Canadian Visa Application Requirements and How to Apply

Canada is one of the countries in North America. It is said to be the second largest country in the whole world after Russia. People visit or move to Canada frequently and are expected to know the Canadian Visa application requirements.

Canada is a sort-after country because of its citizens’ friendly and welcoming nature. Another reason is there are different opportunities for immigrants.

Canadian Visa Application Requirements

Below is the list of requirements for a Canadian visa:


Canadian Visa application requirements include the data page of your international passport, which contains the following information:

  1. Passport number
  2. Personal details such as name, date of birth, place of birth
  3. Date of issue and expiry date

The passport validity should not be less than 6 months by the time of your application and should contain at least two blank pages for visa stamp. A copy of previous visas should be submitted if any.


One of the requirements for most visa applications is the passport photograph of the applicant. Similarly to fulfill the Canada visa application requirements, you must submit a passport photograph of yourself.

The photographs should be two identical coloured or black and white passport photographs taken not more than 6 months from the time of the Canadian visa application.


The visa applicant needs to download the appropriate visa application form depending on the purpose of the visit and fill it out. The visit may be for study, employment, vacation or medical services.


To fulfil the Canada visa requirements, the applicant is required to pay the necessary fees and attach evidence of payment to the visa application form.


Canada visa requirements include being in a good state of health. To show proof of good health will require a full medical examination carried out by a panel of doctors and not just your physician.

This is required only for travellers who intend to stay more than 6 months in Canada or those that will be working closely with others while in Canada.

How to access Panel Physicians for each country can be found on IRCC’s website(Canada’s official website).


Canadian visa applicants need to prove that they have no criminal records and do not pose any danger to Canadian society.

To fulfil this Canadian visa application requirement they need to obtain a police report from their home country and any other country they have lived in for more than six months.


Evidence of funds to take care of your bills and that of any dependant is required for Canadian visa application. Acceptable proof of funds includes bank statements for the past 6 months or a fixed deposit account (in your name or your business name).

However, if your bills will be taken care of by a friend, host or family member then you need to submit their financial documents as stated above.


Visa applicants who have no plans of staying with family or friends in Canada will need to submit proof of accommodation such as a hotel reservation as part of the Canadian visa application requirements.

Note: Hotel reservations should be completely refundable or without pay in case of Visa application denial/rejection.


Canadian visa requirements include evidence that the visa applicants will return to their home country after the expiration of their Canadian visa. The applicant will need to submit proof of ties to their home country and a copy of the return ticket.

Proof of ties to the home country could be any of the following:

  1. Marriage or family ties: The applicant can submit a copy of their marriage certificate, children’s birth certificate and any other evidence of family ties.
  2. Proof of employment: The applicants need to submit their employment letter, stating their position and role in the company/establishment.
  3. Property documents: If the applicant has properties in their home country, The proof of ownership of such properties can serve as proof of ties to the home country.

The applicant also needs to submit civil status documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce/annulment certificates, and National Identify cards as part of the Canadian visa application requirements.


This is a letter stating in detail the purpose of your visit and the intended duration of your stay in Canada and should include the following documents:

  1. Invitation letter where applicable from your host, family member or friend in Canada
  2. Documents supporting your purpose of visit such as a school admission letter or employment letter.
  3. Contact details of the people in Canada who can support the reason for your visit.

Note: The invitation letter must be written by either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or by a legally registered sponsor in Canada.

The invitation letter should contain the visa applicant’s information and the writer’s information.

Canadian Visa Requirements for Minors

Minors travelling to Canada in addition to the Canadian visa application requirements stated above will need to submit the following documents:

Authorization letter

This is required if the Minor is travelling alone or with an adult who is not the minor’s parent or guardian. The authorization letter should be signed by both parents/guardians and should contain the contact details of the parents and guardians in Canada.

If the Minor is travelling with one parent then the other parent needs to write the authorisation letter and attach his or her contact detail and a copy of the data page of the international passport or national identity card.

Legal Custody Documents: This is required in cases of divorce. However, if the custody document/decree stated shared custody then an authorisation letter from the other parent is required.

Death Certificate

This document becomes necessary if one of the parents has passed away.

Guardianship/Adoption Papers

This document is required if the minor was adopted.

Canada Visa Types

Before applying for a Canadian visa, the first step is to know the type of Canadian visa you want to apply for. Find below the types of Canadian visas.

  • Visitor visas.
  • Student visas.
  • Work visas.
  • Permanent Residence visas.
  • Business Immigrant visas.
  • Express Entry Program visas

Most travellers depending on their country and citizenship status need a Canadian visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

Some travellers may only need their valid international passports. Answer a few questions to see what you need to travel to Canada.

Where to Apply for a Canadian Visa
Canadian visa Applications must be submitted online via Canada’s official website (IRCC).

Canadian paper visa applications are done at the designated visa application centre globally under certain conditions.

How to Apply for a Canadian Visa

The Steps for a Canada Visa application online are as stated below:

  • Gather all the Canada visa application requirements and scan the Canadian visa application requirements and store them on your device.
  • Visit Canada’s official website (IRCC)and create an account. Applicants who already have an account can log in via the GC key or Sign-in Partner.
  • Fill out the Canadian visa application form correctly and completely. Upload all required documents.

Incomplete/ incorrect filling of the visa application form or failure to upload the required documents could lead to Visa denial/ visa application rejection. Explore Reasons for Visa Rejection or Denial.

Note: Biometrics is done every 10 years, thus if your biometrics have being captured less than 10 years ago, then you don’t need to do biometrics until after 10 years. If you are not sure of your Biometric status click here.

  • Wait for Visa approval or Denial

Canada visa applicants, whose applications were approved will get two letters in their IRCC account. The Visa approval letter(decision letter) and an instruction letter to submit their international passport for a Canadian visa stamp.

Applicants whose visa application was denied or rejected will also receive the refusal letter (decision letter) in their IRCC account with an explanation for the visa application denial or rejection. Explore Reasons for Visa Rejection or Denial.

Canada visa application can be offline in certain circumstances such as if the visa applicant has disabilities and cant apply online.

The steps are similar to the Canada online visa application process with the following exceptions:

  • The Canada visa requirements are submitted to the Visa Application Centre.
  • Visa application and biometric payments can be made at the Visa Application Centre or on the Canada official website.
  • Biometric capture is done in person at the visa application centre.

Note: Minors travelling alone or with someone will require additional Canada visa application requirements. Find out about the specific Canadian visa requirements for minors.

The fee for a Canadian visa application is about CA$100 and the biometrics fee is about CA$85. Canadian visa application and biometric fee are not refundable, regardless of the outcome of the visa application.

Canada Visa Processing Time

How long does it take to get a Canadian visa? The processing time for a Canada visa varies depending on the type of Canadian visa, the country you are applying from and whether you need to do biometrics capturing or not.

Because of the above, it is difficult to provide accurate Canadian visa application time. Generally, it takes 1 to 6 weeks.