Canadian Visit Visa

have a valid travel document, such as a passportVisit Canada
Canada welcomes you as a tourist, student or temporary worker. Every year, more than 5 million people visit Canada to enjoy the many opportunities our country has to offer.
Depending on where you live, and the reason for your visit, you will need to meet certain entry requirements. In some cases, if you plan to stay in Canada for a certain period of time, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa.
Canada is a beautiful country to visit.

Who is eligible?Who is eligible

To visit Canada, you must:

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • be in good health
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you have ties, such as a job, home and family, that will take you back to your country of origin
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit and
  • have enough money for your stay. The amount of money you will need can vary with the circumstances of the visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives. For more information, ask the Canadian visa office in your country or region.

You may also need:

  • a Temporary Resident Visa, depending on your citizenship (see Visas and Exemptions below)
  • a medical examination and
  • a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.

Travel DocumentsTravel Documents

Transport companies, such as airlines, must ensure you have proper, valid travel documents when you enter Canada. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or denied boarding.

Visas and exemptionsVisas and exemptions

You may or may not need a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada, depending on your citizenship. Even if you are exempt, though, there is important information you need to know before you plan your trip.
If you need a visa, see How to Apply for a Visa in the Learn About section below to find out how to get your visa.
If you do not need a visa, see Visa Exempt – Important Information for Travellers in the Learn About section below.
If you are not sure, see Do You Need a Visa? in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.


Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime. You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons.

Criminal inadmissibilityCriminal inadmissibility

If you have committed or been convicted of a criminal offence, you may not be allowed to enter Canada.
Criminal offences include both minor and serious offences, such as theft, assault, manslaughter, dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For a complete list of criminal offences in Canada, consult the Canadian Criminal Code.
If you were convicted of a crime when you were under the age of 18, you can probably still enter Canada. See the Related Links at the bottom of this page for more information about admissibility.

Processing TimeProcessing time

How long it takes to process your application varies depending on the visa office where you applied. You can find out more about application processing times in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.

interviewAn interview with a visa officer

You may need to go for an interview with a visa officer. See more information about an interview in After Applying on the right-hand side of this page.

medicalA medical examination

You might need a medical examination to be allowed to enter Canada. If you do, a Canadian immigration officer will tell you and will send you instructions about what to do. A medical examination can add more than three months to the processing time of your application. You can find more information on medical examinations in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.
You can use the same application form for your spouse or common-law partner, and for dependent children under 18 if they will be travelling with you.

All required documents must be included with your application:

  • You must have a valid travel document (such as a passport) for each family member on the application.
  • Two recent passport photos of each family member are required. Make sure these photos meet the requirements. For more information on specifications for photographs, see the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.
  • Enclose the application fee and the IMM 5401 receipt of payment. Your fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted.
  • You must provide proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the Canadian visa office in your country or region.
  • You may need to include other documents. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, a letter of invitation from relatives or friends in Canada, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

Temporary Resident VisasTemporary Resident Visas – After applying

Most applications for Temporary Resident Visas are processed within a month or less. Processing times vary depending on the visa office. You can check processing times in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.
Note: If you need a visa to travel to Canada, you must also have a valid travel document, such as a valid passport, titre de voyage or Certificate of Identity. For specific information on passport requirements for your country please see the List of Canadian embassies in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

How your application is processedHow your application is processed

After you send your application, it will be reviewed at the visa office to ensure it has been completed correctly and that it contains all the required documents. A visa officer will decide if an interview with you is necessary. If an interview is required, you will be notified of the time and place.
If your application is refused, your passport and other documents will be returned to you. You will also receive an explanation why your application was refused. If you sent fraudulent documents, they will not be returned.
If your application is approved, your passport and documents will be returned to you with your visa.

For more information about Canada and places to visit during your stay, see the Government of Canada website in the Related Links at the bottom of this page.
Note: a valid temporary resident visa and valid travel document do not guarantee you automatic entry into Canada. If you arrive in Canada and a Canadian official finds that you are no longer admissible because

  • your circumstances changed, or
  • new information on you came to light (such as false information on your application for a temporary resident visa)

You may not be allowed to enter Canada.

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