When you are ready to visit Canada, it is important to make sure that your visa has been processed! There are several steps in processing visas, so there is no need to worry about this step.
The Canadian Embassy or Consulate will check if everything is correct when you arrive in Canada, but they may also ask you for additional documents while you are here. This can include proof of health insurance, proof of income, proof of residence outside of Canada, etc.
It is very helpful to be prepared before coming to Canada. Make sure to stay organized and know what documents you need where. Also remember that not all embassies have 24 hour services, so being prepared for hours is important as well.
After you have gathered all of your documents, you will need to take them somewhere where there is enough space to organize all of that information. This could be your house or their office, either one works!
Some consulates ask that you fax some of these documents, this way they can quickly receive and review it before sending it back to us. It’s best to check and make sure that you can send paper copies via email first as well – sometimes this isn’t possible.
We recommend using a trusted source for faxes and emails so that you don’t have to worry about technology being down or something causing a lag in communication. Simply use a free service like Google Cloud Print or Yahoo Mail/Hotmail to print or send an email, respectively.
Even after you have all of your documents sorted out, it can take some time to get approved for residency in Canada. This is totally normal!
Visa processing times vary depending on several factors including the consulate that processes your visa, how busy their offices are at any given moment, and whether there’s ever been a large number of applications from Canadians looking to move here.
There’s also an initial screening process where they will check your documents to see if they look authentic and if you fit the Canadian immigration criteria, before giving you a decision.
If you don’t hear anything within the first few days, call or send them an email to make sure everything is okay! Sometimes, life gets in the way and it takes a little while to respond.
On average, it takes about two weeks to receive word back from Immigration, although this varies per person and per consulate. Check out our article here for more tips on what to do if you’re waiting for your visa.
Once you have gathered all of your documents, you will need to pay to process your visa. Most embassies and consulates ask for a processing fee per person being sponsored by their office, as well as a transaction or service charge. These fees are not refundable, so be sure to budget accordingly!
There is usually an initial payment and then a subsequent reminder email sent after the visa has been processed. Make sure to check both emails thoroughly to confirm that it was received!
Some countries may also require up-front payments for health insurance, traveler’s insurance or other types of coverage, but these can typically be purchased at any time.
After you have all of your documents together, it’s time to pick up your passport and VISA!
You can either bring these into a Canadian consulate or embassy in person, send them via mail or courier, or you can log onto the VFS Global website and upload everything there.
Most countries will request at least one photo of you as well as two pieces of documentary proof (like a bill paid, letter signed etc). It is very helpful to know what document types are needed for which country.
For example, when picking up your Schengen Tourist Visas, you need three photos and proof of accommodation. When picking up your US work visas, five photos and proof of income are required. And so on and so forth!
After that, they may ask about any health issues you might have. This is particularly important if you are travelling with a medical condition like asthma, diabetes or an allergy. They may also want to do a general physical exam to ensure you look healthy.
We recommend doing this 2-3 weeks before your trip to avoid any last minute hassles.
First, make sure you have all of your documents in order. You can now begin to check your visa status online! There are some great sites that let you do this easily.
Some companies also offer visa services where you can meet them at a location of their choice and they will then process your visa for you. This is usually much more convenient as you do not have to arrange to go somewhere during working hours or find someone available to take you there which may be difficult if you are not familiar with the area.
By using an agency service, however, you should still read up on safety tips first as these offices typically don’t directly connect you with people outside of the company. Make sure you understand who handles what jobs within the office so you know who to contact in case something goes wrong.
It is now time to make your travel arrangements!
Most people will find it easy to stay in touch while traveling, but what happens when you need to change planes or go somewhere without mobile phone service? Or if something goes wrong and you have no way of communicating with loved ones back home?
Luckily, technology has made staying connected much easier. Technology such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets can be expensive depending on how long you use them, so most major airlines offer free WiFi services for their passengers.
Many hotels also offer internet access, either through their own networks or via a third party site like Google or Facebook.
You should always check out these sites before leaving because some may not remain active during your trip (think about it–could anyone really watch The Bachelor while they’re at the airport?). However, many are quite reliable and accessible anywhere within the hotel or the surrounding area.
It is important to know that most major international airlines require you to be registered as a business traveler before they will authorize travel outside of the United States. This includes when traveling to other countries, not just Canada!
Mostly, this happens because it is their policy to verify that no one on an airline flight plans to work while away from home. If someone does, then the person must either register or prove that they are in fact self-employed or have enough money to support themselves during the stay.
This way, your wallet is protected too! Most airlines also ask for proof of insurance, so make sure to bring that along with you. You can find more information about what documents satisfy their requirements here.
Registering as a business traveler has nothing to do with nationality. It only requires you to fill out a form saying you are going abroad for business and include your name, contact info, and sometimes passport info.
Once you have gathered all of your documents, made sure they are in order, and confirmed that everything is correct, it’s time to head out!
Make sure to check into your flight before you leave home so that you know what time you will arrive at the airport, and how long it will take to get through immigration and security.
It’s always best to confirm this information ahead of time as some airlines can be vague when asking if you have checked in. Some airports also require you to stay within the airport area or risk being kicked off the plane, which would definitely not help in getting your document sorted!
At the very least, make sure to pack enough clothes for the day since you won’t have access to a washroom once you enter the Canadian border.