Everything You Need to Know About Canada's Tourist Visa

Dreaming of experiencing Canada's breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse culture? Embarking on a journey to this captivating country starts with understanding the ins and outs of obtaining a tourist visa.

Whether you're planning a short visit to reconnect with family, explore stunning natural wonders, or discover urban delights, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate the process seamlessly.

From eligibility criteria and application procedures to travel restrictions and tips for a successful application, we've got you covered. Let us unravel everything you need to know about tourist visas for Canada with your top questions answered below.

Canada's Tourist Visa: Your Questions Answered

Canada's Tourist Visa: Your Questions Answered

You may be wondering how you can visit Canada and what procedure you need to follow. Get ready to uncover all the answers as we dive into the details of tourist visas, from eligibility and application procedures to travel tips and restrictions.

What is Canada’s Tourist Visa?

In essence, it allows you to travel to and around Canada for a limited period, typically up to 6 months. It's important to note that while on a tourist visa, engaging in work or study activities is prohibited, aligning with the visa's intended scope and restrictions. Its primary purpose is to enable tourists to experience Canada's wonders and connect with its way of life.

What is the Difference Between a Tourist Visa and an eTA?

When planning a trip to Canada, it's crucial to understand the distinction between a Tourist Visa and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). These two entry permits serve different purposes and apply to different travelers.

Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa, also known as a Visitor Visa, is a traditional visa that allows foreign nationals to enter Canada for a temporary stay, typically up to six months. It's a document placed in your passport and is obtained through a Canadian consulate or embassy. Tourist Visas are typically required for citizens of countries that are not visa-exempt or eligible for an eTA.

eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization)

An eTA, on the other hand, is an electronic entry requirement designed for visa-exempt foreign nationals who are traveling to Canada by air. It's a simpler and faster way to gain entry clearance than a full-fledged visa. The eTA is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for up to five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. It's crucial to note that the eTA is only applicable if you're flying to Canada; if you're arriving by land or sea, you won't need an eTA.

How do I Apply for a Canada Tourist Visa?

How do I Apply for a Canada Tourist Visa?

Step 1: Complete Online Application

Visit the official Canadian immigration website and fill out the tourist visa application form accurately.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Collect necessary documents such as a valid passport, travel itinerary, proof of funds, travel history, and a letter of invitation (if applicable).

Step 3: Pay the Application Fee

Pay the required visa application fee through the online portal using a valid payment method.

Step 4: Biometrics Appointment

Schedule and attend a biometrics appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC) if instructed.

Step 5: Submit Application

Submit your completed application form and supporting documents online through the official portal.

Step 6: Wait for Processing

Wait for your application to be processed. This may take several weeks, so be patient.

Step 7: Attend Visa Interview (if required)

If asked, attend an interview at the nearest Canadian consulate or embassy.

Step 8: Receive Visa Decision

You will be notified of the visa decision. If approved, follow the instructions to receive your passport with the visa.

What Documents Do I Need For a Tourist Visa?

Type of Document Description
Proof of genuine intention to visit Canada for the reasons you state in your application.
  1. You can include a letter of invitation from your family in Canada or a business contact.
  2. Proof of your travel history such as copies of previous visas.
  3. Flight details, hotel reservations, or tickets to an event.
Proof of funds to pay for your travels during your stay. You can include account statements, a letter from your employer, or a letter from the person or institution who will provide you with money.
Proof of your identity. You can include your valid passport. If you are traveling with family or intend to visit family, you must show proof that you are related, like a marriage certificate.
Your history with the law. You will need to report any criminal convictions in your application. The Canadian Government may ask you for a police certificate.
Health check. You must provide proof of a negative laboratory molecular test result for COVID-19 to the airline before boarding international flights to Canada.

How Much Does the Canadian Tourist Visa Cost?

A Canadian tourist visa otherwise known as a visitor visa or even a temporary resident visa costs CAD100 and allows you to stay in Canada for up to 6 months but is valid for ten years or until your passport expires. If it’s your first time applying for a Canadian visa, you must include your biometrics (fingerprints and photos) at an additional cost of CAD85.

Who is Eligible for a Canada eTA?

If you are a citizen of a country that is visa-exempt in Canada, then you are eligible for an eTA and you will need one to in order to get into the country. Those who are not visa-exempt will need to apply for tourist visas. The list of eTA eligible countries are listed in the table below:

Andorra Australia Austria Bahamas Barbados
Belgium Anguilla Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Island Saint Helena
Turks and Caicos Islands Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Chile Croatia
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
France Germany Greece Hong Kong SAR Hungary
Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Japan
Republic of Korea Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Mexico Monaco Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Papua New Guinea Poland Portugal Romania
Samoa San Marino Singapore Slovakia Slovenia
Solomon Islands Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan
United Arab Emirates Vatican City State -- -- --

How Do I Apply for an eTA?

Step 1: Visit the Official Website

Go to the official Canadian government website dedicated to eTA applications.

Step 2: Check Eligibility

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for an eTA. Most travelers from visa-exempt countries require an eTA to enter Canada by air.

Step 3: Gather Documents

Have your valid passport, a credit card, and your travel details ready.

Step 4: Start Application

Begin the online application by providing personal information, passport details, and travel plans.

Step 5: Answer Questions

Respond to a few questions about your health, criminal history, and travel purposes.

Step 6: Submit Payment

Pay the eTA processing fee using a credit card. The fee is typically lower than a traditional visa.

Step 7: Review and Submit

Carefully review the information you've provided before submitting the application.

Step 8: Wait for Approval

In most cases, you'll receive a decision within minutes. However, it's recommended to apply at least a few days before your departure.

Step 9: Check Your Email

If approved, you'll get an email with your eTA confirmation. It's electronically linked to your passport.

Step 10: Travel to Canada

Board your flight to Canada. When you arrive, the airline staff will verify your eTA before you can board.

Does Canada have any COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?

As of October 1, 2022, the border measures related to COVID-19 have ceased for all individuals arriving or coming back to Canada via air, land, or sea.

Top Tourist Destinations in Canada

Top Tourist Destinations in Canada

Now that you know how to visit Canada, let’s get you excited about traveling around the Great White North. Whether you’re exploring Canada with a group tour or planning your own itinerary, here are some of the must-see sights in Canada.

The Cabot Trail is one of the Seven Wonders of Canada and is located in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. With 26 hiking trails that range from easy strolls to challenging climbs - all leading to panoramic views of canyons, highlands, waterfalls, and coastlines, you have plenty of hiking adventures to plan in Cape Breton.

Ski at Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America located in Whistler, British Columbia. Plan your ski trip from January to March right in time for fresh snowfall and the best skiing and/or snowboarding experience. The resort further offers sophisticated lounge-style restaurants and bars where you can feast with incredible views of Blackcomb Mountain.

Sightsee in Old Montreal

If hiking and action-packed snow activities do not tickle your fancy, you might enjoy exploring the quaint cobblestone streets and architecture from the 16th century in Montreal - Quebec’s largest-French speaking city. A visit to the city is not complete without a stop at the Notre-Dame Basilica and Habitat 67. And don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth with a frozen maple syrup lollipop from Sugar Shack.

Take a Cruise to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls are world-famous waterfalls situated in Ontario, Niagara Falls. It’s one of the top tourist destinations in Canada, and for good reason. The thundering of 3,160 tons of water every second gives any spectator goosebumps. You can choose how you want to experience this natural world wonder with many unique and exciting activities that can be pre-booked on Tripadvisor, like a cruise that takes you as close as possible to the falls.

Inside Banff National Park you’d discover plenty of gems, including Lake Louise. The famous crystal clear turquoise water makes it one of the most Instragrammable lakes in the world. Canoeing is an iconic activity for travelers visiting Canada, and for CAD105, you and three friends can hire a canoe for one hour to paddle across Lake Louise, take in incredible nature, and spot small creatures in the park.

Chill at a Hip Gastown Bar in Van-City

Gastown is Vancouver's oldest neighborhood that seamlessly combines old style with contemporary elements. It’s home to the hottest restaurants and bars, making it a great pick for an incredible night out. You’ll also enjoy shopping at the city's independent fashion boutiques and modern gift stores while exploring the many art galleries that line the cobblestone streets.