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General Visitor Visa Info

You may or may not need a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada, depending on your country of citizenship. Even if you are exempt, though, there is important information you need to know before you plan your trip.

Visitor Requirements

To visit Canada, you must:

  • Have a valid travel document (passport)
  • Be in good health
  • Prove that you have ties, such as a job, home and family, that will ensure you return to your country of residence after your trip
  • Prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • Prove that you have enough money for your stay
  • Some visitors may also need:
    • A Temporary Resident Visa, depending on country of citizenship (see below)
    • A medical examination
    • A letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.


Some people are inadmissible to Canada: those involved in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime. You can also be refused admission for security, health or financial reasons.

Visitor Visa Exemptions

Many people do not require a visa to visit Canada. These include:

  • Citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia (Republic of), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa
  • Permanent residents of the United States who are in possession of their Green card or can provide other evidence of legal 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 British National (Overseas) Passport issued by the Government of the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
  • 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
  • Persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See

Even if you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country you must still have a valid passport. Some citizens from visa exempt countries have more requirements, so be sure to double check.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa

If you are not a citizen of one of the above countries, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada.  You must follow the steps below:

  1. Obtain a Temporary Resident Visa application package (click here). - includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out.
  2. Read the guide (in the application package).
  3. Complete the application form and attach the necessary documents
  4. All required documents must be included with your application:
    1. Valid travel document (such as a passport)
    2. Two recent passport photos
    3. Application fee and the IMM 5401 receipt of payment.
    4. Proof that of sufficient funds for your visit to Canada.
    5. You may need to include other documents (varies).
  5. Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt - the fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry).
  6. Mail the application form and necessary documents - you must send your application to the Canadian visa office in the country or region where you live.
  7. An interview with a visa officer – you may need to go for an interview with a visa officer (not always required)
  8. A medical examination –you might need a medical examination to be allowed to enter Canada (not always required)

Visit the Canadian Visa website for more, up-to-date info.

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