Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visitor visa to travel to Canada? What is different between an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a visitor visa?
If you plan to travel to Canada, you need a valid visitor visa OR a valid Electronic Travel
The one you need depends on:
• the type of travel document you will travel with.
• the country that issued your travel document.
• your nationality; and
• how you will travel to Canada.
Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada – not both.
Some people may only need their valid passport. To find out which one is right for you, visit:
Need help applying to travel to Canada? Contact us today for assistance
How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. If you are allowed to enter Canada, the border
service officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they will put the date
you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document. If you don’t get a
stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your
passport expires, whichever comes first.
What’s the different between a visitor visa and a visitor record?
A visitor visa (also known as a temporary resident visa) is an official document that citizens
from visa-required countries need to get to travel to and enter Canada as a visitor for up to 6
o The visitor visa is sticked in your passport.
o It shows that you meet the requirements to enter Canada.
o It includes the date by which you must arrive in Canada. The date is not an expiry date
for your stay in Canada.
If you apply for a study or work permit for the first time, you will automatically get a visitor visa
when your application is approved.
• Visitor record:
A visitor record is a document that a border services officer may issue to you to extend or
restrict your stay in Canada. If you want to stay in Canada for more than 6 months, you have to
tell the border services officer.
You may also get a visitor record after your application to extend your stay or restore your
status is approved. A visitor record is issued either by the Canada Border Services Agency or
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
You need to apply for a visitor record when:
o You first arrive at the port of entry and you know you want to stay longer than 6
o You’re in Canada and decide you want to stay longer.
o You must apply at least 30 days before your authorized stay in Canada expires.
o It’s an independent document (not placed in your passport).
o It includes an expiry date for your stay in Canada. That’s the date by which you must
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What is a visa-exempt foreign national?
A visa-exempt foreign national is a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident,
and who does not normally need a visa to enter Canada.
What’s the difference between the parent and grandparent super visa and the 10-year multiple entry visa?
The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years. The
key difference is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years at a time in
Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visa would only have a status period for each entry of six
Visitors who wish to stay longer than their authorized period of up to 6 months must apply for an
extension and pay a new fee. With the Super Visa, eligible applicants can visit family in Canada for
up to 2 years without the need to renew their status.
Who is eligible for a super visa?
• Be the parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
• Have a signed letter from your child or grandchild who invites you to Canada that includes:
o A promise of financial support for the length of your visit
o The list and number of people in the household of this person
o A copy of this person’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document
o Have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is at least $100,000
coverage and is valid for at least 1 year from the date of entry.
• Apply for a super visa from outside Canada
• Be allowed to enter Canada
• Take an immigration medical exam (if required)
I will transit by air through Canada, Do I need an eTA or a visa?
Passengers transiting Canada will need an eTA or a visa, regardless of the length of time in Canada.
Travellers whose planes refuel in Canada going to and from the United States, as well as
participants in the China Transit Program and Transit Without Visa Program, do not need to have
an eTA or a visa to transit Canada.
Does a business visitor need a special visa to enter Canada?
No, business visitors who need a visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) must complete
the visitor visa or eTA form. The eTA and visitor visa cover all visitors, including those coming to
Canada on business
I am a citizen/ lawful permanent resident of the U.S. What do I need to enter Canada?
American citizens, including American – Canadian citizens, must carry proper identification and
meet the basic requirements to enter Canada. You do not need a Canadian passport, a Canadian
visa or an eTA to enter Canada if you are travelling with a valid U.S passport.
Lawful permanent residents of the U.S need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or
transit through a Canadian airport. They must present a valid Green Card (PR card) and a valid
passport at check-in. However, they do not need an eTA when entering Canada by land or sea.
Can I enter Canada if I am criminally inadmissible?
Normally you cannot enter or stay in Canada if you are inadmissible. However, there are ways of overcoming your criminal inadmissibility.
If you are inadmissible, you may become admissible again if you:
• satisfy an immigration or border services officer that you meet the legal requirements to
be deemed rehabilitated.
• apply for individual rehabilitation and get approved; or
• receive a pardon or record suspension.
You may also be offered a temporary resident permit if:
• your reason to travel to Canada is considered justified in the circumstances; and
• you do not pose a risk because of your inadmissibility.
This permit would allow you to enter or stay temporarily in Canada.
Need help to overcome your criminal inadmissibility? Contact us today for assistance.
I have a pending immigrant application. Can I apply for a temporary resident visa?
Yes, you may submit an application for a temporary resident visa. Your visa application will be assessed independently of your immigrant application and in accordance with the Regulations in force. An intention by a foreign national to become a permanent resident does not preclude them from becoming a temporary resident if the officer is satisfied that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.
What are the benefits of becoming a Canadian permanent resident?
Canadian permanent residents and their dependents are entitled:
• To receive all social benefits that Canadian citizens are entitled to.
• To permanently live, work and study in any province or territory without worrying about maintaining legal status in Canada.
• To eventually apply for Canadian citizenship
• To protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Which family members can come with me to Canada when I immigrate?
You can bring family members with you to Canada if they were processed for permanent
residence as your dependents.
• your spouse or common-law partner
• your dependent child
• your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child
• a dependent child of a dependent child The family members that can’t come with you include:
• your parents
• brother or sister
• uncle or aunt
• nephew or niece
• other relatives
Your dependents can’t arrive in Canada before you. They must arrive with you or after you.
You may be able to sponsor them after you immigrate to Canada.
I am a new permanent resident of Canada. Do I need to apply for a permanent resident card?
No, IRCC will mail your permanent resident (PR) card to you when you arrive in Canada or finish your landing process from inside Canada.
You will have 180 days from the day you become a permanent resident to provide your address or update your address with IRCC in order for them to mail you your PR card.
I do not have a permanent resident card and I need to leave Canada. Can I return without a PR card?
If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you need a valid permanent resident (PR) card to return to Canada by commercial vehicle such as airplane, bus, train, or boat. If you are returning by a private vehicle (not available for public use) such as a car, motorcycle or recreational vehicle, there are other documents you can use to enter the country.
If you are inside Canada and know your card will expire when you’re travelling, you should renew it before you leave. You can only renew your PR card from inside Canada.
If you are outside Canada and don’t have a PR card, you need a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return to Canada. You can only apply for a PRTD from outside Canada.
How do I sponsor my parents and grandparents to become permanent resident of Canada?
The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) opens once a year. It lets citizens and permanent residents of Canada sponsor their parents and grandparents to come and stay in Canada permanently.
First, you will have to submit an online interest to sponsor form. After that, IRCC will randomly select an invite potential sponsors to apply. If you are selected, you will then must submit a complete application package by the deadline stated in your invitation.
Can I sponsor more than one person through the parents and grandparents program?
Yes, you may sponsor more than one person if you want to.
If you are invited to apply, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents. You will have to meet the income requirements for all people you apply to sponsor and their dependants (if applicable).
Who can be my co-signer on my application to sponsor my parents and grandparents?
To help you meet the income requirement to sponsor your parents and grandparents, your cosigner can be your spouse or common-law partner. Your co-signer must also provide proof of income for the last 3 taxation years before the date of your application. Your co-signer must also meet the same eligibility requirements as you and agree to financially take care of and provide for the basic needs of the persons you’re sponsoring for a period of time.
What is considered social assistance when sponsoring my family members?
Under Canada’s immigration law, if you get social assistance other than for a disability, you aren’t eligible to sponsor your family member(s).
Social assistance income doesn’t count toward your total income when IRCC assesses if you meet the income requirement. Also, if you sponsor someone and they get social assistance during the time you agreed to be financially responsible for them, you have to pay it back.
What is considered social assistance
Some benefits (money, goods or services) from provinces or territories are considered to be social assistance for the purpose of sponsoring. This includes assistance from the government to cover basic needs like:
• household supplies
• health care not covered by public health care (extra benefits paid by the government to low-income people or others in need) What isn’t considered social assistance
Social assistance doesn’t include:
• Employment Insurance
• provincial student loans
• immigration loans
• subsidized housing
• tax credits
• child care subsidies
• public health care (services your province or territory gives to all people who live there)
• other benefits widely available to residents, including people who are working
Provinces and territories have created temporary programs to help people cope with the COVID19 pandemic. IRCC doesn’t consider these benefits to be social assistance if they aren’t considered as such by the province or territory.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) isn’t considered social assistance.
Can I sponsor a child who is over the age limit for a dependant?
Children under 22 years of age are eligible as dependants, as long as they are not married or not in a common-law relationship. You can sponsor a child who is 22 years of age or older if they
meet both of these requirements:
• They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22;
• They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.
Why should you apply for Canadian citizenship and not keep renewing your PR status?
Advantages of Canadian citizenship over permanent resident status of Canada:
• Dual citizenship
Canada recognizes dual citizenship. If your country of origin does so too, you can be dual
citizens of both countries and are protected by laws of both countries.
• No residency obligation to maintain status
For permanent residents of Canada, to be able to keep your permanent resident status, you
have the obligation to be physically presented in Canada for 730 days within a period of 5
years. Becoming a Canadian citizen will give you the advantage of freely choosing to live
wherever you want for whatever period of time you desire.
• Canadian passport
Canadian passport power is ranked 17 globally in 2020 (source: passportindex.org). This
means that Canadian passport holders has visa-free access to a significant number of
countries in the world.
• Any employment without restrictions
Currently, permanent residents are not allowed to be employed in some positions with highlevel security clearance at the federal level). However, by obtaining Canadian citizenship, it
will give you the advantage of having any employment at any level without restrictions.
• Right to vote or run for political office
If you would like to participate in Canada politics, Canadian citizenship will allow you to do so.
Permanent residents of Canada do not have the right to vote or run for political office.
• Right of citizenship at birth for children born outside of Canada
You can pass down your Canadian citizenship to your children if they are born outside of
Canada. To get proofs of citizenship for your children, you can simply apply for Canadian
citizenship certificates. Children born outside of Canada to permanent residents of Canada do
not have this right.
• A secured status that is not easy to lose or be revoked
By becoming a Canadian citizen, you do not have to be bounded by any obligation to maintain
your status like permanent residents do. In addition, in the worse scenario, Canadian
citizenship is harder to be revoked as compared to a permanent resident status.
Want to apply for Canadian citizenship but do not know where to start? Contact us today for
What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?
To become a Canadian citizen, you must
• be a permanent resident
• have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
• have filed your taxes, if you need to
• pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada
• prove your language skills
Depending on your situation, there may be additional requirements.
Want to find out if you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship? Allow us to access your
case. Contact us today for assistance with your application.
Do I become a Canadian citizen when I marry a Canadian?
No. Marrying a Canadian citizen does not give you Canadian citizenship. If you want to become a
Canadian citizen, you must follow the same steps as everyone else. There is not a special
process for spouses of Canadian citizens.
• You must first be sponsored by your spouse to become a permanent resident of Canada.
There are several requirements to determine:
o Your spouse’s eligibility to become a sponsor.
o Your eligibility to be sponsored for permanent residency.
• After becoming a permanent resident, you must also meet several requirements to apply for
Canadian citizenship such as:
o Be a permanent resident
o Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
o Have filed your taxes, if you need to
o Pass a citizenship test
o Prove your language skills
Want to start the process for spousal sponsorship to be united with your spouse in Canada?
Allow us to access your case. Contact us today for assistance.
Who has to take the citizenship test?
Everyone between the age of 18 and 54 at the time they sign the application for Canadian
citizenship must take the citizenship test. The test is used to determine if you have adequate
knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. If you are 55 or older
when you apply, you do not have to take the test.