How to get your visa after you’re approved – Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel

When your application is approved, we’ll send you a decision letter with instructions on how to get your visa.

Normally, you need to send us your passport to get a physical visitor visa, sometimes referred to as a counterfoil, placed in your passport to allow you to travel to Canada.

However, as part of the special Ukraine measures, the decision letter you receive may say you qualify for a foil-less visa. A foil-less visa means you don’t need to get a physical visa placed in your passport in order to travel to Canada.

Foil-less visas for Ukrainian nationals

If we send you a letter indicating you qualify for a foil-less visa, you can use this letter, along with your passport, to travel to Canada right away. We have a record of your visa, and you don’t need to send us your passport to get a physical counterfoil attached to it.

However, to use your foil-less visa, your flight to Canada must be from one of the following countries:

If your flight is not departing from one of the countries listed above, you need to get a physical counterfoil placed in your passport before you travel.

Since the usual physical counterfoil will not be in your passport, we recommend you book a direct flight to Canada, if possible. This will help avoid any issues during your travel, particularly if you’re travelling through a third country.

Family members who are not Ukrainian nationals do not qualify for a foil-less visa. They need to get a physical counterfoil, even if they’re accompanying you to Canada.

Even if you have a foil-less visa, you can still get a physical counterfoil.

To help decide whether you need a physical counterfoil, see the differences between a foil-less visa and a physical counterfoil.

When you travel

You must bring your decision letter with you when you travel.

Although your foil-less visa will be recorded in our immigration system and verified by airlines, you’ll need the letter when you check in for your flight and to show the Canada Border Services Agency officer when you arrive in Canada. It’s important you keep a printed or electronic copy of the letter with you while you travel.

Get a physical counterfoil

To get a physical counterfoil, you need to send your passport to us so we can attach your visa to it before you travel to Canada. To do this, follow the instructions in the letter we send you. Do not send your passport until you receive these instructions.

Due to the volume of applications we’re receiving, it could take 1 to 6 weeks for a counterfoil to be placed in your passport. If you’re eligible for a foil-less visa, as described above, you’ll receive a letter by email. The letter will be ready to use right away for travel to Canada.

See the table below for more information on the differences between a foil-less visa and a physical counterfoil.

Differences between a foil-less visa and a physical counterfoil

Document type Foil-less visa Physical counterfoil
Who qualifies Ukrainian nationals who are travelling to Canada from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania or Slovakia. Accompanying family members who are not Ukrainian nationals do not qualify and will need to get a physical counterfoil. All Ukrainian nationals and their family members, travelling from any country.
Getting your visa Your foil-less visa is issued immediately once your application is approved. It can be used for travel to Canada right away. It can take 1 to 6 weeks for a physical counterfoil to be placed in your passport.
Single entry or multiple entry Valid for a single entry to Canada. If you leave Canada, you must apply for a new visa to return. Valid for multiple entries to Canada. You can leave and return to Canada as long as your visa and passport are still valid.
Validity Valid for up to 6 months from the date it was issued, or until your passport expires. Valid for up to 10 years or until your passport expires.
Sending your passport You do not need to send your passport to a visa application centre (VAC), but you must bring your passport and a physical or electronic copy of your decision letter when you travel to show to airline staff and a border services officer. You need to send your passport to a VAC by following the instructions in your letter.
Preparing to travel Since the usual physical counterfoil will not be in your passport, we recommend you book a direct flight to Canada, if possible. This will help avoid any issues during your travel, particularly if you’re travelling through a third country. This is recognized as the standard format by all airlines.
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