How to Get a Visitor Visa to Canada (Temporary Resident Visa)
If you are not from a visa exempt country, you require a temporary resident visa in your passport in order to board a plane to Canada.
Anyone can apply for a visa to visit Canada for any reason.
If your visa application is approved, you will be issued a visa which is either valid for one single entry, or for multiple entries.
The length of time that the visa is valid for can range from several weeks up to the expiration date of your passport. A visa cannot be valid beyond the expiry date of your passport.
If you are visiting a child or grandchild in Canada, you should apply for a super visa rather than standard visitor visa.
How Long Can You Stay In Canada As a Visitor?
If your visa application is approved and you come to Canada while your visa is valid, then you can enter Canada for up to a maximum period of 180 days (6 months).
How long you can stay will be determined by CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) at the time you get to the Canadian border.
The border guard will ask you questions and based on your answers, will tell you how long you can remain in Canada. The maximum amount of time they can give you is 180 days.
If they do not tell you that you must leave by any certain time or write any date in your passport, then you are allowed to stay the full 180 days.
Can you stay longer than six months in Canada?
Yes! As long as you apply to extend your stay in Canada before the day you are supposed to leave Canada, then you can continue to stay in Canada until a decision is made on how much longer you can stay. This is called implied status.
When you are applying to extend your stay in Canada, you are showing the officer many of the same things that you would have submitted to get your visa. You are also going to explain why you need to stay longer.
If you have overstayed and have been in Canada longer than you were supposed to, then you can apply to restore your visitor status if you are within 90 days of the date you were supposed to leave.
If you have overstayed longer than 90 days, then you will have to leave Canada to correct your status.
Previous Refusal on a Visitor Visa Application
If you have applied before for a visitor visa and the application was refused, you are not alone. In fact, thousands of visitor visa applications get refused every month. It is the most refused application in all of Canadian immigration, and the hardest to have approved.
Just because you have been refused a visitor visa before does not mean that you cannot be approved with a new application. All of the grounds for refusal can be addressed with a new application.
Some of the most common reasons for refusal of a visitor visa are:
- Personal Assets and Financial Status
- Family ties both inside and outside Canada
- Employment Outlook
- Travel History
Almost all reasons for refusal refer to the officer’s concern that the visitor will not leave Canada at the end of their stay.
How to Get a Visitor Visa Application Approved
When officers are evaluating an application, they are looking for certain signs that an applicant will leave Canada at the end of their stay, will not endanger the Canadian public, and will not break the law in Canada.
The most important thing an applicant should show with their application is their employment and financial resources. Showing that they have a job and adequate financial resources demonstrates to the officer that the applicant does not need to work illegally in Canada, and that they have a reason to go home.
You should also show any and all ties to your home country, because you want to show the officer that you have reasons to leave Canada.
There is no specific amount of money that every applicant should have to get approved. Every application is different with its own strengths, so the application submitted for one person will not be the same as for everyone else.
The decision making for visitor visas is also highly discretionary and can seem inconsistent.