If you are a Canadian citizen who plans to live and work abroad, obtaining a visa may be essential. Assess whether one is required, and begin the application process as early as possible.
Before moving abroad, carefully evaluate its advantages and risks, such as adapting to another language, culture and pace of life; laws and customs as well as transportation costs and shipping household effects abroad. Make sure your finances will accommodate this transition before embarking on it!
Citizens of Other Countries
If you are from another country, contact your destination's embassy or consulate in Canada well in advance of planning to travel there. They can inform you about specific visa requirements that apply to you and ensure your passport remains valid during your proposed stay.
In 2019, many foreign visitors to Canada have encountered difficulties entering and immigrating into their new destination country, particularly regarding immigration policies implemented by President Donald Trump and his administration's actions against asylum seekers and travel restrictions in Canada as well as deterrence measures implemented against refugees claiming refugee status in America.
The Canadian government has responded to these pressures by tightening border security, restricting entry from certain countries and mandating medical screening before migrants are permitted into Canada. While these measures may serve to discourage illegal migration, they also put considerable strain on our economy and public health system.
People from Haiti and African nations seeking asylum in Canada must comply with vaccination requirements before being admitted, otherwise they will be turned away at the border.
These restrictions have led some experts to argue that Canada is failing at protecting its citizens from unwanted migrants. Meanwhile, others believe the government has improved in providing temporary protected status (TPS) for undocumented immigrants.
Though these restrictions exist, certain foreigners who enter Canada on work permits, study permits or visitor visas can stay up to six months at any time as long as they abide by their authorised duration. A Canadian Border Services Officer will determine how long a visitor may remain within Canada's borders depending on the purpose of their visit.
Canadians also benefit from accessing various economic immigration programs, including a point system that gives preference to younger candidates with jobs and high levels of education, experience, and language proficiency. Furthermore, the government offers working holiday programs for youth aged 18-30 or 35 from specific nationalities.
Citizens of Canada
Visitors to Canada have access to several types of visas. These include visitor visas, work permits and permanent resident (PR) permits that can be applied for either online or at an Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Budget for any fees associated with each visa when planning your trip; more information can be found on the Canadian government's website.
Some citizens may also be eligible to travel without needing a visa in certain instances; this cannot be guaranteed, however. For instance, passport holders from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) can visit Canada up to 90 days without the need for a visa.
Apply for a temporary work permit is another solution available to Canadian citizens, designed to help those with specific skills find employment here. Applicants must meet all of the requirements set forth by this program before being considered for one.
An application for a Canadian visa is straightforward and involves filling out a simple questionnaire that assesses your eligibility. Once completed, this system will present you with several options from which you can choose.
First, obtain a Temporary Resident visa allowing for up to six months stay in Canada, then returning home once this visa has expired.
If you plan to stay longer in Canada, a permanent resident visa may be necessary. Similar to a work permit, this permit requires two years' residency every five years in order to remain valid.
However, you could lose your residency if you spend too much time outside Canada - with exceptions including time spent with a spouse or common-law partner, working for Canadian businesses abroad and being deployed overseas as a member of the military.
Citizens of the United States
If you are from another country and would like to apply for a Canadian visa, first find out whether the Canadian embassy or Visa Application Centre (VAC) is located within your own nation. If so, apply through their website; if not then travel elsewhere and make an appointment.
Foreign nationals looking to visit Canada can avail of multiple-entry visitor and single-entry visitor visas; both offer holders entry/exit rights for up to six months each time their visa remains valid.
Visitor visas are generally issued for tourism purposes; however, they can also be used for business or study. Temporary residents may extend their stay beyond six months by applying at least 30 days in advance.
If you do not currently live with relatives or friends in Canada, then sufficient funds must be available for support while there. Therefore, proof of your bank balance as well as an invitation letter from them is needed in order to satisfy the visa officer that your finances will support your stay there.
Additionally, you must possess a valid passport free from visa pages in order to enter Canada without needing an eTA or visa.
Citizens of the United States and other countries that participate in the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSMA) may obtain work permits based on their skills. Workers eligible to do this may fall into either of two streams - Investors stream or Global Talent stream.
Depending on the type of visa you apply for, the Canadian Embassy might request additional documents and an interview. As this process can take up to two weeks before completion, it is wise to plan accordingly when making travel plans.
Citizens of the European Union
If you are a citizen of the European Union, it is possible to apply for a Canada visa from another country; however, in order to do so, certain steps need to be followed first.
Before beginning, you will need to create an account on the Government of Canada website and begin filling out your Canada visa application online, uploading documents as necessary and paying any associated fees before submitting.
After you submit an application to the Canadian Embassy in your country, it will take at least two or more weeks for it to be reviewed and processed. At that time, additional documents may be requested or an interview scheduled. Finally, biometric data (fingerprints and photos) may need to be submitted.
Next, it will be necessary to provide proof that you have sufficient funds in Canada to support yourself while living there. This may involve showing bank statements, letters of employment demonstrating your annual income or evidence from family or friends of financial assistance being offered to you.
After returning from your trip, you will need to provide proof that you have safely returned home. This may include providing evidence such as the police certificate or clearance issued in your home country or any other form of evidence regarding your identity and civil status back there.
Your passport details will also need to be provided so the authorities in Canada can confirm your identity.
A visa will be issued for a limited duration and allows multiple entry and exit points during this timeframe. Please be aware that it is not valid as permanent residency; in such instances a work permit will need to be applied for separately.
EU citizens may travel without needing a visa in most countries within the Schengen Area if they register online before their trip, including French nationals. This eTA allows travel for up to 90 days within 180 days; making it a great way to experience new countries without needing visas! However, an eTA does not replace passport requirements.