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FREQUENTLY ASKED CQUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a temporary resident visa?

A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by a visa office abroad that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, student, or worker).

A valid temporary resident visa is not a guarantee of entry into Canada; an officer at the port of entry will decide if you still meet the requirements for admission when you arrive. If there has been a change in circumstances between the date of your application and your arrival in Canada or if subsequent information is given which was not originally available to the visa office, you may be refused entry.

A visa may be for a single entry, for multiple entries, or for transit purposes.

A single entry visa allows you to enter Canada only once. This visa may also be used for repeated entries into Canada from the USA or St. Pierre and Miquelon provided you do not enter another country. Such entries must occur within the time validated for your stay in Canada. (e.g. You may be given six months from the date you enter Canada at the Port of Entry)

A multiple entry visa allows you to enter Canada from any country multiple times during the validity of the visa.

A transit visa is required for travel through Canada to another country by those persons who need a temporary resident visa and whose flight will stop in Canada for less than 48 hours. To obtain a transit visa you must provide specific evidence of your travel arrangements from your transportation company or travel agent.

To apply for a transit visa, you may be asked to show your travel tickets as part of the evidence of your travel arrangements.

Do I need a temporary resident visa?

Persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may require a visa to enter Canada. The requirement for a visa also applies to temporary residents who are in transit through Canada. (see Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions, for information on persons who are exempt from obtaining a temporary resident visa to visit Canada).

When should I apply?

Applications should be made at least one month before your intended departure date.

Note: If you are mailing your application, allow up to eight weeks for it to be received as mail services can vary.

What requirements must I meet for a temporary resident visa?

You must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must also:

- satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada

- show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada and to return home;

- not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so;

- be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate);

- not be a risk to the security of Canada;

- produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility;

- be in good health (complete a medical examination, if required).

Note: Citizens and residents of certain countries require additional formalities which could add three weeks or more to the normal processing period. The visa office will advise you further if such requirements apply to you.

What documents do I need to apply for a temporary resident visa?

Complete the application form and include the documents listed below.

You must provide the following documents for yourself and any accompanying family members.

Important: Although the documents listed below are normally needed in support of your application, local requirements may also apply. You must satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada. Visit the local Web site of the visa office responsible for your area or contact their office to verify all required documents, before submitting your application.

Proof of identity

- a valid passport or travel document that guarantees re-entry to the country that issued it;

- two recent passport size photos for each family member (the name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo); and

Proof of financial support

- proof of funds available to support yourself and family members during your stay and to enable you to leave Canada, such as a bank statement, pay stubs, proof of employment or proof of travellers' cheques.

In addition, note that:

- if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must provide proof of your present immigration status in the country of application;

- if the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a re-entry permit this must be obtained before you apply for a Canadian visa; and

- additional documents may be required

Children under 19 years of age who are travelling alone, must have information on the person who will be responsible for them. If the child is the subject of a custody order, proof of custody and the other parent's consent must also be provided. Minors travelling without their parents require a letter of permission to travel, from the non-accompanying parent(s) and a letter from their custodian in Canada.

Do my spouse or common-law partner and dependent children need to apply separately?

Your spouse or common-law partner and children who wish to visit Canada must apply for permission to do so. As long as you all apply together it will not be necessary for each person to fill out separate application forms. List the names and other information about your family members in the appropriate space on the application. If you require more space, attach a separate piece of paper and indicate the number and letter that you are answering.

Children 18 years and over must complete their own application form.

Family members are the immediate members of your family. Your husband, wife or common-law partner is your family member. A common-law partner is a person of the opposite or same sex who is currently cohabiting and has cohabited in a conjugal relationship with you for a period of at least one year.

Dependent children may be your own children or those of your spouse or common-law partner. They must:

- be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or,

- have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent and have been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority since before the age of 22 (or since becoming a spouse or a common-law partner, if they married or entered into a common-law relationship before the age of 22); or,

- have depended substantially on the financial support of a parents since before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical condition.

Your spouse or common law partner and children must meet all the requirements for temporary residents to Canada. They must satisfy an officer that they are genuine temporary residents who will be in Canada for a temporary stay. They may be required to provide evidence that they are law abiding and have no criminal record. If your family member applies for a TRV, they must also meet all the conditions to obtain a visa.

Include them on your application by providing their names and other information in the appropriate space on the application form.

Important: You may be required to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family members. If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner will accompany you to Canada, you may be required to complete the enclosed form, Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). Also provide evidence outlined on the form to support your relationship.

Will I or my family members need a medical examination?

In some cases you will require a medical examination. If a medical examination is required, you will be informed by an officer who will send you instructions on how to proceed. A medical examination may add over three months to the processing of your application.

Can I work or study during my stay in Canada?

Temporary residents are not allowed to work or study in Canada unless they are authorized to do so under the regulations. In many cases, a work or study permit will be required. However, there are categories of workers who do not require work permits. You may obtain further details on persons exempt from obtaining a work permit by visiting our Web site or by contacting a visa office.

A temporary resident may also take a program of study up to six months duration without having to obtain a study permit.

If you intend to study or work in Canada during your visit, you must include full details of the proposed work or study in your application.

Where do I Apply?

Please submit your application to the Canadian visa office responsible for your area for processing. You should consult the local Web site or office regarding accepted methods of submitting applications. (i.e. general mail, in person, by courier etc.)

What Happens Next?

Your application will be reviewed to ensure it has been completed correctly and contains all of the required documents for processing. After reviewing your application, an officer will decide if an interview is necessary. If so, you will be informed of the time and place.

If your application is refused, your passport and documents will be returned to you with an explanation of why your application was refused.

Note: If fraudulent documents are used, they will not be returned.

If your application is approved, your passport and documents will be returned to you with the requested visa.

When you arrive in Canada, the officer at the port of entry will determine whether you may enter Canada and how long you may stay. You must leave Canada on or before the date set by the officer or have your status extended by an officer in Canada. The stamp placed in your passport by a Canadian official is valid for six months unless otherwise amended by an officer.

If you move or change your address, telephone or fax number before your application has been processed, you must advise us of this new information by contacting the visa office where you submitted your application

Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions

*Persons who do not require a visa to visit Canada include:

*Subject to change at any time

- citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Republic of 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; and

- persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.

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