How to Apply for a Canada Visitor Visa Online

This is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Canada visitor visa online. In most instances, you will always need a visa to travel to a foreign country.

Canada Visitor Visa Online Application

There are some instances where a country permits citizens of certain countries to enter their territory without a visa. However, this is when they meet specific travel requirements.

A good example, in this case, is the East African Community where if you are a member you only need to have a valid or a temporally passport.

The Seven Steps You Follow to Apply for a Canadian Visitor Visa from Kenya

  • Identify the visa type for your trip.
  • Begin your application.
  • Book an appointment from the available Visa Application Centre in your country.
  • Pay your visa fees.
  • Visit a visa application centre to attend your scheduled biometric appointment.
  • Track your application to stay informed about the progress of your application.
  • Collect your passport if you have been granted a visa.

Canadian Visa Types You Can Apply for

  • Visit as a tourist
  • Visit family
  • Study Permit
  • Work Permit
  • Permanent Resident Travel Document
  • Transit through Canada

What is a Canadian Visitor Visa?

A Canadian visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that is stuck in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.

Most travellers need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need one if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport on your way to your final destination.

You can apply for a Canadian visitor visa online or on paper. Online application is much easier.

How Long Can You Stay in Canada?

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.

At the port of entry, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they’ll put the date you need to leave in your passport. They might also give you a document, called a visitor record, which will show the date you need to leave by.

Canada Visitor Visa Online Application

Basic Requirements to Get a Canada Visitor Visa

  • Have a valid travel document, like a passport
  • You must be in good health
  • Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • Convince an immigration officer that you have ties such as a job, home, financial assets or family that will make you go back to your home country.
  • Convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit.
  • Have enough money for your stay. Provide a bank statement, and Mpesa statement, among others to prove this.
  • Travel history from different countries. Scan your passport pages with travel stamps from countries you have visited.
Create Account for Canada Visitor Visa Online Application

Starting the Canada Visitor Visa Application Process

Access the IRCC website (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to create your account. For a first-time user click on register to create your secure account. There are two ways you can register.

  1. Register With a GCKey
    This is a simple way for anyone to access Canadian online visa services. You create an account and get a username and password. OR
  2. Register with a Sign-In Partner
    Use your online Canadian banking information to register for an account. You must have an online bank account with one of their Sign-In Partners.

Use the first option and accept the terms and conditions to create your account.

Your Password must be between eight and sixteen characters, contain at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter and one digit, and must not contain 3 or more consecutive characters from your Username.

Create your recovery questions and better note the answers somewhere. You will need them every time you log into your account.

Canadian Visitor Visa Application

Optional Account Recovery

To recover your username and password, you have the option to recover via email. If you do not wish to provide an email address at this time, you skip this step. Email can be added later.

Your Email is Used to;

  • Confirm your email address
  • Recover your username and/or password
  • Notify you of account changes
  • A verification email is sent to the address you provide.

Continue to Finish Setting Up Your Account

Create your security questions. You will need to answer one of your security questions each time you access your account. You will have two tries to answer the question. 

If you can’t answer the first security question, you are asked another one of your four questions. If you can’t answer any of your security questions, your account is locked.  You will not be able to recover your account online.

Create new security questions that are difficult to guess but easy for you to remember.

Go through the Personal checklist

Canadian Visitor Visa Application

Find Out If You’re Eligible to Apply for Canada Visitor Visa

Find out if you’re eligible to apply by filling out the provided form. In this stage, you answer simple questions about your intent to visit Canada.

  • What would you like to do in Canada?
  • How long are you planning to stay in Canada?
  • Select the code that matches the one on your passport (Nationality).
  • Indicate your current country/territory of residence.
  • Do you have a family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is 18 years or older?
  • Provide your date of birth.
  • Have you lived in Canada as a permanent resident or landed immigrant?
  • Are you a lawful permanent resident of the United States with a valid U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) number?
  • What is your marital status?
  • What is your province of destination? If visiting multiple provinces, select the one in which you will be spending most of your time.
  • What is the main purpose of your visit?
Your Saved Canadian Visa Application
Canada Visitor Visa Questions Continued
  • Do you have a job in the country where you currently live?
  • Do you own a business in the country where you currently live?
  • Do you depend on someone for financial support?
  • Have you travelled to other countries in the previous 10 years?
  • Are you accompanying a family member that has status in Canada, or has recently been approved to come to Canada?
  • Have you ever committed, been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any criminal offence in any country?
  • Have you had a medical exam performed by an IRCC-authorized panel physician (doctor) within the last 12 months?
  • Do you want to submit an application for a family member?
  • Are you giving someone access to your application?
  • In the past 10 years, have you given your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for an application to come to Canada?
  • Will you be paying your fees or are you fee exempt?
  • Are you able to make a digital copy of your documents with a scanner or camera?
  • Will you be paying your application fees online? To pay online, you can use a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, China Union Pay) or a Visa Debit or Debit MasterCard.

Submitting Your Application for Canadian Visa

Step 1: Use Your Account

Log into your account to apply. Do not use another person’s account.

Step 2: Save Your Application

If you select the exit button, your information will be saved and you will return to your account home page.

You can continue your application at any time by logging into your account and selecting the e-Application link under the In-Progress section.

You have 60 days to submit your online application. The number of days remaining to submit your application appears on your account home page. If your application is not submitted within 60 days, it will automatically be deleted.

Canadian Visa Application Documents Upload

Step 3: Upload Your Documents

Here are some guidelines for your documents:

Your form(s) and document(s) must be in an electronic format.

You do not need to sign your application form by hand if you submit your application form online. You will be asked to provide a digital signature once you are ready to transmit your documents.

One file will be allowed per document type. For example, if you are asked to provide multiple pages of your passport, you must scan and save all pages as one file.

You will be required to upload every requested form and document. You will not be able to proceed to the next steps until you upload every form/document.

If you are not sure what kind of document is required, click on the help feature provided. You will get more information about each form or document.

The maximum size for each file is 4 MB (four megabytes).

Accepted File Formats:
  • PDF (Portable Document)
  • JPG, TIFF, or PNG (Image)
  • DOC or DOCX (Microsoft Word Document.

If your file is bigger than 4 MB, you should reduce the size.

Step 4: Pay Your Visa Fees

Once electronically signed in, you will be asked to pay your fees. Your fees must be made with a credit card. Provide your credit card information to complete your payment.

Accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and certain prepaid credit cards.

Once you have paid your fee, you will receive a payment confirmation page. After your payment is processed, you will receive a message with your confirmation number and a link to your payment receipt. Print this page for your records.

Step 5: Schedule Your Biometrics

In the past ten years, have you given your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for an application to come to Canada?

If you have not done so you need to do so. This is through the VFS Global Website.

Step 6: Track Your Application

After your appointment, track your Canada Visa application status by logging into your account. Alternatively, you can keep checking your email as they always communicate whenever an action is required from you.

When Your Canada Visitor Visa Online Application is Approved

When you submit your documents while applying, they are scrutinized by visa officers. Once they determine you are to be given a visa, you are requested to submit your passport to the visa application centre. After submitting your passport, it will take less than a week for you to be issued a Canadian Visa.

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