Visitor visa: After you apply
After you apply
This is what will happen after you apply for a visitor visa:
You need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
In most cases, you need to give biometrics. After you pay the biometrics fee and submit your application, we’ll send you a letter that says you need to give your biometrics. The letter will tell you how and where to give your biometrics. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics (in person).
If you didn’t pay the biometrics fee, we’ll send you a letter asking you to do this first. You can only get the instruction letter if you pay the biometrics fee.
COVID-19: Biometrics deadline
Some biometrics collection sites are closed. If the site closest to you is closed, we’ll extend your deadline to give your biometrics. Find out how COVID-19 is affecting biometrics.
We process your visitor visa application
We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the documents you need.
If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.
We may also ask you to:
- go to an interview with our officials in your country
- to send more information
- get a medical exam
- get a police certificate
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.
You arrive in Canada
A valid visitor visa and travel document doesn’t 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.
- If you enter Canada at one of 10 major Canadian airports
- Your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk.
- The system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted.
- If you enter Canada at smaller airports and all land ports of entry
- Your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints.
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.
You enter Canada
If you pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer may stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You’re normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 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’re 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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