Visiting Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games and Parapan American Games

The Pan American Games will be held in Toronto from July 10-26, 2015 and the Parapan American Games from August 7-15, 2015.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the Games and has facilitated visa processing for applicants directly involved.

Please visit TO2015 and Canadian Heritage for general information on the Pan American and Parapan American Games.

How Games Family Members (PAFM/PPFM) can apply to visit Canada

You can apply through the accreditation process if you meet Canada’s admission requirements and if you are identified as a Pan American and Parapan American Games “Family Member”, or “PAFM/PPFM”.

PAFMs/PPFM include the following:

  • National Olympic Committees/National Paralympic Committees
  • Athletes, coaches, managers, team officials, sports technicians, etc.
  • International Federations/ International Paralympic Federations
  • Technical delegates, technical officials, Executive Board Members and staff
  • Broadcasters
  • Accredited Media
  • Sponsors
  • Lead Partners, Premier Partners, Official Suppliers, Proud Supporters
  • The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) / International Paralympic Committees
  • International Dignitaries, Heads of State, National Sport Ministers

The accreditation process

The respective National Olympic Committee (NOC) will provide each PAFM/PPFM with an invitation to apply via the accredited visa process and will submit their application to the Toronto Pan Am Organizing Committee (TO2015) on their behalf.

PAFM/PPFM will be notified if they are eligible for the accreditation process and must provide signed consent to the NOC to collect their personal information for application purposes, and to TO2015 to permit the Government of Canada (GoC) partners to conduct a background security check.

If PAFM/PPFM do not provide consent, they may apply for a visitor visa, which includes biometrics, where applicable, and associated fees.

Pan Am Identity and Accreditation Card (PIAC)

Those PAFM/PPFM who are accredited will receive a unique Pan Am Identity and Accreditation Card (PIAC). The PIAC will:

  • serve as an entry document into Canada, along with a valid passport or travel document
  • be valid  for travel during the “Games-time period” (60 days before the opening ceremony and 30 days after the closing ceremony)

If you were not invited to apply for the visa accreditation process

If you did not receive an invitation to apply for a visa through the accreditation process, you will need to apply for a visitor visa, which includes biometrics, where applicable, and associated fees.

If you believe that you are a PAFM/PPFM and would like to be considered for facilitated accreditation process, then you should approach your NOC for clarification.

Volunteers

Volunteers for the Pan American Games and/or the Parapan American Games who have been approved for a volunteer position will receive a volunteer acceptance letter, “Volunteer Attestation Letter”, from the Toronto Pan Am Organizing Committee (TO2015).  

Volunteers must present the volunteer acceptance letter and their visa application (if they are from a visa-required country) to a Visa Application Center (VAC) responsible for their area, or scan the volunteer acceptance letter when applying online.

Volunteers from visa-exempt countries must make sure to bring the volunteer acceptance letter when travelling to Canada. Volunteers will be able to show the letter at the port of entry should border services officers ask why they are coming to Canada.

Workforce

Workers associated with the Games, must apply for a visitor visa and work permit, as applicable, which includes biometrics, where applicable, and associated fees.

Employers of foreign nationals employed to work the Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, may refer to the International Workforce Handbook for additional information.

For more on eligibility requirements, please visit Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).  

Spectators and visitors

Spectators and visitors (if they are from a visa-required country) need to apply for a visitor visa, which includes biometrics, where applicable, and associated fees.

Visitors are encouraged to apply early to avoid delays.  It is recommended that visitors apply 6-8 weeks prior to their anticipated arrival date.

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