Visa Exemption to Canada because of the Documents You Hold

Visa Exemptions to Canada because of documentsMargola is a Yemenite Jew. She has lived most of her life in Yemen. However, Margola holds an Israeli passport on top of her Yemenite passport. She intends to travel to Canada next month. Consequently, Margola wonders if she needs a visa to Canada. 

Canada welcomes millions of visitors every year. However, most of the visitors to Canada are the 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:

We call such visas a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). The process of obtaining a TRV is relatively complicated and time-consuming nowadays. Read the following article for more information:

If you are exempt from a TRV, then you don’t need to go through the TRV application process. However, remember, 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.

Exemption from TRV because of documents

The following people are exempt from TRVs because of the documents they hold [practitioners see R190(2) and R190(2.1)]:

  • Foreign diplomats and people who have received proper accreditation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada. Some examples include:
    • a properly accredited diplomat,
    • consular officer, or
    • representative or official of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies, or of any international organization of which Canada is a member [practitioners see R190(2)(a)]
  • Holders of passports or travel documents of the Holy See (the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome) – [practitioners see R190(2)(b)]
  • Those who hold a national Israeli passport – [practitioners see R190(2)(c)]
  • Holders of a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – [practitioners, see R190(2)(d)]
  • Those who hold a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong – [practitioners see R190(2)(e)]
  • Holders of a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British Subject which contains the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom – [practitioners see R190(2)(e.1)]
  • Those hold an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual – [practitioners see R190(2)(f)]
  • Romanian citizens who hold a machine-readable passport that contains a contactless integrated circuit chip and that is issued by Romania – [practitioners see R190(2.1)]

Note: This list is subject to change. Double-check with IRCC or our office to make sure the information is up-to-date.

What to do if I am the holder of a document on the list?

If you are travelling by air may still need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to visit Canada. However, eTA is a simple online process that costs every member of your family $7 (Canadian Dollars). It is not a visa application but a security screening process. Most people can easily handle an eTA application without help. However, we will be more than happy to assist you with it, especially if you have potentially troubling issues.

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:

Consider booking a consultation session with our immigration consultant for more information. If you are a diplomat with inadmissibility issues, consult with your Foreign Affairs department. Unless you are travelling as an ordinary citizen, we cannot help you.

What to do if my document is not on the list?

If your document is not on the list, you may still be exempt from a TRV because of your nationality or the purpose of visit. If none of those apply to you, then you need a TRV.

What if my purpose of 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.

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.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


Assessing Immigration or Visa to Canada

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.

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Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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