Canada is a particularly welcoming country when it comes to refugees and immigrants, but it can be difficult to obtain a visa. It’s important to do your research and prepare your documents before submitting a visa application in Canada.

As of July 31, 2018, if you are a national of a country or territory in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, you may also be required to submit certain biometrics, including fingerprints and a photograph.

There are four general types of visas in Canada: Temporary Resident Visa, Study Permits, Work Permits, and Permanent Resident Travel Document.

Temporary Canadian Resident Visa

If you’re planning to visit Canada on a temporary basis, extend a visit in Canada, visit Canada’s attractions and events, and visit friends or family, you may want to look into a Temporary Resident Visa.

Documentation needed:

  • Fee payment at the visa application centre (Fee list here)
  • A photocopy of your passport or valid travel identification
  • Two visa photos that fit the photo specifications with your name and date of birth on the back
  • Proof of financial support
  • Photocopy of marriage license/certificate
  • Purpose of travel/visit
  • Photocopy of current immigration status (visas or passport for other countries)
  • Minors traveling alone must have letter of authorization from parent or guardian

Canadian Study Permits

When studying abroad as an international student, you may want to do research on how to obtain a study permit in Canada.

Documentation needed:

  • A passport or valid travel identification
  • An acceptance letter from a designated learning institute (DLI)
  • Proof that you have enough money for:
    • Tuition
    • Living expenses for yourself and any other family members that may be living with you in Canada
    • Return transportation for yourself and any family members with you in Canada

There are also a few other requirements that you may need to comply with for a study permit. To learn more about these additional requirements, visit the Canadian government’s website on study permits.

Canadian Work Permits

If you’re a temporary worker, business person, student, or caregiver in the Caregiver Live-in Program, you may want to look into how to obtain a work permit to work in Canada.

Documentation needed:

Permanent Canadian Resident Travel Document

A permanent resident travel document allows Canadian residents to travel outside of Canada with proof that they are legal residents. It is valid for a single entry. You’ll want to do research to understand how to obtain a new PR card as soon as you resume residence in Canada.

Documentation needed:

  • Valid passport
  • Fee payment: $50
  • Two visa photos that fit the photo specifications
  • Photocopies of all previous passports or travel documents used in the last five years
  • Two pieces of evidence showing residency in Canada for the last five years:
    • Paystubs or employment records
    • Bank statements
    • Rental agreements
    • Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment for five years before application
    • Evidence that you have received benefits from Canadian government programs
  • Marriage license or proof of common law partnership (if traveling with spouse or partner)
  • Child’s birth certificate (if traveling with child)
  • Business licenses or articles of incorporation, business partnership agreements, etc.

Come to Canada

Come to Canada is an online tool designed to help people discover if they are eligible to apply for a visa or permit in Canada. In order to learn more, you will answer a number of questions about:

  • nationality
  • age
  • language ability
  • family members
  • education
  • work experience
  • income and/or net worth
  • details on any job offer

Based on the answers to these questions, this tool can help you determine what programs you may be eligible for and which type of visa you should apply for. However, it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer to confirm exactly what you need to do for your visa application.

If you’re looking to visit Canada for the first time, watch this video to learn a bit more about beautiful places and cities around the country:

Start preparing your Canadian visa application today

The process of obtaining a visa to live, work, or study in Canada may be a lengthy one, so it’s always a good idea to give yourself enough time to do your research and prepare your documentation in advance.

If you plan to move to Canada and are working on your own visa application, you can use Remitly to send money back to loved ones when you need to.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topics discussed herein. This publication is not a substitute for seeking advice from an applicable specialist or professional. The content in this publication does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Remitly or any of its affiliates and should not be relied upon as such. While we strive to keep our posts up to date and accurate, we cannot represent, warrant or otherwise guarantee that the content is accurate, complete or up to date.