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Temporary Resident Visas
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is the primary document for anyone from a designated country wishing to visit Canada either for pleasure or business. Also known as a Visitor’s Visa, this document will likely need to be combined with other permits if one seeks to visit Canada for work or study purposes. Because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, British citizens and residents of other member countries of the Commonwealth generally do not need a visa to enter the country. If you are a foreigner in the United States with a valid alien registration card or Green Card, you do not require a TRV. For a more comprehensive list of TRV exemptions, you can visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp. If you do not fit the criteria, a TRV is required before you enter Canada.
Getting a TRY
To apply for a TRV, you need to either download the application form at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp or contact your local Canadian embassy. A list of Canadian embassies is at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/missions.asp.
Applicants must have a current passport with up-to-date photographs taken according to the current passport standards. Because this is only a temporary permit, applicants must show that they have ties to their home country such as a job or family. Applicants also have to demonstrate that they are financially able to pay for their stay in Canada and their return ticket.
Sometimes an applicant may be required to present a letter of invitation from a friend or family member who is a Canadian resident. Some may also be required to take a medical examination.
Those with criminal records, have been involved in human rights crimes, or have been involved in organized crimes, will have their applications denied. Additionally, if an applicant’s health is poor, he/she is not financially capable of supporting himself/herself in Canada, or poses a security risk, the application will be refused.
A TRV generally takes about a month to process, but processing time varies according to your location. A single-entry visa costs CDN$75. However, if you are likely to be traveling in and out of Canada you would need a multiple-entry visa which costs CDN$150. A family visa costs CDN$400 for both single- and multiple-entry visas.
- Two Recent Passport Photos
- Application Fee and IMM 5401 Receipt of Payment
- Proof of Finances
Additionally the following documents may be required:
- ID Card
- Proof of Employment
- Letter of Invitation
- Proposed Travel Itinerary
When You Arrive
When you arrive you will be met by a Canada Border Services Agency representative who will go through your paperwork and ensure that everything is in order. You may also be required to undergo an interview with an immigration official.
Should you be traveling with kids, you will need to show proof of guardianship. If both parents are present, there are usually no problems, but if only one parent is present, a letter of permission to travel from the other parent must be presented.
Extending Your Stay
If you need to stay in Canada longer than your visa permits, you will need to apply for an extension. This must be done at least 30 days before your TRV expires. If you wish to change the type of visa you hold, you will need to send in a fresh application. Likewise, if you change your job or your child’s school you will need to send in a revision to the applicable visa. It costs CDN$75 to apply for an extension or to change a TRV. Applications can be downloaded at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visitor.asp. Once the application has been filled out, you will need to send it to a Canadian Visa Office in your area. See this link for a complete list of Canadian Visa Offices, their locations, and websites: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/index.asp.
In addition to a TRV, you will need to apply for a work permit to work in Canada. This is necessary even for those who do not require a visa to enter Canada. To get a work permit you need to show that you have a job in Canada and begin the application process before your arrival. Your employer may need to get written confirmation from Human Resources and Social Development in Canada to show that the position has to be filled by a foreigner. There are several situations in which you might not need a work permit. Most of these are temporary situations, but some are longer term. While no other documents, besides a letter from your employer may be needed, there is a lot of information that you will need to provide on your application form. See this link for detailed information about work permits and how to apply: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp.
Business travelers entering Canada for working trips do not have to apply for a work permit. Other visitors who may not require a work permit include foreign government officials and their families, convention organizers, flight crew members and public speakers. Jobs which are typically difficult to fill may also receive special consideration when applying for a work permit.
Intra-company transferees, who have been employed by the same company for more than three years in Mexico or the United States, can also apply for work permits. The transfer must be temporary and for the same company or one of its affiliates. The job to be filled should be a managerial or an executive position, or is one which requires specialty knowledge not easily be found in the Canadian workforce.
A trader or investor planning a significant trade agreement between their country of residence and Canada, or planning a substantial investment in Canada may also receive special consideration for work permits. The applicant must be of executive or supervisory status in the company or have essential skills in the field.
The length of time it takes to receive your work permit after application varies, depending on where you are applying. There are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
- include all the necessary information with your application
- notify the visa office of any changes to the information on your application
- avoid unnecessary inquiries to the visa office
- provide photocopies and documents that are clear and legible
- provide certified English or French translations of documents, where required, and
- apply from a country where you are a citizen or permanent resident
The process will take longer if:
- there are criminal or security problems with your application
- your family situation is not clear because of an event, such as a divorce or an adoption that is not yet complete or child custody issues that have not been resolved
- the local visa office has to consult with other Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in Canada or abroad
- you require a medical examination