Canada is a dream destination with its diverse and multicultural background. From Niagara Falls to the Canadian Rockies, the place is definitely what most people would refer to as travel goal. But for many travelers, a Canadian visitor visa or tourist visa must be acquired first.
- 1 Canadian Visitor Visa
- 2 Single vs Multiple Entry Visa
- 3 Documents Required for Canadian Visitor or Tourist Visa
- 4 How to Apply for Canada Visitor Visa
- 5 Canadian Visitor Visa Processing Time
- 6 Tips for Applying for Canadian Visitor Visa
- 7 Canada Visa Application Centre – Manila
- 8 Canada Visa Application Centre – Cebu
- 9 Other Contact Info
Canadian Visitor Visa
Most travelers need a visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) to travel to Canada. Visitors are persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who intend to enter Canada to visit on holiday (vacation) or to visit a family. For the visitor visa, it is important to prove that you will be in Canada for only a temporary stay.
Once granted with a visitor visa, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
In the Philippines, you can apply for a Canadian visitor visa online or on paper. This guide focuses on the Canadian visa application online.
Single vs Multiple Entry Visa
You don’t need to choose between single and multiple entry visa when applying for Canadian visitor visa. This is because a multiple entry visa is what all visa applicants are automatically considered for.
With multiple entry visa, you can travel to Canada for six months at a time as many times as you want – as long as the visa is valid. Visa validity is up to 10 years or one month before your passport expires, whichever is shorter. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.
On the other hand, a single entry visa lets you travel to Canada for one time only.
Most of the time, a multiple entry visa is being issued.
Documents Required for Canadian Visitor or Tourist Visa
Below is a list of requirements for Canadian visitor or tourist visa.
Forms List: The following forms must be completed, signed, and dated:
1. Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM5257) – this is the Canadian visa application form.
2. Family Information Form (IMM5645E)
Documents List: Gather your documents based from the document checklist given to you.
3. Valid Passport – a photocopy of the bio page or information page of your valid passport. There must be one completely blank page available other than the last page of the passport.
4. Digital photo – passport size photo (35mm x 45mm) meeting the requirements of the Visa Application Photograph Specifications.
5. Proof of Financial Support – you must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and accompanying family members, if any) during the duration of your stay in Canada and to return home. Sample of financial documents you can submit are the following:
- bank statement (for the past 4 months)
- bank certificate
- stocks certificate
- proof of assets (car title, land title).
If being sponsored, submit an affidavit of support from the person or institution funding your trip. Also include the sponsor’s proof of financial capacity.
6. Purpose of Travel – you must convince an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay. You can submit the following:
- flight ticket/flight reservations – it is not recommended to book flight tickets until a visa is granted so as not to waste a huge sum of money if you are denied. However, you can opt for a flight reservation for only a minimal fee.
- hotel booking – you can submit hotel bookings with free cancellation from sites like booking.com.
- travel itinerary
- invitation letter if invited by a citizen in Canada (include citizen card, payslip).
7. Travel History – scanned copy of your visas (valid or expired) and entry/exit stamps. Make sure these are provided in one document only (e.g. one PDF file).
How to Apply for Canada Visitor Visa
STEP 1: Create GCKey or CIC Account
The first thing you have to do is to create your GCKey or CIC account here. This is the online platform provided by the government of Canada to allow you to securely submit your visitor visa application. This is where you will upload all your documents. Updates or notifications regarding your application are also sent here.
STEP 2: Upload your Documents
You will be asked to answer a series of questions. Based from your answer, you will be provided with a personal checklist of all the documents you need to submit with your application. Make sure to answer honestly and correctly.
Some guidelines for uploading your documents:
- For online application, you do not need to sign your application form by hand. You will be asked to provide a digital signature once you are ready to transmit your documents.
- Only one file is allowed per document type. For example, if you scanned multiple pages of your passport for other visas and stamps, you must compile them in one file.
- The maximum size for each file is 4MB and only the following formats are accepted: PDF, image (JPG, TIFF, PNG), and DOC/DOCX.
- Note that you will not be able to proceed or submit your application unless the documents are complete.
STEP 3: Pay the Canadian Visa Application and Biometrics Fee
You will be asked to pay your fees after you have electronically signed your application. Payment can only be made using credit card and the following are accepted: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
- Canadian Visa Fee – CAD100
- Biometrics Fee – CAD85
Once your payment is completed, you will receive a message with your confirmation number and a link to your payment receipt.
STEP 4: Submit your Biometrics
After payment, wait until you receive notification to submit your biometrics. Once you received the request, you need to set an appointment online. Note that appointments are mandatory in order to enroll biometrics at the Visa Application Centre.
Once you have your appointment set, you will receive a letter with details of the date, time, and location of the appointment, along with other relevant information.
STEP 5: Submit your Passport
After submitting your biometrics, waiting game begins. It’s either you will receive a request to submit your passport or a refusal letter. You can submit your passport in person or via mail. Check further details here.
Canadian Visitor Visa Processing Time
My application took a little more than 2 weeks because I was not able to submit my biometrics immediately.
Tips for Applying for Canadian Visitor Visa
– Maximize the use of your Canadian visitor visa. If your passport has only a few years left, you may want to renew. Remember you can be granted with a multiple entry visa valid for 10 years. But if you only have a year or two left for the validity of your passport, then the same number of years will also be given.Personally, I renewed my passport that is only valid for more than a year before I started my Canadian visa application online. With a 10-year valid Philippine passport, I also received a 10-year multiple entry Canadian visitor visa.
– You can opt not to finish your online application in one sitting. You can save and continue your application next time. But do note that you have to complete it within 60 days otherwise it will automatically be deleted.
– All applicants are being requested to submit biometrics. Having your biometrics submitted does not guarantee approval of your application.
– Once you receive the notification request for your biometrics, make sure to immediately schedule an appointment. The soonest you can submit your biometrics is the soonest your application can be processed for the final decision.
– If you have trouble downloading the Canadian visa application form or any other forms, try to right click the link and choose [Save link as].
– If your passport is being requested, it means that your application is approved. You can already view in your CIC account the length of validity of your visa (even before your passport is returned with your sticker visa).
Canada Visa Application Centre – Manila
VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc.
29th Floor The World Center Bldg
330 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Hours of Operation:
Application / Biometric Submission: 7AM – 4PM
Passport Submission: 7AM – 4PM
Passport Collection: : 7AM – 4PM
Canada Visa Application Centre – Cebu
VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc.
9F Keppel Center Unit 905 Samar Loop cor Cardinal Rosales Ave,
Cebu Business Park
Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Hours of Operation:
Application / Biometric Submission: 7AM – 3PM
Passport Submission: 7AM – 3PM
Passport Collection: : 7AM – 3PM
Other Contact Info
Helpline number: (+632) 8528-2505
Helpline email: email@example.com