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How to apply for Canada visa Online Full Overview

Applying for a visitor visa (temporary resident visa)

Educative Purpose only, For more information, visit the Consulate/Embassy website

Use this guide to apply for a visitor visa, transit visa, super visa

Before you apply

Step 1. Gather documents
Step 2. Complete the application
Step 3. Pay the fees
Step 4. Submit the application

Steps to apply for a visitor visa

Step 1: Get the documents that show you meet the criteria for a visitor visa

Step 2: Apply online

1. Create an account
2. Upload your documents
3. Pay your fees

Step 3: Give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Normally, you need to give biometrics. If your local visa application center is not open due to COVID-19, there are temporary measures in place for biometrics.

Find out what to do for your biometrics
How we process your application

They’ll check your application to make sure you have all the documents you need.

If it’s incomplete, it will be returned without processing it.

If approved, you’ll be asked to send your passport.

Prepare for your travel to and arrival in Canada

You may need to bring with you the documents you submitted with your visa application or present additional documents to the border services officer on arrival in Canada.

Check the list of documents you may need

Documents Required for Canada Business Visa

Documents Required for Canada Tourist Visa

Temporary Resident Visa application photograph specifications

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions are not legal definitions. In case of a discrepancy between the language in this document and the relevant legislation or regulations, the legal text in the legislation and regulations prevails.

For legal information, consult the following documents:

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations


The instruction guide:

has the information you must know before you submit your application, and
explains how to fill out the forms and gather your supporting documents.

Read the instruction guide completely and then fill out each of the applicable forms.

The forms are designed with questions that will help the processing of your application.
Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:

Required step
What you must do to have your application processed.
Important information

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.
Get more information

Where to get more information.

Note: Tips that will help you with this application.

Before you apply

Who may use this application guide?

Use this application guide if you wish to apply for a temporary resident visa from outside Canada.

Note: The processing time of an application may vary from one visa office to another. Find out more about application processing times.
Who are the Visitors?

Visitors are persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and are legally authorized to enter Canada to:

visit Canada on holiday (vacation), Documents Required for Canada Tourist Visa
visit family,
conduct business, etc. Documents Required for Canada Business Visa

Visitors are restricted in length of stay and subject to various conditions.

Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa?

Persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may require a visa to enter Canada. The requirement for a visa also applies to temporary residents who are transiting to Canada.

If you do not require a visa to enter Canada, you may require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

What is a Temporary Resident Visa?

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a visitor visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, a student, or a worker).

Important information:

You must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) before your departure. You cannot obtain one upon arrival in Canada.

What are the requirements you must meet for a TRV?

You must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay.

You must also:

satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay,

show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada and to return home,

not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so,

be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity,

not be a risk to the security of Canada,

provide any additional document requested by the officer to establish your admissibility, and
be in good health (complete a medical examination if required).

What if I was previously granted permanent resident status?

If you have ever been granted permanent residence or landed immigrant status in Canada, you may still be a permanent resident. We cannot issue you a TRV if you are a permanent resident.

You may instead want to apply for Travel Document (Permanent Resident Abroad). If you meet the requirements for a travel document, you can return to Canada as a permanent resident.

If you no longer want to be a permanent resident, or if you know you do not meet the requirements to keep your permanent resident status, you can voluntarily give up (renounce) your permanent resident status to apply for a TRV.

Voluntary Renunciation of PR status applications must be sent in a separate envelope by mail to the visa office.

We recommend that you apply for Voluntary Renunciation of your PR status first, and apply for your TRV once you receive the approval of your Voluntary Renunciation.
Entry to Canada

Important information: Entry to Canada is a privilege, not a right. You must meet the necessary requirements and you may need a Temporary Resident Visa.

Family member definitions

Your family members include your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children, and any children that are their dependent children.


Refers to either of the two persons (any gender) in a marriage legally recognized in the country in which it took place, as well as in Canada.

Important information

Proxy, telephone, fax, internet, and similar forms of marriage where one or both parties were not physically present are not considered valid spousal relationships under the Regulations nor are polygamous marriages.

Common-law partner

Refers to a person who is living in a conjugal relationship with another person (any gender), and has done so continuously for at least one year. A conjugal relationship exists when there is a significant degree of commitment between two people.

This can be shown with evidence that the couple shares the same home, support each other financially and emotionally, have children together, or present themselves in public as a couple.

Common-law partners who have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year, but are unable to live together or appear in public together because of legal restrictions in their home country or who have been separated for reasons beyond their control (for example, civil war or armed conflict) may still qualify and should be included on the application.

Dependent children

We assess your child’s eligibility as a dependent based on how old they were at a specific point in time, called the lock-in date. This is usually the date we received your application. To see if your child qualifies as a dependent, we consider the age of your child on the lock-in date, even though your child’s age may change during processing.

Your child or the child of your spouse or common-law partner can be considered a dependent child if that child meets the requirements below on the lock-in date:

They’re under 22 years old, and
They don’t have a spouse or common-law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependents if they meet both of these requirements:

They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22, and
They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

Except for age, dependents must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.

Not sure if your child is a dependent? Check if your child qualifies by answering a few questions.

If your child’s age was locked in on or before October 23, 2017, a previous definition of dependent children may apply.
Dependent child of a dependent child

Refers to children of dependent children of the applicant and those of the spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.

Do I have to apply separately for my family members?

Family members must complete their application forms. However, you may submit your applications together online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) and use one payment receipt for the total amount.

Your spouse or common-law partner and children must meet all of the requirements for temporary residence in Canada.

Are there medical requirements?

If you plan to work, visit or study in Canada for six months or less:

You usually do not need a medical exam.
If you plan to work, visit or study in Canada for more than six months:

You will need a medical exam if you:

have lived temporarily for six or more month, hs in a row:
in any of these countries or territories
in the one year immediately before the date you want to enter Canada. (This applies even if you are a citizen of a country that does not need a visa to enter Canada.)

Regardless of the length of time, you are in Canada, you will need a medical exam if you wish to work in one of the following fields:

a designated occupation, such as the field of health services or with children.

Examples of designated occupations include hospital staff, clinical laboratory workers, patient attendants in nursing and geriatric homes, and medical and dental students admitted to attend Canadian universities;
to work in agricultural occupations, you will need a medical exam if you have lived in certain countries or territories.

You and your family members may need a medical exam to come to Canada. Find out more by checking the Medical examination requirements for temporary residents.

You may either:

have an upfront medical exam by contacting a Panel Physician; or
wait until your application is reviewed and medical instructions are given to you by the visa office.

Get the instructions to complete the medical exam.

When medical results are submitted upfront, routine cases benefit from faster processing since we do not have to ask for them at a later date. This is done at your own cost and does not influence the final decision on your application. If you have an upfront medical exam, you must submit proof that you completed the medical exam with your application. Failure to do so may result in processing delays.

Biometric (fingerprints and photo) requirements

You may need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point. If your family members are also applying, they may need to appear in person to have their biometric information taken as well.

If you’re in Canada as a visitor and you apply for an initial study or work permit, you need to give your biometrics. As of December 3, 2019, you need to give biometrics when you apply from within Canada. You can go to a designated Service Canada location.

Find out if you need to give biometrics.

Note: If you need to give biometric fingerprints and a photo, you do not need to include paper photos with your application.
How often do you give your biometrics?

You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics again until the 10-year period expires.

If you gave biometrics in the past as part of an application for a visitor visa, work, or study permit and they are still valid, you don’t need to give them again for this application.

Find out if your biometrics are still valid and when they expire by using the Check Biometric Status Tool.

When to give your biometrics

If you submit your application online or by mail.

You can give your biometrics after you:

pay for and submit your application and biometric fees, and
get a biometric instruction letter (BIL) that will direct you to a list of office locations you may choose from.

You must provide your biometric data promptly after receiving the instruction letter inviting you to do so.

If you submit your application in person at a visa application center (VAC)

You may be able to book an appointment in advance to give your biometrics at the same time that you submit your application at a VAC. If you can’t give your biometrics when you submit your application you will have to make an appointment at the VAC to give them at a later date.
Where to give your biometrics

You need to book an appointment to give your biometrics at one of these official biometric collection service points.

We’ll start processing your application after we get your biometrics.

Can I work or study during my stay in Canada?

Visitors are not allowed to work or study in Canada unless they are authorized to do so under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. In many cases, a work or study permit will be required.

A temporary resident may also take a program of study for up to six months duration without having to obtain a study permit.

Information about the parent and grandparent super visa

About the super visa

The multiple-entry super visa allows parents and grandparents to

enter Canada multiple times

stay in Canada for a period of up to 5 years on each entry

Important information: Applicants who do not normally require a visa to enter Canada must also apply to a visa office. See the section below for visa-exempt applicants.

Who may apply for a super visa?

To apply for a super visa, you must either be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

You cannot include your dependent children in this application. If your spouse or common-law partner wants to come with you, they need to also apply.

How do I apply for a super visa?

To apply for a super visa, you need to submit an application to a visa office and provide

a letter of invitation written and signed by your child or grandchild promising financial support for the entire duration of your stay in Canada.

You must also include your host child or host grandchild’s family composition (dependents, including spouse, children, or other relatives that are financially dependent on your host child or host grandchild).

one of the following documents to prove that your child or grandchild meets the low-income cut-off (LICO) minimum (The Canadian or permanent resident spouse or common-law partner of your child or grandchild may co-sign the invitation letter to meet the LICO minimum):
The most recent copy of their federal income tax notice of assessment.

If your child or grandchild does not have a paper copy of their notice of assessment, they can view (and print) their tax returns as well as other personal tax information using the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account online service. To register or log in, visit My Account.

The most recent copy of the child or grandchild’s T4 or T1.

An original letter from the child’s or grandchild’s employer stating their job title, job description, and salary.

The child or grandchild’s employment insurance benefit statements, including

a letter from an accountant confirming annual income, if self-employed
proof of other sources of income (for example, pension statement, investments)
evidence of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident you wish to visit (such as a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, or other official documents naming you as parent or grandparent)
proof that you have private medical insurance valid for a minimum of 1 year from a Canadian insurance company and that
is paid in full (quotes aren’t accepted)
covers health care, hospitalization, and repatriation
provides a minimum coverage of $100,000, and
is valid for each entry to Canada and will be available for review by a border services officer, upon request

After you apply, you will also need to undergo a medical examination and provide proof of the results.

You will be required to appear in person to have your biometric fingerprints and photo (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.

Visa-exempt applicants

You are not required to pay the application processing fee or provide your biometrics.

If your application is approved, you will be directed to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). You will be provided with a letter that you will show to a border services officer upon arrival to Canada.

What must my child or grandchild do to meet the LICO minimum?

Your child or grandchild’s income must meet or exceed the minimum necessary cut-off, as identified annually in the income table.

In the letter of invitation, they must calculate their family size. This factor determines the amount of income required to provide care and support for you and your spouse, if applicable.

How to calculate family size:

Your child or grandchild counts
their spouse or common-law partner
their dependent children
any person they may have sponsored previously and for whom the sponsorship agreement and undertaking are still in effect
They count the number of persons they will be supporting
you, and
your spouse or common-law partner, if you have one

They add together the number of persons covered by steps 1 and 2.

The total represents their family size.

They look at the LICO in the income table in this guide to determine if they meet the minimum required for their family size.

To demonstrate that they meet the minimum income required, your child or grandchild may include one of the documents listed in the document checklist (IMM 5484).

If your child or grandchild does not meet the LICO minimum, their spouse or common-law partner can assist by also providing a letter of invitation with one of the documents listed in the document checklist (IMM 5484).

Visit the Embassy website here 



Peter N. Djangmah is a multifaceted individual with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and blogging. With a firm belief in the power of digital education and science, I am affectionately known as the Private Minister of Information. Connect with me

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