How to apply for a Canadian visa?

“Oh, Canada! My home and native land”. This probably doesn’t apply to you, because you’re reading an article about applying for a Canadian visa. Whether you’re planning to visit for a few days, weeks, months, or stay for a few years you’ve got quite the adventure waiting for you. But before you start going across borders, make sure you’ve got your documents in order.

Find out if you even need a Canadian visa

Canada doesn’t require a visitor’s visa for everyone. Sometimes all you need is an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization), but it all depends on where you’re coming from, and how you’re getting there.

Gather necessary paperwork

If you’re traveling from a country that requires a Canadian Visa, make sure when you go to apply you’ve got your ducks in a row. Before you apply, make sure you already have a passport. You may also need to provide information proving you’re in good health, have enough money for your stay, and have no outstanding criminal or immigration issues. You may also be asked to prove that you have a good reason to return to your home country after your visit is over.

Go to Canada’s Website

You can apply for a visa on paper in the mail, or online. Either way, the best place to start will be on Canada’s website that’s dedicated to Canadian visas. They can give you the best information that will match your plans:

Using other websites comes with the risk of identity theft and misinformation. But if you file with the official website, you’re going to be safe.

Paper Application

On their website, you are able to download the paper Canadian visitor’s visa and print it out. Once you fill out the forms, you’ll have to pay the application fees, and then submit them. Everyone in a family will have to have a form filled out separately, but they should be sent all in one package.

If you are required to supply biometrics (which is a photograph and fingerprints) do not mail these. Take them to the nearest VAC (Visa application center) and apply with them, they will keep your information safe. There is information on finding the nearest VAC on the page you downloaded the application from.

Online Application

You can apply for your Canadian visa online, which is much faster than paper and is more secured, simply go to and they’ll get you started. Make sure you have a camera or a scanner to make copies of the important documents they need from you, a valid credit card, and an active email address.

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