After you apply: Next steps

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) application

In most cases, applicants will receive a confirmation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) within minutes. However, some requests may need several days to process. If this is the case for your application, you can expect an email from IRCC within 72 hours of applying that tells you what your next steps are.

Change of email address

If you change your email address after you apply for an eTA, you must update your address online. You can do this with this Web form.

After you receive your eTA

You will be notified by email when your eTA is approved. Your eTA is linked to the passport you used in your eTA application. You will need to present the passport you used to apply for your eTA to airline staff each time you board a flight to Canada.

Your eTA authorizes you to visit Canada for up to six months or until the date prescribed by a border services officer on your arrival to Canada. If you need to stay in Canada longer, you must apply to extend your stay.

Once you have an eTA, it will be valid for five years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Note: A valid eTA and travel document (passport) will facilitate your entry to Canada. When you arrive at the border, a border services officer will ask to see your passport or travel documents and ask you a few questions. The officer will then decide if you can enter Canada.

Visitor visa application

Most applications for visitor visas (temporary resident visas) are processed in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office.

How your visa application is processed

After you send your application, the visa office will review it to make sure it is complete and it has all the documents needed. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed and it will be returned to you.

If your application is complete, the visa office may ask you for the following:

Medical exam

You may need a medical exam to be allowed to enter Canada. If you do, the visa office will send you instructions.

If you need a medical exam, it might take longer to process your application, because you will need time to set up and go to an appointment, and the doctor will need time to send Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the results.

Police certificate

You may be asked to provide a police certificate for yourself and any family member 18 years of age or over who will come to Canada with you. The visa office will contact you if that is needed.


If a visa officer decides that an interview is necessary, the visa office will contact you to tell you the time and place. Most decisions are taken without an interview.

Return of your documents

After the visa officer has assessed your application, your passport and other original documents will be returned to you.

Please note that original bank statements are not returned.

If you sent fraudulent documents, they will not be returned.

If your application is approved

The visa will be stamped inside your passport.

If your application is refused

If your application is refused, you will receive an explanation why your application was refused.

For general information on visa refusals, see How do I get help if my visa application is refused?

Change of address

If you move or change your address, telephone number or any other contact information after you apply, you must tell the Canadian visa office that serves the country or region where you live.

After you receive a visa

A valid visitor visa and travel document does not guarantee that you can enter Canada. A border services officer may find that you are no longer admissible because:

  • your case has changed, or
  • there is new information about you. For instance, you gave false or incomplete information on your visa application.

To find out more about how to prepare when you arrive in Canada, see Prepare for arrival.

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