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Visiting Canada This Summer? What You Need to Know About Visitor Visas

Summer is here, which means the height of tourist season in Canada. Our country welcomes over 35 million tourists, students, and other temporary visitors every year. If you are planning a trip to explore all that Canada has to offer, here are answers to some common questions about visas and other documentation you may need to ensure that your trip is hassle-free.

Do I need a visa to visit Canada?

While a valid passport may be all that is required for some visitors’ journey to Canada, travelers from certain countries may need a Canadian visitor visa, which provides visitation privileges for a period of up to six months. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada website can help you determine whether travel from your country of origin will require a visitor visa, and experienced Canadian immigration lawyer Larry Butkowsky can assist you with obtaining a visitor visa if necessary.

How do I know what kind of visa I need?

For visitors who must obtain visas to enter and temporarily stay in Canada, there are three distinct types of visitor visas:

  • Single Entry. As the name implies, a Single Entry visitor visa allows the holder to visit Canada only once during the validity period of the visa. The individual would then be permitted to enter Canada for a period not to exceed six months. It may be possible to apply for extensions to this visa if needed, but such applications must usually be made at least 30 days before the visa is set to expire.
  • Multiple Entry. A Multiple Entry visitor visa will allow the holder to enter and depart Canada on multiple occasions during the validity period of the visa. Upon each entry, the holder of the visa may be granted entry for a time period not to exceed six months. In applying for this type of visa, it is important for the applicant to specify how long the visitor visa will be required, and a case officer will decide if this is necessary.
  • Transit Canada. The Transit Canada visitor visa is designed to accommodate those people entering Canada for a period of 48 hours or less (for example, on a trip that makes a brief stop in Canada).

None of these visas allow the holder to work in Canada and a separate Work Permit would be required to permit an individual to work in Canada. Larry Butkowsky and his skilled team of immigration professionals can counsel you on which visa is appropriate for your circumstances and assist you all the way through the application process.

What do I need in order to obtain a visitor visa?

For all types of visitor visas, some of the basic considerations involved in the application are:

  • Establishing that you have good ties to your home country (job, family, property…)
  • Showing that you have adequate funds to provide for your needs during your stay
  • A letter of invitation from a friend or relative currently residing in Canada

If you are planning a trip to Canada, you may also need to consider whether you will need specific documentation in order to return to your home country, and be sure to carry proper identification during your travels. In most cases, applications for visitor visas can be processed within a few weeks, or even less, but processing times may vary depending on the visa office responsible for your application.

If you are seeking a visitor visa, Toronto immigration lawyer Larry Butkowsky’s expertise and exclusive focus on immigration law can help you ensure that you apply for the proper visa and that your visa application is prepared and submitted properly with all supporting documentation so that your journey can proceed without issue and you can fully enjoy your time in Canada. His firm is located at 41 Madison Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5R 2S2, or he may be reached by calling (647) 694-0539.

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