Before you plan your visit, you should find out if you need a visa to enter Canada. If you do not need a visitor visa, you will still need to meet specific requirements..
Starting between September and December 2013, citizens from 29 countries and 1 territory will need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply for a visa.
If you need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph), and you are applying on paper, please do not mail in your application. Submit your application in person to the visa application centre (VAC) nearest you. VAC staff will check that your application is complete and will confirm that you have paid the correct fees before you can give your biometrics. If you are applying from within the United States, submit your application online.
You can apply online or on paper. If you need help, you can contact your nearest visa application centre (VAC).
You must have:
- access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents to upload, and
- a valid credit card to pay with.
Determine your eligibility and apply online.
Note: If you provide an email address on your application, please ensure you check it regularly for automated emails from CIC regarding your case. Some spam filters block these emails, and clients are requested to ensure emails from CIC are not blocked. If you are unsure whether emails from CIC are being sent, please check your myCIC account on a regular basis.
Apply on paper
1. Get the application package
The package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download the application package.
Read the guide before you fill out the forms. We will not refund your application fee, so make sure you are eligible for a temporary resident (visitor) visa before you apply.
You must fill out and sign your own form, even if you are travelling as part of a family. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must sign the form.
2. Pay your application fees
Please note that in most countries, application fees must be paid in Canadian dollars. Check the website of your nearest visa office for more information on fees.
If you apply at a VAC, you will have to pay the VAC services fees. These fees are not included in your CIC application fees.
3. Submit your application
Read the application guide before you apply.
You can get help to fill out and submit your application at your nearest VAC. You can also find out where to apply on your visa office's website.
- Sign and date the application forms. If you are:
- 18 years of age or older, sign and date in where shown,
- less than 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must sign your form.
- Include the last page of the form, which contains your unique barcodes. It will look like this:
When you apply, you must include:
- a valid travel document (such as a passport),
- two recent passport photos of each family member (unless you are a citizen of a country that needs to provide biometrics). Make sure these photos meet the requirements.
- the application fee (we will not refund our fee, even if we do not accept your application.),
- proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary. It depends on things such as how long you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
- documents such as identification cards, proof of employment, a letter of invitation from relatives or friends in Canada, or a travel schedule.
Note: The amount of money you need and the supporting documents you must submit depends on individual circumstances. To find out more, visit the website of your nearest visa office.
4. Check processing time
How long it takes to process your application depends on where you applied. For more information, see application processing times.