Help Centre what do you need help with?

How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

Anyone who visits Canada must apply from outside the country. Your friend or family member must first find out if they need an eTA or a visa.

An eTA is required for most visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada. If they need an eTA, they can apply online.

If they need a visa, they can apply online or on paper. A visa officer will review the application and decide whether to issue a visa.

You may provide your family member or friend a letter of invitation in support of their visa application. It should explain how you will help the person. For example, you may offer to pay for plane tickets or accommodation. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.

New entry requirement now in effect

Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends soon.

Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute.


Answers others found useful

Help tool

Create an account or sign in

Help tool

  • Come to Canada

How-to video


A Step-by-step look at biometrics

Form and guide

Glossary term

Date Modified: