After you apply: visitor visa

1. You will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

After you send us your application, we’ll send you a letter if you need to give your biometrics. The letter will tell you how and where to go. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics (in person).

  • If you applied online
    • The letter is sent to your account message box within 24 hours of applying. You’ll get an email to let you know you received a new message.
  • If you applied by mail
    • The letter is sent to you by mail about two weeks after we get your application. The timing of your letter depends on various factors including the speed of your postal service.

Find out more about biometrics such as exemptions and how often you need to give, how to give and where to give your biometrics.

2. We process your visa application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it’s complete and you need to give biometrics, we’ll send you a letter that tells you so.

If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.

We may also ask you to:

We’ll tell you what to do if you need to do any of these.

We process most applications in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office and if you need to do any extra steps (listed above).

We’ll return your passport and other original documents to you after we process your application. We won’t return original bank statements or any documents we find to be fake.

If your application is approved, the visa will be stamped inside your passport.

If your application is refused, we’ll send you an explanation.

3. Arriving in Canada

A valid visitor visa and travel document does not guarantee that you can enter Canada.

When you arrive, we’ll check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada. We may use your biometrics to do this.

Children under 18 must travel with the right documents and meet the same entry requirements as adults. The border services officer may ask minor children to show other documents depending on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone. Find out about the specific requirements for minor children.

4. Entering Canada

If you pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You are normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to six months.

In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada to cover the planned purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you are not sure about something.

You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. You must convince the officer that:

  • you’re eligible for entry into Canada
  • you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved stay


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