There a number of travel documents which allow foreign citizens to travel to Canada, depending on their nationality and the duration and purpose of their stay. Many foreign citizens do not require a visa for Canada for short stays, but are instead required to obtain an Electronic Travel authorization (eTA) for Canada if entering the country by air.
Eligible citizens are required to complete the simple eTA application form online with basic personal and passport information, as well as to answer a few health and security-related questions. Upon approval, the eTA is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport, and allows multiple stays of up to 6 months each during its 5 year period of validity.
Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- Citizens of more than 50 Canada visa-exempt countries are required to apply for the eTA before traveling to Canada (with the exception of United States citizens).
- The requirements for the ETA involve the applicant having a passport from an eTA-eligible country valid for at least 6 months from the date of approval a valid credit or debit card to pay a fee, and a current email address.
- The eTA for Canada is valid for 5 years and allows multiple entries of a 6-month maximum stay each time during its validity period.
- What Documents Are Required to get a Canada Tourist Visa Waiver?
Canada Visitor Visa
- Non-visa-exempt foreign citizens are required to obtain one of the Canada visa types in order to visit the country.
- The Canada visitor visa (also known as the tourist visa or temporary residence visa) allows a single entry to Canada for a maximum stay of 6 months.
- Eligible citizens who apply for a study or work permit for the first time will automatically get a visitor visa upon approval of the application.
Canada Work Visa Requirements
In order to apply for permission to work in Canada, it is first necessary to meet the Canada Work Visa Requirements. Those eligible for a Canada visitor visa or eTA are required to apply for a work permit before entering the country. Applicants also must:
- Not plan to work for an employer listed as “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions set by the government of Canada
- Not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massage
- Obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (a police clearance certificate may be requested)
- Not be a danger to Canada’s security
- Be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed
- Prove to a border officer that they will leave Canada when the work permit expires
- Show they have sufficient funds to to take care of themselves and any family members during the stay in Canada and to return home afterwards
- Prodive border officials with any other requested supporting documents to prove they can enter the country.
In order to obtain Canadian residency, it is first necessary to become a permanent resident of Canada. In order for the residency for Canada to approved, the applicant is required to:
- Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
- Have filed their taxes, if needed
- Show how well they know Canada
- Prove their language skills in at least one of the official languages for Canada (English and French).
Canadian Permanent Resident
- A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen.
- It is possible to obtain permanent residence status in a variety of ways: refugees, workers with skills sought by the Canadian government, or those who can get sponsorship from a relative in Canada are all able to apply, among others.
- A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.
Transit Visa for Canada
Most foreign citizens who transit through Canada to reach their final destination need a Canada transit visa to enter and leave the country, if arriving by air. The transit visa for Canada allows the holder to transit for up to 48 hours through a Canadian airport before traveling to onward destination. It can be issued as a single or double entry visa, depending on the applicant’s travel plans.
Citizens of Canada visa-exempt countries do not require a transit visa to pass through the country. However, they are required to have a valid eTA if arriving for transit purposes by air (with the exception of citizens of the United States).
FAQs About Canadian Visa
Foreign nationals who require a visa must apply for the permit which corresponds with their reason for travel. Canada offers visitor visas, work visas, transit visas, and permanent residency.
Residents of visa-exempt countries do not need a visa to enter Canada for tourism purposes. These citizens should instead apply for the Electronic Travel Authorization for Canada (eTA for Canada).
For general tourism purposes, most travelers from non-visa-exempt nations will require a visitor visa requested at the embassy. Holders of the visitor visa may remain in the country for a period of time which does not exceed that permitted by the visa.
A work permit is required of foreign nationals eligible for either the eTA or visitor visa. As well as meeting the Canada work visa requirements, foreigners seeking employment in the country must adhere to a specified set of regulations.
The transit visa is required of foreign nationals who pass through a Canadian airport on the way to their final destination. The transit visa is required of travelers from non-visa-exempt countries whilst other citizens must have an approved eTA to take a connecting flight in Canada.
Anyone who wishes to obtain permanent residency must meet the requirements laid out by the Canadian government in order to gain permission to stay in the country long-term.
Most travelers who take a connecting flight at a Canadian airport, without stopping or visiting the country, need either an approved Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) or transit visa.
To pass through Canada in transit, citizens of visa-exempt countries do not require a visa but must have an approved eTA. US nationals do not require an eTA or transit visa to pass through Canada without stopping or visiting.
Foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries are required to obtain a transit visa if arriving by air and remaining in Canada for a very limited time.
The transit visa is only valid for stays of up to 2 days (48 hours), foreigners who wish to remain in the country longer than this need to apply for the type of visa which corresponds with their reason for travel.
There are 2 different kinds of transit visa available, eligible foreign citizens should apply for the correct type depending on their travel plans.
To take a connecting flight from a Canadian airport, check the transit visa requirements carefully and apply for the relevant permit.
A single-entry visa allows applicants to enter the country once whilst the visa and passport are valid. If the holder of a visitor visa leaves the country they will not be able to reenter the country using the same visa. This means that travelers in possession of a single-entry visa who leave Canada must apply for a new permit to gain access to the country for a second time.
Multiple-entry visas allow the holder to exit the country and re-enter as many times as they wish until the visa or passport expires. In this case, it is not necessary to apply for multiple visas to cross the Canadian border several times.
Although applicants are automatically considered for a multi-entry visa for Canada, foreign citizens meeting certain criteria will only be granted a single-entry visa.
The Electronic Travel Authorisation for Canada is multi-entry. This means that holders of an approved eTA can leave and enter Canada as many times as they wish whilst the eTA remains valid.
Holders of the eTA Canada do not automatically have the right to work in Canada and must apply for a work permit in addition to the eTA. The work permit can be applied for and issued at the same time as the eTA. There is no need to pay an additional fee.
As with the eTA, those who are eligible to apply for the Canada visitor visa are also required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Canada. The Canadian work permit can be applied for and issued at the same time as the tourist visa for Canada. There is no need to apply separately or to pay an additional fee.