Do I Need a Visitor Visa to Visit Canada?
Emma is a citizen of the United States. She has never travelled to another country in her lifetime. One of Emma’s friends moved to Canada last year. Consequently, Emma wants to go to Canada to visit her friend and stay with her for one week. She wonders if she needs to get a visa to Canada. Emma has already applied for a passport.
Canada welcomes millions of visitors every year. However, most of the visitors to Canada are US citizens who are exempt from visas or eTAs to enter our country. Luckily, many other visitors to Canada may also visit Canada without the need to obtain a visa.
What does it mean to be exempt from a visa?
If a person is a foreign national to Canada, they may need a visa for the following reasons:
- visiting relatives or friends,
- attending seminars or conferences,
- staying with their fiancé for a short time,
- doing business without entering the Canadian workforce,
- working in Canada under jobs that are exempt from a work permit,
- studying in Canada when obtaining a study permit is not necessary, or
- any other reason that involves visiting Canada for a short time without working or studying.
If you are exempt from a TRV, then you don’t need to go through the TRV application process. However, if you intend to work, study, or immigrate to Canada, you still need to apply for proper documents. Despite being exempt from a TRV, most visa-exempt visitors to Canada need to go through a security screening process called eTA. Read the following article for more details.
If you are a US citizen, then you are exempt from both TRVs and eTAs.
Conditions that make you exempt from a TRV
Visitors could be exempt from a TRV for any of the following reasons. Please click the links for more information:
What to do if these circumstances apply to me?
If these circumstances apply to you, then you may enter Canada without applying for a TRV. However, you may still need to apply for an eTA. Read the following article for more information:
As mentioned earlier, US citizens are exempt from eTA if they are travelling to Canada.
What to do if I am inadmissible to Canada?
Some people could be inadmissible to Canada. If you are one of them, then you may need to apply for one or some of the following documents:
- A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
- An Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC)
- A Record Suspension or Acquittal
- Claim deemed rehabilitation
- A Rehabilitation Application
What to do if I do not meet these circumstances?
If you are not exempt, you must apply for a TRV. Read the following article for more information:
What if my purpose for the visit is studying, working, or immigration?
If you intend to study, work, or immigrate to Canada, then read one of the following articles or fill out our assessment form.
- Study Permit – Study Visa – International Students in Canada
- Three Steps to Work in Canada
- Canada Immigration Options
Remember, with some exceptions; you need proper permits to achieve any of those goals.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.
Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.
For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.