July 13, 2024

People in countries that do not have a visa exemption or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) agreement with Canada need a visa to enter the country. People from over 148 countries need a visa to either visit, work, or immigrate to Canada. If you are in one of these countries, you must apply for a Canadian visa. Applicants will have a method of applying depending on the type of visa they are applying for but there are a few general steps one must take.


The types of Canada visas:

  • Visitor visas
  • Student visas
  • Work visas
  • Permanent Residence visas
  • Business Immigrant visas
  • Express Entry Program visas


A temporary Canada visa will allow the person to stay in Canada for a specific period of stay which can either be determined by the Canadian Consulate or the Border Service Officers (BSO). This time is usually up to 6 months. The temporary visa can either be a single entry or multiple entry visa. A single entry visa allows the person to enter Canada once, stay for 6 months and then return to their home country. A multiple entry visa allows the person to enter Canada multiple times and stay temporarily until their visa expires.

Here are the types of Canadian Temporary Visas:

➔ Canada Tourist Visa

Tourist visa or Visitor visa allows the holder to enter Canada for the purposes of tourism in the country.

➔ Canada Super Visa

The type of visa that allows parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents to visit their children or grandchildren for an extended stay.

➔ Diplomatic and Official Visa

The Diplomatic and Official visa gives permission to diplomats and officials from foreign countries to enter Canada for official duties or purposes.

➔ Courtesy Visa

The type of visa given to all those people who do not qualify for a Diplomatic and Official Visa but are considered dignitaries. For example, diplomats with touristic intent or members of trade missions.

➔ Canada Business Visa

The Canada business visa is given to visitors who are traveling to Canada with business purposes as individuals or as a group of business people.

➔ Visa to Give Birth in Canada

Visa to give birth in Canada is given to people who fulfill all the criteria to stay temporarily in Canada and who are pregnant and as well want to give birth in the country. Giving birth in Canada also makes the baby automatically a Canadian citizen.

➔ Intending Organ Donors Visa

This type of visa is given to an applicant who is traveling to Canada with the purpose of donating an organ to a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen.

➔ Canada Facilitation Visa

Facilitation Visas are given to Canadian citizens with dual nationalities and do not have a Canadian passport but possess a passport of another nationality. The visa is stamped on the person’s other nationality visa due to extreme delays of the person getting a Canadian passport.

➔ Canada Student Visa

A Canadian student visa is given to people who got an admission from a university in Canada to further their studies. If your program of study is less than 6 months, then you can only get a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), but for more than 6 months of studies, you will need a Student Visa.

➔ Canada Temporary Work Visa

Canada temporary work visas are given to people who have a job offer in Canada and will have to work for up to 6 months. To get this visa, the individual must present a valid job offer letter from an employer and qualify for a temporary visa.

➔ Temporary Residence Permit

This permit is for people who are not admissible for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) but need to go to Canada for different purposes. This permit is issued only for a period of time that the person needs to be in Canada. For example, in Canada for 2 weeks for a workshop.

➔ Working Holiday Visa

The Canada Working Holiday Visa is given to young people from around 30 countries, so as to be able to work in Canada and travel. It is a random selection visa which means that applicants will have to submit their applications and wait to be randomly selected to apply for the work permit.


The permanent Canada visas are visas which allow the holder to permanently reside in Canada. These are also known as immigrant visas and can be of different types which are as follows:

  • Immigrant Investor Program.
  • Startup Visa Program.
  • Self-employed Persons Visa.
  • Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).
  • Family-Sponsorship Program.
  • Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).


The Canada express entry program is an electronic immigration program designed by the Canadian government which allows people from all over the world to apply for immigration to Canada based on their specific skills. The following are part of this express entry program:

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
  • Canadian Experience Class

Canada Visa Application Process

The process depends mostly on the visa type you are applying for. You will need to go through these simple steps to apply for a Canada visa;

STEP 1: Check If You Are Eligible For A Canada Visa.

You have to go to their website. The website will show you different sorts of information and different tabs that you can see, but you must go to the “Immigration” tab. When you click on the “Immigration” tab, a drop-down list of options will be displayed. The first one will be ‘’My Application’’ and then you will see tabs for “Work”, “Visit”, “Immigrate”, “Study” and others.

You must select the one that matches with the visa you want to apply for. After clicking the tab that matches the purpose of your visit to Canada and the visa you would like to apply for, you will see more information there. Whichever tab you have clicked, one of the links will say “Find out if you are eligible” or “Find out if you can apply”. You must click on this link. The link will take you to the questionnaire where you will have to answer several questions from your personal information to reasons why you want to visit Canada and previous travel history. The system will show you the results at the end of the questionnaire.

STEP 2: Receiving the results

It will display one of the following results:

  • ➔ You are eligible for the visa you selected.
  • ➔ You are eligible for a different type of visa that the system will match you with.
  • ➔ You are not eligible for the visa.

If you are eligible for the visa you selected or a different type of visa recommended, the system will ask you to input your contact information, usually your email address and a set of documents will be sent to your email address. The documents will most likely contain the description of the visa, as well as instructions and details on how to apply. Additionally, they will send you a reference code. The reference code is one of the most important parts of information on that set of documents because you will need it to start your application. You will not be able to apply without the reference code. The reference code tells the system the information you gave it during your questionnaire which will have the type of visa you are applying for.

STEP 3: Create your online account

Among the instructions sent to you by email, it will show you if you must apply for a Canada visa online or in person. Since the government of Canada is digitalizing its records, most people might have to apply online. To do that, you must create an account. You can create an account for the application by:

  • Using your online banking login since the government of Canada has partnered with many banks.
  • Creating a Government of Canada login (GCKey).

You can use any of the above ways but you will still have to use your banking details to pay the visa fees.

STEP 4: Compile The Document File.

You can start your Canada visa application by using your reference code as soon as you login to the website to start applying for the visa you have been deemed eligible for. The system will show you a list of documents for your Canadian visa application once you enter the reference code. View the complete list of documents required for Canada visa application here. You must submit all these forms online in the system and then proceed to submit the application.

STEP 5: Pay The Fees.

Once the system verifies that you have submitted all the necessary documents, it will refer you to the payment page. Your application will be submitted as soon as you pay the appointed fee depending on the type of visa you applied for. It will take up to 5 working days for you to see the application on your account but if you apply in person, you will just have to take those documents to the Canadian Embassy in your home country by yourself.

STEP 6: Wait For Processing of Your Canadian Visa.

The Canadian Embassy will take two or more weeks depending on the type of visa you applied for. Additionally, they may ask for more documents or for you to submit your biometrics and have an interview. If they ask for your biometrics and an interview, this means you will have to visit their Embassy in person even if you applied online. You will have to book an appointment, or the Embassy will make one for you to come and submit your fingerprints and photographs, as well as answer questions from the Embassy official. The Embassy official can decide whether you are fit to get a Canadian visa or not. They may communicate their decision immediately after your appointment or send you a notification later on your account, so you must check it continuously, even if you do not have to submit biometrics or go through an interview.

STEP 7: Submit Your Passport and processing Fees.

You must submit your passport to the Canadian Embassy after receiving visa approval. Send the application and processing fees to your country’s Embassy. Processing costs range from $20 to $50 and must be paid by check or money order. The Embassy will collect your passport and fees, stamp the visa on it, and mail it back to you; you must pay for a return envelope. After the visa interview, you are told their decision, must pay the processing fees, and receive your passport immediately. How long is a Canadian visa? Visa processing times vary per case. It can take up to four weeks. After receiving your entire visa application, processing begins.

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