Canada is a country located in North America where both English and French are spoken. Its wide range of tourist attractions, the exquisite Canadian cuisine and the fact that it is one of the favorite destinations of the so-called gay tourism make it one of the most visited countries in the world. Here we explain what requirements and documentation you will need to travel to this North American country.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
All citizens, regardless of nationality, need to have a valid passport up to one day after leaving Canada. This is because visitors must be able to prove their identity, absence of criminal records, evidence of air ticket or reservation to leave Canada and financial solvency.
The economic solvency It is only an indispensable requirement if the applicant is the one who pays for the trip. In that case, you can present the following documents as financial solvency: income statements, proof of savings, travelers checks … If someone from Canada or from your home country is paying for the trip, you must prove the financial solvency of both the applicant and of who pays the trip or part of it.
In any case, you will be exempt from the obligation to present a valid passport if you find yourself in any of the following cases:
- You are a Canadian citizen and you have an identity card, birth certificate or citizenship document.
- You have a legal permanent residence permit in Canada and you have documents to prove it.
- You are a US citizen and you can prove it by presenting your birth certificate or naturalization documents.
- You come from Saint Pierre and Miquelon or USA. and you have a legal permanent residence permit in the US and one Green card.
- You are a resident French citizen or you come from San Pedro and Miquelón.
- You have nationality and reside in Greenland.
It should be noted that under 18 of age traveling without the company of an adult must carry with them a letter from at least one of the parents or guardians authorizing them to travel to Canada. The Canadian government does not admit the entry into the country of citizens whose passport, identity card or travel document belongs to one of the following territories: Palestinian National Authority, Ciskei, Transkei or Bofutatswana.
In any case, information on visas and passports for traveling to this country changes often, so it is best to confirm it by going to the nearest relevant consulate.
The visa or visa is a document issued by the immigration entity of the particular nation to which you wish to travel. It is only necessary when traveling to a different country from which you do not own citizenship. As a general rule, it is necessary to have a visa to enter Canada, except in the express cases in which a country is exempt from said requirement.
The citizens coming from some EU member country, United States and Australia are exempt from visa requirements. Nationals of any of the following countries do not need a visa:
- A: Andorra and Antigua, Barbuda.
- B: Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei.
- C: Vatican City, Chile, Cyprus.
- E: Slovenia.
- H: Hong Kong (SAR).
- I: Iceland, Solomon Islands, Israel (blue passports).
- J: Japan.
- L: Liechtenstein.
- M: Malta, Mexico, Monaco.
- N: Namibia, New Zealand, Norway.
- P: Papua New Guinea.
- R: Republic of Korea.
- S: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa (Oriental), San Marino, Singapore, Swaziland, Switzerland.
In Canada, you can enter in one of the following ways: in transit to another country, to do tourism, to reside, to study or to request political asylum. Whatever the reason, the visa must be requested at the Canadian Consulate closest to your place of residence or, failing that, at the Canadian Embassy. These are the types of visas available for Canada:
- Visitor / tourist: Applies in cases of temporary stay in the country, so it requires returning to the country of origin at the end of the established time. To qualify for this visa, you must be in good health and have sufficient financial solvency to cover the expenses arising from our stay. If you are going to stay more than 6 months, you must pass a medical exam. Agencies such as Aviatur (Colombia) are authorized to submit this request as long as a series of special instructions are followed.
- Study Authorization: it is necessary for the realization of formal studies in academic institutions of Canada. Language courses or non-academic nature are excluded. It must be accompanied by a visitor's visa.
- Temporary job: This is an authorization to work temporarily in Canada. Applications are approved whenever the applicant submits a formal job offer approved by a Human Resources Center in Canada.
- Temporary residence: A work permit is required in Canada to apply for this visa. Those interested should contact the embassy or consulate for specific instructions, since prior authorization is required. If requested for reasons of study, the interested party must request a student permit and pay the corresponding fee.
- Immigrant: It will be approved based on what the applicant can contribute to improve the economy of the country or to support family reunification.
There are four different categories for the immigrant visa to Canada depending on the purposes for which we are going to immigrate: skilled worker, family, business and refugee. In the latter case, it is addressed to those who need protection from situations of persecution and can be requested either from their place of origin or when arriving at a port of entry to Canada.
Documentation to attach
Whether it is a tourist visa or a transit visa, its validity is up to 6 months, depending on the circumstances of the applicant. If a departure date is not indicated in your passport, it is understood that you can remain in the country for up to 3 months (90 days) from the day of your entry into Canada. The cost is $ 75 (€ 104) for a single entry visa and $ 150 (€ 208) for multiple entries.
For tourist or transit visas, the following documents must be presented at the time of applying:
- Valid passport
- Proof of immigrant status in the country of residence (if applicable).
- Application form duly completed.
- 2 passport-sized photographs.
- Proof of financial solvency (may include letter from the work company, bank or mortgage statement or letter of invitation from a Canadian resident).
- Payment of fees.
- Employment documents (if applicable).
- Detailed plans of the trip.
After examining your application, a visa officer could call the applicant for an interview. In case of not speaking English, French or Spanish, the applicant must come accompanied by an interpreter. Likewise, you must show that you meet the requirements demanded by the Canadian Immigration Law and its Regulations, that your stay will be temporary and that you will return to your country at the end of it.
If you wish to make an extension of the stay, the interested party must request it to the nearest Canadian immigration center before the date on which his visa expires well in advance. Keep in mind that it can take up to 10 business days. If a specific date appears on your visa, you cannot extend your stay in Canada beyond the date indicated.
The Canadian government is especially demanding in relation to the photograph that must be included in the visa. The photographer must indicate on the back of each photo the name of the studio, its address and the date the photos were taken, which must meet the following requirements:
- 2 identical photographs
- Good quality paper
- External measurements: 7 cm x 5 cm
- There should be between 31-36 mm from the chin to the top of the head, including the hair
- Very light white or gray background, without any shadow (not even behind the hair or ears)
- Front photo in which the head and shoulders appear
- Neutral, serious face expression, looking at camera and with mouth closed
In addition, a declaration of the guarantor must be included on the back of one of the photos in which the seal has been added or the photographer data. Do not forget to verify all the photos well before submitting them, since those that do not comply with these requirements will be rejected.
Working Holiday Program
Visa Working Holiday It is part of the IEC program (International Experience Canada) and allows young people between 18 and 35 years of age to work legally in Canada for one year without having to have any previous contract. You can work in any sector except health, including the position of caregiver for children or the elderly.
Before you begin the application process, you must ensure that you meet the following requirements:
- Your country has an agreement with the Canadian Government.
- You are between 18 and 35 years old (if you are Mexican, you must be registered as a student in Mexico).
- You have paid online the participation rate in the program (150 $ approx.) And the Open Work Permit Holder Fee, equivalent to about $ 100.
- You have not previously participated in the IEC program.
- You have the equivalent of 2,500 Canadian dollars to cover your stay.
- You have medical insurance.
To apply, you must create an account Kompass Once the application deadline for your country is open. Keep in mind that there is a limited availability of places for each country, so our advice is to be fast, since they usually sell out in less than 20-30 min. If the places are finished, you can send your request to be on the waiting list.
It is also necessary to make a work permit application through MyCIC (you can access by clicking on this link). The instructions on how to create your account will be detailed in the Conditional Acceptance Letter sent to you by the IEC and you will have a maximum of 14 days to send it. Otherwise, your place will be canceled.
It is also possible to live temporarily in Canada by granting a scholarship to study or do internships in business. There are several organizations that administer scholarship programs, usually intended for graduate students or professors / researchers. In any case, those interested should also seek financial help in their country of origin. These are some of the most popular scholarships:
- Amancio Ortega Foundation: aimed at Spanish students who are in the 4th year of the E.S.O. and wish to start their baccalaureate studies in Canada or the United States. The scholarship covers 100% of the cost of the school year (travel, validation of studies, school fees, accommodation …).
- Canadian International Development Agency Scholarships: These are scholarships for students who wish to complete their studies in Canada.
- International Council for Canadian Studies: scholarships aimed at conducting research work at the undergraduate and graduate level. They also include grants for internships.
- International Development Research Center (IDRC) Funding: These scholarships are aimed at citizens of developing countries. They are funds to carry out research activities.
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS): This program has been designed with the aim of promoting excellence in undergraduate, doctoral or master's degree studies.
- Québec Merit Fellowships Program for Foreign Students: these are doctoral scholarships in research, short-term scholarships in research or professional development and postdoctoral scholarships.
- The Rotary Foundation’s Ambassadorial Scholarships: It is currently the world's largest international scholarship program funded from private funds. It offers more than 1,000 scholarships annually.
- Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories: The Canadian National Research Council offers collaborative positions to carry out research work to newly graduated scientists and engineers.
- The Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships Program: This program offers up to 15 places each year for high-level doctoral candidates in the areas of social sciences and humanities.
Citizenship and permanent residence
Not all foreign citizens can qualify for the Canadian Citizenship Certificate. If you have criminal charges, you were subject to a removal or deportation order from Canada, you have been convicted of criminal charges in the last 3 years, you are being investigated for war crimes or your citizenship was revoked in recent years you will not be able to obtain citizenship .
In any case, obtaining the citizenship certificate is subject to compliance with the following requirements:
- You are a permanent resident (landed immigrant in English).
- You have lived in Canada for a period of 3 years in the last 4 years (if you have spent time in a correctional institution, this period is not applicable to the period of 3 years).
- You are 18 years old.
- Do you speak English or French?
- You know the details of Canadian history and society, as well as the rights and duties of Canadian citizens.
To demonstrate your general knowledge about Canada, all applicants who meet the above requirements must undergo a written or oral examination before an immigration judge. The test may include questions related to politics, economics, geography, history, etc. The process until obtaining citizenship per se It can last between 5 months and several years.
If you wish to apply for permanent residence in the province of Québec, you will have to receive the Québec Selection Certificate or Certificate of Sélection du Québec (CSQ). This province establishes its own standards and procedures for the selection of immigrants, so it has the autonomy to select only those candidates who are more likely to establish themselves in the province's economy and society.
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