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Visitor Visa

If you wish to get a visitor visa to Canada, you must submit a visitor visa application to a visa office at a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate abroad, along with two passport size pictures, proof of available funds, along with a non-refundable processing fee.

Section 8 of the Immigration Act provides that the burden of proof of establishing that a person has a right to come into Canada rests with the person seeking admission to Canada. Section 9 of the Immigration Act provides that a person who applies to a visa officer is presumed to be an immigrant. Therefore, failure to satisfy a visa officer that you are entering Canada temporarily will result in refusal of the application.

Supporting Documentation
It is essential that an applicant provide sufficient documentary evidence to satisfy the visa officer that he or she has sufficient funds to pay for all expenses that might be incurred while in Canada.

If the person is visiting relatives, and if the relatives are going to assume responsibility for the expenses incurred by the visiting relative in Canada, it would be necessary to have a letter or statutory declaration from the relative setting out responsibility for all expenses.

In addition, the relative must also indicate that he or she has the necessary resources, and it would be helpful if the relative includes a job letter, bank statements, etc.

The applicant and all dependants must be in possession of valid and subsisting passports or travel documents.

A visitor visa to Canada will not be issued beyond the validity date set out in the passport and a person cannot be admitted to Canada at a port of entry by an immigration officer for a period that exceeds the expiry date of the passport.

For applicants who reside outside of North America, it may be necessary to satisfy the visa officer that the applicant has a valid and subsisting airline ticket or proof of funds for travel. One of the primary concerns of the visa officer prior to approving an application for a visitor visa to Canada is whether the applicant has the means and ability to leave Canada within the time period.

As one of the primary concerns of the visa officer is whether the applicant will return to their home country at the end of the visit, it is therefore important to illustrate that the applicant has strong ties to their home country.

As one of the primary concerns of the visa officer is whether the applicant will return to their home country at the end of the visit, it is therefore important to illustrate that the applicant has strong ties to their home country.
Documentation showing that the person has full-time permanent employment, length of employment, proof of assets including house, bank accounts, will be important.
In some Visa offices, visa officers will require letters of good conduct from local police authorities confirming that the applicant does not have a criminal record.

Visitor Visa Exemptions
People from many countries do not require a visa to visit Canada. These include:
citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa
persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence.
British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom;
citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China;

Can I change my status after I arrive with a visitor visa to Canada?
A temporary resident enters Canada with a particular status and under specific conditions. A temporary resident who wants to change these conditions and status after arrival must get the approval of an immigration official.

In most cases, temporary residents cannot apply for permanent resident status from within Canada.

Exceptions to this rule include:
refugees or protected persons;
live-in caregivers; and spouses or common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
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