Do I need a visitor's visa to visit Canada and if so, how do I apply for one?

You may need to get a visitor's visa to visit Canada. It depends on which country you are from.

A visitor is a person who comes to Canada for a temporary purpose and is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This includes tourists, people visiting family in Canada, business travellers, foreign students, and temporary workers.

If you are a passport holder of these countries, you must get a visitor's visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada.

The list of countries that are exempt from needing the visitor's visa can change at any time. Check Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website for current information.

Make sure you have all the proper documents before you travel to Canada.

You must satisfy the visa officer that you meet certain requirements and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay.

Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. Make sure you have health insurance to pay your medical costs before you leave for Canada.

Multi-Entry Visas

When you apply for a single-entry visitor’s visa, you will automatically be considered for a multiple-entry visa. These visas are valid for 10 years. You can only stay in Canada for up to 6 months at a time

The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is also a multiple-entry visa that is valid for 10 years. It allows parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time.

How to Apply

For More Information

  • Visiting Canada - Information about how to apply for a visitor's visa, how you can extend your stay, and answers to frequently asked questions. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
  • Visitors to Canada - Information that visitors to Canada need to know before they travel. From the Canada Border Services Agency.
  • Come to Canada - A tool that can help you figure out what your options are if you want to come to Canada as an immigrant, student, worker or visitor. From CIC.
  • CIC Help Centre - A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - The federal department responsible for Canadian immigration and citizenship. Its website has information on immigration policy, programs and services, application kits, and more.
Last updated: July 08, 2015 4000175