Visiting Canada as a foreign national requires a Canadian visa. Although this sometimes depends on your country of residence. If your country of residence is among the list of countries that don’t require a Canadian visa when visiting Canada, good for you but if not, then keep scrolling.
To get a Canadian visa you have to apply for it and make sure you meet the requirement for application. The type of visa you are to apply for depends on the purpose of visiting and the length of your visit.
For instance, if you want to visit Canada for a short stay, you are to apply for a temporary visitors visa, or if you are going for schooling purposes you are to apply for a student visa.
To apply for any kind of Canadian visa, there are requirements to be met and also documents to possess.
Agewise, requirements differ amongst adults and children. Only adults above 18 years are required to apply as primary applicants. Children under the age of 18 are regarded as minors and are to apply as dependents attached to the primary applicant.
However, if a minor is travelling alone, it’s a different requirement altogether.
The following documents are required when applying for a Canadian visa.
- Visa application form
- Proof of payment for Canada visa fees
- Letter of invitation to Canada
- Evidence of clear criminal records
- Proof of stable financial status
- Evidence of sound health ( confirmed through a medical exam)
- Civil status and identity document
- Cover letter explaining your purpose of visit
- Proof stating your return once your visa expires
A valid passport is one of the most important documents you would be needing. You must provide photocopies of the information page of your passport.
These photocopies must show the date of issue and expiry, your passport number and your personal information ( name, age, date of birth, place of birth etc)
Visa application form
You need to get the appropriate visa application form which is based on your intent and length of visit. In other words, you are to specifically fill a student visa form if the purpose of your visit is education.
Proof of payment for Canada Visa fees
Visa fees vary according to the purpose of the visit. There are two types of payments to be made; application processing fees and biometric fees.
Your receipt of payment for visa charges should be attached to your application.
Letter of invitation to Canada
Although not in all cases, you might need to possess a letter of invitation to Canada by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
This however does not mean the person is legally responsible for you. The person only has to give you that letter to include in your application.
The letter should contain your (applicant) personal information like your name, date of birth, your phone number and address, how you plan to support yourself in Canada, your relationship with the person giving you the letter, where you plan to stay, how long you plan to stay
The letter should also contain information about the writer. Complete name and date of birth, Canadian address and phone number, residence status with a photocopy of the proof, job title, number of household members and their family details and when you plan to leave.
Evidence of clear criminal records
You also need to provide a police clearance from your country that proves you do not have any history criminal records. In most cases, you can provide a police clearance from anywhere you have lived for longer than six months.
This is required to prove that you are no threat to Canadian citizens.
Proof of stable financial status
This includes the likes of bank statements, a letter of employment that shows what you earn annually, or proof of arranged financial support from a friend or family member that covers the duration of your stay and evidence of income of the said person.
Evidence of sound health
You are also required to provide a medical report by entering for a medical exam that proves you are clear of any illness or disease. This is to be carried out by a panel physician and not your personal health care provider.
If you are only visiting for six months or less then this document is not necessary unless you would be working closely with people.
Civil status and Identity document
You are to provide documents showing your civil status and identity. This could be marriage certificates, birth certificates, national IDs, divorce certificates e.t.c.
Photocopies of these should be attached to your application form.
Cover letter stating your purpose of visit
You are required to provide a cover letter stating the reason for your visit. In this letter, you are to clearly state your purpose of visit in a formal and concise manner. This should be attached to your application form.
Proof of return once your visa expires
This could be in the form of copies of your employment contract, or if you own properties in your home country provide proof of that.
It could also be in the form of familial ties, that is proving you have family members to take care of in your home country.
You basically just need any document that can convince them of your return when your visa expires.
Please note, the above-stated requirements apply majorly to primary applicants, not dependents.
Requirements for minors include
- Birth certificate
- Letter of authorization signed by both parents or legal guardian (if the minor is travelling alone)
- Letter of authorization from the absent parent ( if the minor is accompanied by one parent) this letter must contain address, phone number and photocopy of passport and national ID of the absent parent
- Legal custody documents and letter of authorization from the absent parent ( if parents are divorced)
- Copy of death certificate ( if absent parent is dead)
- Copy of adoption document ( if the minor is travelling with his/her adoptive parents)
These are all the requirements for a Canadian visa for both adults and minors. Ensure to provide all of these documents to enjoy a hassle-free application.
You should also visit the visa office in your home country to ascertain which documents you might not need or which you might need to add as there might be a slight variance from country to country.