however this may slow down the process.
- Valid identification that shows you are Indian.
- Income proof that there is sufficient funds to support your trip to Canada.
- If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you need to provide a photocopy of a document proving your status in Canada. You can attach any of the following:
- Canadian citizenship card
- Canadian birth certificate
- Copy of your PR card or your IMM 1000 proof of landing
- You might require a letter of invitation your employer, family, friends or school to come to Canada. The person inviting you must write the letter themselves including all the relevant information that is your full name, date of birth, residential address and contact number. They must also detail their relationship with you, the purpose and duration of your stay, where you will reside, your funds and when you will return home. This letter must include the writer’s full name, date of birth, job designation, residential address and contact number in Canada.
- For the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, the person in Canada must submit a written promise which is duly signed stating that the person entering Canada will be provided with financial support for the entire trip.
How is a Canadian visa processed
- Once you have successfully submitted your application, the visa office will start processing it. The application will be reviewed to ensure it is correct, complete and has all the required documents attached. If the application fails at this level, the process will be halted and the rejected application will be sent back to you.
- Once you have successfully passed the review, then the visa office may require the following from you:
- A medical checkup - A health exam may be required. You will have to set up an appointment, a doctor will run the required examination on you and then send the results to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you require a medical exam, then the processing time will be increased.
- Interview - The immigration officer will decide if a personal interview is required. They will contact you with the details of the appointment, the place and the time for your interview. This is not very common, and an interview may not delay the processing time too much.
- Police certificate - This may be required at the discretion of the visa office. If you or your family member is 18 years or above, then a PC might be required.
- Once you have completed the requirements from the visa office, your application will be considered assessed.
- Your original documents and passport will be given back to you. If you have submitted original bank statements, this will not be returned.
- In case the documents you submitted were found to be fake, duplicate or fraudulent, they will not be returned.
- On approval, your visa will be stamped inside your passport.
- In the event that your visa application is rejected, you will be provided with a reason for the rejection.
How to Track the Status of the Visa Application
You can track the progress of your visa application online. When you make the payment for the visa and submit your application, you will be issued a unique tracking ID. With this ID, you can track the status of your permanent resident and temporary resident applications that includes visitor visas, work permits, and study permits. To track the status of your application, visit the VFS global website or the official Canada visa website.
- Enter your tracking number
- Provide your date of birth
- Enter the captcha code
- Click on “Submit”
Rejection of Canadian Visa
Your application can be rejected for a number of reasons.If you have submitted false documents and information, the visa office may directly reject your application. You can also receive a refusal if you do not meet the eligibility requirements. Sometimes your visa application may be rejected if you’ve applied under the wrong category.
In the event that your temporary resident visa application is rejected, there is no formal appeal process that is in place. You will need to submit an application again. You should do so only if there has been a substantial change in your situation or you have new information to include in your re-application.
Canada Visa Faqs
How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
Usually, you are allowed to stay for 6 months from your date of entry. However, the border services officer at the Canadian port of entry will have authority to determine the duration of your stay. If the officer grants you time that is more than 6 months or shorter than 6 months, they will enter the date of leaving in your passport.
How do I extend my stay in Canada?
To extend your stay, you need to apply for an extension on your visa. You should do this at least 30 days ahead of your date of leaving.
I already have a Canadian Visa, am I required to also get an Electronic Travel Authorization?
If you already hold a valid Canadian visa, you do not have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) document.
According to the eligibility criteria, I do not need a visa to enter Canada. Is my passport enough in this case?
If you are exempt from a visa, you still need an ETA. You can apply for this online through a quick and simple process. Most ETAs are issued in a few minutes but can take up to a few working days. It is advisable that you get your ETA before you book your flights.
I have changed my address since my visa application. Do I have to apply again?
No, you are not required to apply again for a visa. You need to inform the Canada Visa Office where you applied, or which is in your country or region. You must get the information updated as a visa does not guarantee your entry into Canada. If they find out that the information is incorrect or there is new information, you may not be allowed to enter.