Canada Immigration Tourists> Immigration Categories > Tourists
“Tourists” are individuals who intend on coming to Canada temporarily in order to visit relatives, friends or Canadian sights.
According to Canadian Immigration Law, all visitors to Canada (with exception for persons from a “visa exempt” countries) must obtain a “visitor visa” prior to entering Canada. The immigration laws and practice operate on the assumption that it is a privilege, not a right, to come to Canada, and the burden of proving that the person should be admitted into country lies on the person asking for admission.
Most of the problems faced by tourists revolve around the question of whether he or she is believed to be a genuine (bona fide) tourist; in other words, is the purpose of the trip really to be a tourist or is there another motive? In some cases, no questions are asked of the tourist prior to issuing a visa, and no terms or conditions are attached to her or his stay, in which case the tourist can remain in Canada for up to six month (with possible extension). In other cases, there will be intensive questioning, primarily about the true reason for coming to the country. (Note: There are many other grounds for inadmissibility to Canada).
Canadian immigration law gives a wide discretion to the individual immigration officer. So, when the officer does not believe that a person is coming only for visit, which is often the case when the person comes from a Third World country and does not appear to have a lot of money, the officer goes ahead and asks any questions she or he wishes. The questions which are asked by the immigration officer are used to determine whether the person wants to genuinely visit. Very specific plans for the visit to Canada and, either enough of the tourist' own money, or that of relatives or friends the person plans to see or stay with, go towards demonstrating the officer that the person is genuinely coming to visit. Also, the stronger the attachment to his or her home country, in terms of family obligations, a decent job, owing some property, the more likely the officer is to believe that the tourist will return at the end of the visit.