Processing your visa in Canada can feel like a never-ending process, even for experienced visa officers. This article will talk you through some of the steps of the tourist visa process, how long it takes, what happens along the way, and why this is the case.
There are several things that can delay your visitor visa being approved, so it’s important to be aware of the timing requirements before applying. If you need more time after submitting your documents, there are ways to extend your stay or apply for another type of visa.
This article will also discuss some common pitfalls that may cause problems when visiting Canada as a traveller, and tips on how to avoid them. By staying informed, you’re better prepared for any potential delays!
Disclaimer: The content in this article should not be used as guidance or relied upon as accurate information about immigration laws in Canada. Immigration law varies considerably from one province to the next and citizenship status depends on both federal and provincial legislation. We recommend that you speak with an official source (such as the Canadian Embassy or Consulate) if you have any concerns.
If you are applying for a tourist visa in Canada as an individual, there is no limit to how many days you can be staying in Canada. You are only allowed to stay for 90 days per year so make sure your visit is within that time frame!
You do not have to tell Immigration about this but it may help your case if you remember these things:
Documentation such as passports, tickets, proof of money for health care or return home, etc., should be gathered and organized prior to visiting a Canadian consulate.
It’s best to bring copies of everything directly from where you got them (i.e. passport from home country, airline ticket, bank statement) rather than having someone else scan and send them to you. This way you know they haven’t been altered.
Be careful about what photos you include on visas. Make sure they are clearly readable and authentic. Do not use pictures of yourself under the sun because this does not show natural skin tone well and could look fake.
After submitting your application, you must wait for it to be processed before you can check the status of your visa. This could take anywhere from a few days to weeks depending on how many people work within the US Embassy or Department of State in your city.
It’s important to remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to getting a tourist visa. The embassy may not need proof that you will return home after your trip, they may want proof that you have enough money to stay somewhere else while you are away, or they might ask if you have been convicted of a crime.
They also may request documents that prove you control the house where you plan to live while you are in the country, as well as bank statements showing sufficient funds.
Once your documents are verified, you need to pay an additional visa application or interview fee. This is typically one set per country and varies depending on whether you are applying as a tourist for business or tourism, or if you are applying for work in the United States.
The cost of these fees ranges from USD 100-150 (for most countries) up to over USD 1,000 (such as for Australia). Some require both payment methods — credit card and PayPal being two common ones. Others accept only one type of debit or credit card so be sure to research this ahead of time!
Some banks offer special visa waiver services where you do not have to pay this fee if your bank is part of their network. As such, make sure to check with yours before paying the extra money.
There is usually an agreement period after which any remaining funds can be refunded, so it’s best to plan on having enough cash on hand for this.
Once you have gathered all of your documents, you can begin applying for your tourist visa. This process typically takes two to three days depending on the country that you are visiting.
Some countries require only one day but most require at least two. During this time, there will be several government officials coming in and out to review your documentation. These include passport officers, immigration officers, and tour operator employees.
The length of these visits varies from person to person and office to office so it is impossible to say how long it takes as a whole. What we can do tell you though, is that every officer that you meet with during this period must verify both that you have enough money to stay in the country while you are there and that you will return home after your trip.
They also need to make sure that you will leave the country after your visit expires which can sometimes pose a problem if you overstay your visa by just a few days. We recommend being very thorough when gathering proof of travel plans for your visa because this can take awhile.
Unfortunately, there are some things you cannot do unless you have a visa for Australia. This includes visiting as a tourist if you’re not able to prove you will be returning home at the end of your trip.
If this happens it is called ‘overstaying’ and can carry heavy penalties. You could also face criminal charges depending on what kind of visit you were doing and who you met while here!
There are several ways to check whether someone has an Australian visa or not so don’t worry about being caught out – we've got tips that can help.
Finding out how long it takes to process a tourist visa can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with the visa processing centers in the country of your destination.
Most countries require you to have proof that you will return from your trip within six months. This is typically done through confirmation letters or documents sent directly from your employer, school, or family member back home.
It’s also important to know what kind of document you should include in your proof. For example, if you are leaving for one month, then a letter stating this is sufficient proof. If you will be traveling outside of the country for more than two months, then an official work email showing your employment termination date is needed.
If you do happen to run out of time or need to leave early for some reason, you can immediately start the process over again! You do not have to wait until your current visit is completely processed before starting another one.
It will even be easier than it was the first time because you already have all of your documents in place and you will know what to do next.
Visas typically stay at the embassy or consulate where they are issued for twenty-four hours. After that, you have the rest of the day to return and pick up where you left off.
Visas can be quite complicated, so it is important that you take your time when processing yours. Do not rush through this process as you could end up having to start over or ask for more information!
It may seem like there are no deadlines for visa applications but that’s only because governments give themselves an unlimited amount of time to respond. This is why it is crucial to have all of your documents in order and ready before applying.
Business trips often include staying overnight, which means having to pack and organize your belongings ahead of time. If you need to buy something while traveling, make sure you do it early so you don’t run out of space!
When possible, apply via online services instead of visiting a consulate yourself.