to Visit Canada
Every year more than
37 million people visit Canada. Most are tourists but some are
international students, temporary workers or entertainers. Others come for
business or just pass through on their way to other countries.
If you want to visit
Canada for a few days or several months, you must meet some important
immigration requirements. This pamphlet will help you find out about these
before you make final travel plans.
You must be healthy and law-abiding
To visit Canada:
- you must be in
good health, law-abiding and have enough money to support yourself and
your dependants during your stay;
- in most cases, you
will need a valid passport, proof of identity or other travel
- you must get a
special authorization if you are coming to study or work;
- you must have a
visitor's visa to travel to Canada if you are a citizen of one of a
number of countries. Find out if you will need a visa before leaving
Check with the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission
As soon as you have
decided to visit Canada, call or visit the nearest Canadian Embassy, High
Commission or Consulate to find out exactly what documents you will need,
and how long it will take to receive them. There are more than 100
Canadian Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates and Missions throughout
You must get any visa
or authorization you need before you leave for Canada. If you want to work
or study, apply early because it will take time to receive all the papers
and certificates you will need (you may have to get some from Canada). A
student or worker authorization can be processed in a matter of days or it
can take up to six months, depending on how quickly you can provide the
necessary supporting documents.
Before leaving home,
you should also get a health insurance plan to pay for any hospital or
medical services you may need while in Canada.
Have your papers ready when you arrive in
When you arrive in
Canada you will be examined by an immigration official.
You can help make the
immigration interview as short as possible by answering all questions
simply and honestly. You should have your passport and other documents
ready and with you rather than in your luggage.
Check your visa or passport
Your passport or
travel documents will be stamped to indicate how long you may stay in
Please check to make
sure you understand when you will have to leave. If you have any questions
about how long you can stay in Canada be sure to ask an immigration
officer on your arrival or during your stay.
Under special circumstances you may be allowed to extend
You may have your
period of authorized stay in Canada extended, or your conditions of entry
For example, if you
have come to visit family and wish to stay longer for a special reason,
such as a wedding, you may be allowed to extend your stay. This is only
possible if you apply at a Canada Immigration Centre before the end of
your authorized stay. In order for us to process an application for a
visitor extension we ordinarily require 15 working days. This means you
should apply at least three weeks before the expiry date of your stay.
You are not normally
allowed to change your status once you are in Canada. For example, a
tourist cannot accept a job or become a student. People with
authorizations to work in Canada must apply for new employment
authorizations before they can change jobs.
You must follow the
terms and conditions of your stay. All terms and conditions are specified
on your student or employment authorization or your visitor record.
Enforcement of the
If the immigration
officer believes that you may not respect your conditions of entry, you
may be asked for a substantial cash deposit or other security to ensure
that you will respect the terms of your entry.
If you give
incomplete or false information and identification, you can be refused
admission. If you do not respect your conditions of entry, work or attend
courses without permission, stay longer than authorized, or threaten law
and order in Canada, you may be removed from the country.
Depending on the
seriousness of your offense, you could be barred from returning to Canada
for varying periods of time.
The law protects you
law protects the people who live in Canada and those who come to visit.
It welcomes everyone
who comes for a valid reason, and it keeps out anyone who may threaten the
peace and security of the country.
If upon arrival at a
Canadian port of entry you are not allowed into Canada or are asked to
leave, you have the right to an impartial hearing.
If you are outside
Canada and would like information and advice on your visit, contact the
nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. In Canada, call or
visit your local Canada Immigration Center. Information and guidance is
free of charge but certain fees do apply for
- issuance of a
- a request for an
employment and student authorization,
- a request to
extend visitor status in Canada.
For more information,
contact your nearest Canada Immigration Centre or a Canadian diplomatic
This is not a legal
document. For precise, legal information consult the Immigration
Act and Regulations.