How to Apply for a Canadian Visa from Australia

Ready to try out life as a Canuck? Every year, thousands of Aussies travel to Canada for many different reasons. Some visit for a short but sweet time and others settle permanently. Both countries have a lot in common like world-class cities, friendly and down-to-earth people as well as thriving economies. There are also vast differences that Australians find appealing like the snowy weather conditions that allow for action-packed winter activities and the European culture.

Find out how you can apply for a Canadian visa from Australia below, and enjoy life in the best-rated country in the world.

How to Get a Canadian Visa in 4 Steps

Step 1: Decide what you want to do and where!

A Man in Business district at the Centre of city street, City Street Building View, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

So, what’s your reason to come to Canada? Do you want to visit family and friends? Or do you have a job offer to work in Canada? Perhaps you’d like to study in Canada, which offers prestigious education institutions at cheaper tuition fees than most Australian universities and colleges. You could also decide to permanently settle in the Great North with the help of a variety of incredible immigration programs currently accepting thousands of newcomers every year. In fact, Canada’s immigration goal is 1.23 million immigrants by 2023.

Knowing where you want to go in Canada is also very important. With 13 provinces and territories that have their own unique visa programs and regulated occupations, it’s important to choose wisely. According to recent census data, the majority of Aussies prefer to live in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Step 2: Find a visa program that’s right for you

Laptop and coffee cup in girl's hands sitting on a wooden floor

There are over 100 Canadian visa and immigration programs that you can apply through to obtain a Canadian Visa from Australia. In this section, we discuss the most popular options for Australians who want to come to Canada!

Canadian Visa Options for Australians

  1. Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  2. Work Visa
  3. Student Visa
  4. Permanent Resident Visa

1. Visiting Canada on a Holiday

Visa Type: Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

  1. Duration: 6 Months
  2. Application Difficulty: Easy

If you want to visit family and friends in Canada or take a Canadian holiday, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to do so. Australians are among the lucky few who can visit Canada without needing a visa. The process of obtaining an eTA is very easy and can take a few minutes!

Australians love to travel to explore different regions and meet new people. They also enjoy action-packed trips that offer exciting outdoor activities like skiing down slopes and setting up camp to watch the Northern Lights. Canada is the perfect place for every type of traveler with its European influence in the province of Quebec and an incredible foodie scene.

2. Working in Canada from Australia

Visa Type: Work Permit

  1. Duration: Depends on your employment contract or work program
  2. Application Difficulty: Difficult
  3. Associated Programs: The Temporary Foreign Work Permit Program (TFWP); and
  4. The International Mobility Program (IMP)

You can apply for a Canadian work permit if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. In very specific circumstances, you may be able to work in Canada without arranged employment. For example, if you’re an international graduate applying to stay on and work in Canada, or if you're the spouse of a work permit holder. Discover a few existing work permit programs below:

1. The IEC Working Holiday Visa is one of the most popular options for Australian youth between the ages of 18-35 who would like to earn money while visiting and exploring Canada for up to 24 months!

2. There are also special work programs for in-demand workers in Canada such as caregivers, highly skilled tech workers (more below), and farmworkers in particular. You can obtain a work permit by applying through one of the streams of the Temporary Foreign Work Permit Program.

3. If you’re a tech wiz in a very specialized occupation such as a computer engineer, digital media designer, or web developer to name a few then you might be interested in the Global Talent Stream. This work program processes applications in as little as two weeks for eligible candidates.

4. And lastly, you could also obtain a Canadian Visa from Australia for work purposes if you are a company transferee or if you applied for permanent residency and your application is currently being processed.

3. Studying in Canada from Australia

Visa Type: Study Permit

  1. Duration: The same length as your study program or 90 days after you graduate
  2. Application Difficulty: Moderate
  3. Associated Programs: Post-Graduate Work Permit Program

More than quality education at top universities and colleges, Canada also offers fun student life experiences, immersion in global culture, and tremendous work opportunities. You can study in Canada by enrolling at a designated learning institution like the University of Toronto, for example, and apply for a Canadian study permit with your acceptance letter. The average tuition fees in Canada are less than in Australia.

4. Moving to Canada from Australia

Visa Type: Permanent Resident Visa

  1. Duration: Does not expire
  2. Application Difficulty: Difficult
  3. Popular Immigration Program: Express Entry System

If you want to move to Canada then you need to apply for a permanent resident visa from Australia through one of the many immigration programs available. The most popular way to make the move is with the Express Entry system that manages three skilled worker immigration programs. You will be ranked in a pool of applicants according to your age, level of education, years of work experience, and language proficiency among other criteria. The highest-scoring candidates are issued with Invitation to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residency.

GOOD TO KNOW: The Express Entry system is responsible for admitting the majority of economic immigrants to Canada and plans to welcome 108,500 newcomers in 2021 and even more in 2022.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

Modern notarial stamp on old document, closeup

You will need to collect supporting documents for your application no matter for which Canadian visa you apply. The documents can range from the obvious such as a copy of your passport to more complicated documents like a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for certain work permit programs or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to show that your education is equal to Canadian standards.

Get a document checklist complete with instructions on where and how to find the required documents when you apply with

Step 4: Submit Your Visa Application

The final step in the process of applying for a Canadian visa from Australia is to fill out government forms and submit your visa application along with your supporting documents to the correct Canadian department. The processing times differ depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, find out more below.

Visa Processing Times
Canadian Visa Processing time
1. PR Visa via the Express Entry system 6 months
2. Study Permit 7 weeks
3. Work Permit 9 weeks

Living in Canada as an Aussie


1. Dual Citizenship

Australians love to move to Canada because they get to keep their Australian citizenship. You can apply for citizenship in Canada after about two to three years of naturalization.

2. Lifestyle and scenery

Australians are no strangers to natural beauty with the Great Barrier Reef and incredible biodiversity right in their backyard but Canada still ceases to amaze. The awe-inspiring mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and numerous outdoor activities are a big draw for an Aussie. Canada is also rated number one for quality of life. Vancouver is Awesome interviewed Aussies living in Vancity. “I'm in the PR process now and have no intention of returning to Australia, the lifestyle is just far better here,” said Etienne Olden.

Job opportunities

Since 2015, Australians have been obtaining around 7,000-10,000 Canadian work visas every year, according to the IRCC. That’s because Canada readily welcomes foreign workers with the skills and experience to fill in-demand jobs in the country. Canada has a rapidly aging population that is responsible for thousands of skills shortages. Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, believes that immigrants and foreign workers are the answer to boost the Canadian economy.

How We Can Help You

Want to trade a barbie for some poutine, eh? With so many incredible options to experience Canada, it can get overwhelming to know which path is the best one for you and your family. Apply for a Canadian Visa from Australia with the help of visa professionals and let us guide you through the complex visa application process. We are a recognized immigration agent with dedicated immigration consultants situated in Vancouver.