How does a Visitor Visa Work?

The visitor visa is granted to foreign visitors who want to stay in Canada temporarily for vacations, business, stopovers or family visits. 

You can apply for this visa if, for example, you want to go to Canada on vacation, you want to visit Canada on business, or you want to visit family or friends. 

One of the most important requirements of this visa is that your stay must be temporary and therefore you must leave Canada at the end of your stay. It is usually easier to get a visitor visa if you have not traveled very often and do not have a criminal record.

4 Types of Visitor Visa

Tourist visa

This type of visitor visa is granted to people who want to visit Canada temporarily for tourism. An eTA is normally required to visit Canada as a tourist. 

However, if you do not meet the requirements for an eTA , you can apply for a tourist visa. You must meet the following requirements for this:

  • have a valid passport
  • Being able to demonstrate that you have solid personal ties in Spain, at work or with your family. This will give the Canadian immigration service confidence that you will most likely leave Canada again.
  • Be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of your trip, your return trip and your stay in Canada

In addition, you may be required to undergo a medical examination and provide a letter stating that you have been invited by someone living in Canada.

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When granting a tourist visa, the Canadian immigration service usually automatically issues a visa with which you can visit Canada several times (“multiple entry visa”).

  • Single entry visa
    This type of visa can only be used once to enter Canada and is valid for a minimum of one month. This type of visa is only issued in exceptional cases
  • Multiple entry visa
    This type of visa is a permit to travel to Canada an unlimited number of times with the possibility of staying in the country for a maximum of 6 consecutive months. It can be valid up to a maximum of 10 years. Automatically expires 1 month before passport expiration date

Business visa

This passport is issued to people who want to visit Canada temporarily for business. In the eyes of the Canadian government, you are a temporary business visitor if you meet the following conditions:

  • Find ways to grow your business
  • want to invest
  • You want to progress in your business relationships

To obtain this visa, you must submit a letter of invitation from a business contact. You should also be able to provide details of that business contact (which is available 24 hours a day) and possibly also a document showing where and for whom you currently work.

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In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must leave Canada within six months
  • Must not enter the Canadian job market
  • You must be able to prove that your main source of income or earnings is outside of Canada
  • You must be in possession of a valid passport
  • You must be able to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to finance your trip, stay and return trip

If you want to spend more than 6 months in Canada as a temporary business visitor, you must apply for a “ Work Permit ”

Transit visa

This visa is granted to persons passing through Canada temporarily to continue their journey immediately. This visa allows you to enter Canada on the condition that you continue your journey from Canada without stopping and without visiting anything or anyone. 

You must apply for this visa if you are not eligible for an eTA and will be stopping over in Canada. You can apply for this visa for free at the Canadian Immigration Service.

Parent and grandparent super visa

This visa is granted to parents or grandparents who want to travel to Canada for the purpose of visiting one or more children who live permanently in Canada. 

In principle, this visa is valid for 10 years, while each visit must not last more than 2 consecutive years. The average waiting time between the moment of application and its approval is 8 weeks.

Before considering you suitable for this visa, an immigration official will review the following aspects, among others:

  • Your ties to your country of origin
  • The economic and political stability of your country of origin
  • The purpose of your visit; Is it credible that you come to Canada to visit your children or grandchildren and then return home?
  • Miscellaneous details about your family and finances
  • The invitation from the person you want to visit
  • Your health insurance; you must have Canadian health insurance for at least one year and must have a medical test

In addition, it is also important that your child or grandchild in Canada has a certain minimum income and he or she can offer you financial support if necessary.

Student visa / Study permit

The student visa is granted to foreign students who want to visit Canada for studies. Canada is an ideal destination for international students thanks to the freedom to live, study and work (on campus). This visa costs about 100 euros and its processing takes about 2 weeks.

To be eligible for a student visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have enrolled in an authorized Canadian institution (for example a university) and be able to present a “ letter of acceptance ” (“letter of admission”). In addition, you must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to be able to pay university fees and cover your expenses (and if you are accompanied by your partner or relatives, also his expenses) during your stay in Canada
  • Not have a criminal record or pose a danger to Canadian society
  • Be in good health and be willing to undergo a medical examination to prove it
  • Be able to prove that you plan to leave Canada

You can work with this visa on campus, but not off campus. You can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, but during school holidays you can work full time.

This type of visa is strictly a permit and not a visa. With a student visa you automatically receive a valid eTA.

Work permit

This temporary work permit is granted to foreign workers who want to work temporarily for a Canadian employer. There are two varieties: an open work permit and an employer-specific work permit . 

With an open travel permit, you are free to work for a variety of Canadian employers. The other visa allows you to work according to the specific conditions of this work permit. 

These conditions determine, for example, the name of the employer you have to work for, how long you can work, and where you can work.

There are a number of important requirements for obtaining this visa/work permit, including the following:

  • You must have received a job offer from a Canadian employer (this is the most important condition)
  • You must be able to show that you will leave Canada after your work permit expires.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family members, if applicable, during your stay, and to return home at the end of your stay
  • Must not have a criminal record
  • You must be in good health and undergo a medical examination
  • Must not constitute a danger to Canada.

Holiday and work program

The Working Holiday Program allows you to travel and/or work in Canada during your trip. You must be at least 18 years old and at most 30 years old. 

With this visa you can work to pay for your vacation in Canada. Please note that this visa is very difficult to obtain; therefore, apply for the visa early.

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