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

We’re prioritizing applications from people who are eligible to travel to Canada right now

  • We strongly encourage you to wait until you’re eligible to travel to Canada before you submit a visitor visa application.
    • The information you submit with your application will be the most up to date, which will reduce delays in the processing of your application.
  • If you already submitted an application for a visitor visa and will be eligible to travel starting in September, instructions will be available soon.

Flights from India suspended

Read the news release.

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.

On this page

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 non-discretionary travel during this time. You also must meet all regular visitor visa eligibility and admissibility requirements.

You must apply for a visitor visa through the IRCC Portal if you’re coming to Canada to

How to apply for a visitor visa through the IRCC Portal

Most applicants must follow these steps.

Step 1: Apply online with your IRCC account

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

If you’re travelling with an identity or travel document that was issued to a refugee, a stateless person or a non-citizen

If you can’t apply online, you can apply on paper.

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. The evidence you need to provide depends on what you qualify for.

If you’re outside the United States (US)

You must be able to prove one of the following:

If you’re travelling directly from the US

You must be able to prove one of the following:

What evidence to submit

All supporting documents must be in English or French. If they’re not in English or French, you must submit a certified translation and a certified photocopy of the document.

If you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or Canadian permanent resident

Examples of evidence you can provide with your visitor visa application include

  • 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 as 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
If you qualify as an extended family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or Canadian permanent resident

You must include the signed and completed application for authorization and statutory declaration with your visitor visa application.

Make sure to complete the correct version of the application for authorization and statutory declaration form. If you send us the wrong form, your request will be delayed and may be refused.

You also need to provide proof that your extended family member is a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident.

For example, you can provide a copy of their

  • Canadian birth certificate
    • If the person you’re trying to reunite with in Canada is under the age of 18 years (a minor), you must include proof of parentage for the minor, such as their birth certificate.
  • Canadian passport
  • secure certificate of Indian status or certificate of Indian status
  • temporary confirmation of registration document
  • permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document
If you qualify as an immediate family member of a temporary resident in Canada

Along with your visitor visa application, include proof of your

  • relationship with an immediate family member in Canada
  • immediate family member’s status in Canada (copy of their study permit or work permit)
If you’re already authorized to come to Canada for compassionate reasons

Include the authorization letter you got from PHAC with your visitor visa application.

Note: Having an authorization letter from PHAC does not guarantee you’ll be approved for a visitor visa.

If you’re coming to take part in an ISSE

First, the National Sport Organization you’re affiliated with needs to make a request for a letter of authorization to the Deputy Minister of PCH.

After that, PCH will give you instructions on how to prioritize your application and what you need to submit.

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.

Before you travel, make sure all the documents you need, such as your written authorization from IRCC or the Public Health Agency of Canada, and your travel document (visitor visa or eTA, if required) are valid. If your documents are expired, you need to apply for new ones. Otherwise, you won’t be able to board your flight or enter the country.

Bring proof

You must bring evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time.

You must bring

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

Before you travel to Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts most travel to Canada. If you’re eligible to travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive.

Use the entering Canada requirements checklist to make sure you meet all the requirements.

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

If you’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident, and you already have a valid visa

You don’t need a written authorization from us confirming that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions. You don’t need to contact us.

Find more information on uniting with your immediate family members in Canada.

Step 1: Contact us, so we can prioritize your application

Contact us through our web form to tell us you’re exempt from the travel restrictions.

Read the instructions below to make sure your request is complete.

We’ll contact you within 14 business days of getting your complete request.

Do not book travel before you get your visa.

How to fill out the web form

  1. Choose “Submit a travel exemption enquiry” from the dropdown menu, then click “Continue to form”.
  2. Fill in the personal information for the person who wants to travel to Canada. See below for more information on what to enter in each field.
  3. Agree to the consent and disclaimer and review your request before you submit it.

Submit only 1 web form request with all the required information and supporting documents.

If you send us multiple requests with different or missing information, your request will be delayed and may be refused.

Continue to web form

What to enter in each field

Email address

We’ll use the email address you give us to contact you.

We can respond only to your email address. If you want us to respond to an email address other than your own, you must provide a Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form to authorize another person to act on your behalf.

If you’re a representative, and you applied on behalf of someone, we’ll use the email address you provided in that application.

Unique client identifier (UCI) number

Provide your UCI to help us find you in our system. If you don’t have a UCI, leave this field empty.

Application number

Provide your application number.

What did you apply for?

Select “Temporary Residence” then select “Temporary Resident Visa”.

Tell us about your situation

Include information such as

  • a detailed reason of how you meet a travel exemption to come to Canada
  • your passport number
  • the dates you plan to travel
  • where you live now (current country of residence)

If you’ve already booked your travel, provide your travel itinerary, including your

  • flight number
  • departure time and location
  • arrival time and location

Upload files that support your situation

Upload documents to support your request. See step 2 below for what evidence to submit.

Do not include personal photos.

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.

Step 2: Show how you’re eligible to travel at this time

You must prove that you’re eligible to come to Canada by providing evidence as an attachment when you send us your request. The type of evidence you need to provide depends on what you qualify for.

If you’re outside the United States (US)

You must be able to prove one of the following:

If you’re travelling directly from the US

You must be able to prove one of the following:

What evidence to submit

All supporting documents must be in English or French. If they’re not in English or French, you must submit a certified translation and a certified photocopy of the document.

If you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or Canadian permanent resident

Examples of evidence you can provide in your email include

  • 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 as 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
If you qualify as an extended family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or Canadian permanent resident

You must include the signed and completed application for authorization and statutory declaration in your request.

Make sure to complete the correct version of the application for authorization and statutory declaration form. If you send us the wrong form, your request will be delayed and may be refused.

You also need to provide proof that your extended family member is a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident.

For example, you can provide a copy of their

  • Canadian birth certificate
    • If the person you’re trying to reunite with in Canada is under the age of 18 years (a minor), you must include proof of parentage for the minor, such as their birth certificate.
  • Canadian passport
  • secure certificate of Indian status or certificate of Indian status
  • temporary confirmation of registration document
  • permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document
If you qualify as an immediate family member of a temporary resident in Canada

Along with your visitor visa application, include proof of your

  • relationship with an immediate family member in Canada
  • immediate family member’s status in Canada (copy of their study permit or work permit)
If you’re already authorized to come to Canada for compassionate reasons

Submit the authorization letter you got from PHAC.

Note: Having an authorization letter from PHAC does not guarantee you’ll be approved for a visitor visa.

If you already have a valid visitor visa, you don’t need to email us.

If you’re coming to take part in an ISSE

First, the National Sport Organization you’re affiliated with needs to make a request for a letter of authorization to the Deputy Minister of PCH.

After that, PCH will give you instructions on how to prioritize your application and what you need to submit.

Step 3: 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 4: Prepare to travel

You need to prepare properly before you travel to Canada.

Before you travel, make sure all the documents you need, such as your written authorization from IRCC or the Public Health Agency of Canada, and your travel document (visitor visa or eTA, if required) are valid. If your documents are expired, you need to apply for new ones. Otherwise, you won’t be able to board your flight or enter the country.

Bring proof

You must bring evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time.

You must bring

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

Before you travel to Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts most travel to Canada. If you’re eligible to travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive.

Use the entering Canada requirements checklist to make sure you meet all the requirements.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: