Before getting into the basics of how to apply for a Canadian visa, it’s best to define what a Canadian visa is and isn’t, since it’s often confused with a Canadian residence permit. A Canadian Visa is just a piece of paper that lets someone into Canada.
If you want to move to Canada or visit Canada, you need a Canadian Visa, which you can only get by applying.
How to apply for a Canadian visa in steps
Here are the basic steps you need to take to get a visa for Canada.
Check your eligibility status
Create an online account
Compilation of document
Payment of fees
Wait for processing
Submit your passport and processing fee
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Find out if you are eligible
The Canadian government made it pretty easy to find out if you were eligible. Filling out an online questionnaire makes this possible. Depending on what kind of visa you want, the questions on this form may be different.
You can only get one of these three answers after filling out this survey.
- You are not eligible for this visa you selected
- You are eligible for this visa you selected
- You are eligible for another kind of visa the system would pair you with
If the system thinks you are eligible for the visa you applied for or the visa it matches you with, it will ask for your email address and send a series of documents and a reference code to the email address you give.
The description of the visa, its rules, and information on how to fill out your application.
The reference code is a very important piece of information that you don’t want to lose sight of. It has information from your questionnaire and the type of visa you applied for. So, you should save the email and also write down the code somewhere else, just in case.
If you didn’t have the reference code, you would have to fill out the questionnaire again.
Make an account online
Depending on the instructions sent to your email, you might need to apply in person or make an online account. But since most Canadian records are now digital, an online account is usually the best way to go.
There are two ways to set up an account online. You can use the login for your online banking or make a GCkey ( Government of Canada login). It is best to go with the first option since Canada is known to have partnerships with many banks.
Putting together documents
The next thing to do to finish your application is to put together your document file. You can start your application after making an account and logging in. To do this, you need to put in your reference code, which has a list of the documents you need to apply for the visa you are eligible for. Fill these out online and send them in. After that, you can send in your application.
Fees must be paid
Having compiled and submitted your documents, you would be redirected to a page for payment purposes. You are to make payments using your bank details, that is the bank details should correspond with the information provided on the documents you filled out.
The payment fee depends on the type of visa you are applying for. When you have completed the payment, your application will be submitted.
It would take a maximum of five working days for your application to be displayed on your account.
Wait for things to happen
After you pay and send in your application, it will take about two weeks for your application to be processed. Your account is where you can see all updates about your visa application, so it’s important to check it often.
You might be asked for more documents or biometrics. If this happens, you’ll have to bring them to the embassy in person, no matter how you sent your original documents. You can schedule an appointment yourself, or the embassy can do it for you.
You would have to give your fingerprints and a photo of yourself from your passport. A person who works at the embassy would also ask you some questions. You should answer these questions carefully because they play a big role in deciding whether or not you will be given a visa. You would find out the outcome of the interview right away, or you would get a message later.
Putting in your passport and the fee for processing
When you hear that your visa has been approved, you need to send in your passport and pay the processing fee. Depending on what kind of visa you want, the processing fee may be different. You also have to pay for an envelope to send your passport back in.
You can bring them in person or send them by mail to the Canadian embassy in your home country. If you sent it by mail, the embassy would stamp it and send it back.
But if you get a response right away after your interview, you must pay the processing fee and give your passport to get a visa stamp right away.
After taking these steps (and possibly more), you can go to Canada.
The decision, though, will be made by the people in charge at the Canadian airport. If they look at your papers and find mistakes, they can refuse to let you into Canada and send you back to your home country.