Exploring the CAN+ visitor visa program: Easier access to Canada
Li is a Chinese citizen who wishes to travel to Canada. She recently received a US visitor visa and travelled to New York. However, Li has decided to visit Vancouver this time. Her travel plans are set for two months from now. Therefore, Li wonders if she could soon receive a Canadian visitor visa under the CAN+ program. What is the CAN+ visitor visa program, and how does it affect the applicants?
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A brief history of the CAN+ visitor visa program
The government of Canada announced in New Delhi in 2014 an exciting new program. According to Chris Alexander, the Minister of Immigration at the time, the program intended to facilitate “trade and travel for genuine visitors and business people from India who contribute positively to the Canadian economy.” They called this program CAN+. The intention was to quickly process TRV (visitor visa) and study permit applications.
What are the requirements of CAN+?
CAN+ covers those travellers who meet one of the following two criteria:
- They have legally travelled to Canada in the past ten years, or
- They hold a valid non-immigrant US visa.
Moreover, if you fall under the CAN+ program, you do not need to show proof of financial support. Despite this announcement, I highly recommend presenting evidence of financial aid. A good approach is to show you immediate access to funds equal to or more than a six-month LICO.
Are there country restrictions?
IRCC has not explicitly announced if CAN+ covers a restricted list of countries. However, a 2018 regulatory plan mentioned China, Mexico, and India as three countries covered by this program. It is noteworthy that Mexicans may now travel to Canada without a TRV. However, they need to apply for an eTA.
How to apply for CAN+?
All you need to do is to apply for a regular TRV application. It will be the job of a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to mark you for CAN+. Of course, you must meet the criteria. Nonetheless, you may take a further step. After submitting the application, contact IRCC via web form and inform them you are a CAN+ applicant. Don’t forget to include the proof of the following:
- A valid non-immigrant US visa or a former Canadian visa counterfoil, and
- The proof of entry/exit to the US or Canada in the past ten years.
For example, you could include one or more of the following in your original application and the subsequent web form follow-up:
- Visa counterfoils in the current or previous passports
- Entry stamps in the passport
- Previous visitor records, study permits, or work permits in Canada.
- Travel itinerary
- Boarding passes from previous travels to Canada or the United States
- Any other documents showing you have travelled to any of these two countries in the past ten years
Let us help!
Being a CAN+ traveller does not guarantee a TRV in Canada. I have seen visa refusals for people who held previous visas to Canada or valid visitor visas to the United States. Whether you are a CAN+ applicant or not, we could help you submit your TRV or other applications. Please book a consultation session with me, fill out our assessment form, or the following contact form.
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
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