Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and visitors to Canada: Visitor visa applications

We’ve temporarily changed how to apply for a visitor visa. The instructions on this page are only for people who need a visitor visa and are eligible to travel to Canada at this time.

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How to apply for a visitor visa

If you’re eligible to travel to Canada at this time, you need to tell us, so we can prioritize the processing of your application.

We’re prioritizing applications for essential and non-discretionary travel during this time. You also must meet all regular visitor visa eligibility and admissibility requirements.

Step 1: Apply online

If you need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, you must apply online for one. Only online applications will be accepted and processed.

Step 2: Fill out the form

When answering the question on the application form about the purpose of travel, enter the following information exactly as written to make sure your application is prioritized:

Step 3: Show that you meet the travel exemption criteria

You must submit evidence that you’re eligible to travel at this time.

If you’re outside the United States (US)

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You qualify for an exemption and are coming for an essentialFootnote 1 (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.
If you’re travelling directly from the US

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You’re travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.

The type of evidence you need to provide depends on what you qualify for. For example, if you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, you can provide one of the following:

  • a marriage certificate or proof of common-law status (documents showing a shared address)
  • a birth certificate
  • a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for one of the following:
    • the family class (the COPR category under Application Details will be FC)
    • the one-year window of opportunity provision (coded OYW under Special Program)
  • other documents that show an immediate family connection, for example
    • correspondence from us showing a spousal sponsorship application in progress
    • documents that show a shared home address

Step 4: Pay the fees

Pay the application fee and submit all required supporting documents, including giving biometrics.

Step 5: Wait for a decision on your application

You’ll get one of the following:

This will be sent to your IRCC Secure Account. If your application is approved, we tell you the next steps in the process.

Step 6: Prepare to travel

You need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to fly to Canada or at the port of entry (POE) if you’re arriving by car.

Bring proof

You must bring evidence that you’re eligible to travel at this time (see step 3).

If you can’t provide this information, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Canada.

Health requirements for travellers to Canada

What to do if you’ve already applied for a visitor visa

Step 1: Email us

Email us at the address below only if you’re eligible to travel to Canada at this time. We won’t respond to any other enquiries.

IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Make sure you tell us

We don’t recommend that you book travel before you get your visa. However, if you’ve booked travel, provide your travel itinerary, including your

We’ll contact you within 5 business days of getting your email and tell you what to do next.

For all other questions

Find out how COVID-19 is affecting immigration programs and services. If you can’t find the answer to your question, contact us using our Web form.

Show how you’re eligible to travel at this time

If you’re outside the US

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You qualify for an exemption and are coming for an essentialFootnote 1 (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.
If you’re travelling directly from the US

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You’re travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.

Provide proof as an attachment in your email.

The type of evidence you need to provide depends on what you qualify for. For example, if you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, you can provide one of the following:

  • a marriage certificate or proof of common-law status (documents showing a shared address)
  • a birth certificate
  • a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for one of the following:
    • the family class (the COPR category under Application Details will be FC)
    • the one-year window of opportunity provision (coded OYW under Special Program)
  • other documents that show an immediate family connection, for example
    • correspondence from us showing a spousal sponsorship application in progress
    • documents that show a shared home address

Step 2: Wait for a decision on your application

We’ll contact you, either through your IRCC Secure Account or by email, for one of the following reasons:

If your application is approved, we’ll tell you the next steps in the process.

If you originally applied for a visitor visa by paper, you can link your application to an online account. In your online account, you can see the status of your application.

Step 3: Prepare to travel

You need to prepare properly before you travel to Canada.

Bring proof

You must bring evidence (see step 2) that you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time.

If you can’t provide this information, you won’t be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.

Health requirements for travellers to Canada

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