Canada is a country on the North American continent located right above the United States and is known as a highly developed country. If you intend to stay in Canada, you will need to apply for a Canadian visa. You will have a mountain of paperwork to deal with for your Canadian visa application and process. If you want to obtain a visa for Canada, it’s important to know first what you want to do in Canada.
Do you want to work, study, visit, or reside permanently?
This section gives you and your family information you need about various Canadian visa types, so you will have a better understanding about you potential options for moving to Canada.
Table of Contents
What Is a Canada Visa?
A Canada visa is an official endorsement placed in your valid passport or other authorized travel document by the Canadian immigration agency which permits you to enter and live in Canada for a specified amount of time.
The final decision on permitting entry into Canada, however, is made by the Canadian border officials at the port of entry.
In general, there are two major types of Canadian visas:
- Permanent Resident Visa to Canada – to live in Canada for an unlimited amount of time
- Temporary Resident Visa to Canada – to live in Canada for a specified length of time
Besides Canadian visas, the government also issues temporary permits such as the:
- Study Permit – to study in Canada at a designated learning institution
- Work Permit – to work in Canada legally
The Permanent Resident Visa to Canada (PR Visa to Canada), like any visa, is placed in a valid passport, has an expiration date and its main purpose is to allow the new immigrant to enter Canada (with the approval of the Canadian border officials).
Over the long-term, however, a permanent resident of Canada will carry a plastic Canadian Permanent Resident Card as an official form of identification in Canada and for use when going to and from Canada.
A Canadian permanent resident does not need a Study Permit nor a Work Permit, because Canadian permanent residents are authorized to live, study and work in Canada long-term.
A temporary resident of Canada, on the other hand, will need to show their Temporary Resident Visa to Canada (TRV) in their valid passport as proof of permission to live in Canada legally for the time period and purpose specified in the visa and also when going to and from Canada.
Furthermore, a temporary resident of Canada will need a Study Permit for most study abroad programs in Canada and will need a Work Permit to work in Canada legally in most cases (as relevant).
For each of the two major Canada visa types (Permanent Resident Visa and Temporary Resident Visa), there are various Canadian visa programs available in which to apply for the visa.
Each Canadian visa program has its own eligibility requirements and application procedure.
Please note that Canadian Visa Expert works with authorized immigration consultants to provide Eligibility Evaluations and application guidance to qualified clients of Canadian Visa Expert regarding programs for skilled foreign workers and their families to apply for permanent residency in Canada, such as the: Federal Skilled Worker Program; Federal Skilled Trades Program; Provincial Nominee Program; and Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program.
Programs Eligible for the Permanent Resident Type of Canadian Visa
There are many Canadian visa programs that offer permanent residency in Canada including the:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program:
- Federal Skilled Trades Program:
- Provincial Nominee Program:
- Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class Program
- Atlantic Immigration Program
- Start-Up Visa Program
- Self-Employed Program
- Caregiver Program
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- Agri-Food Pilot
- Government-Assisted Refugee Program
- Private-Sponsorship Refugee Program
- Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
- Family Sponsorship Program
The Visitor Visa Is a Temporary Resident Type of Canadian Visa for:
- Tourists who want to go on vacation in Canada
- Patients who will receive medical treatment in Canada
- Foreign businesspeople traveling to Canada on business
- International students attending study abroad programs in Canada
- Temporary foreign workers
- Family members of international students, foreign workers, etc.
- Parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
Validity Dates for Different Types of Canada Visas
A temporary resident type of Canadian visa will generally be valid for up to six months, with some exceptions.
For example, the Parent and Grandparent Visa, which is a temporary resident type of Canada visa, can be valid for up to two years at a time.
Furthermore, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for international students is usually valid for the same amount of time as their Study Permit, while the TRV for a temporary foreign worker is normally valid for the same time period as their Work Permit.
New permanent residents of Canada will automatically be issued a Canadian Permanent Resident Card, which is usually issued for five years, is used as an official form of identification while living in Canada and is used to re-enter Canada after traveling abroad.
Whether you have a temporary resident type of Canadian visa or you possess a Permanent Resident Card, it is important that you always keep it valid and/or renew it before it expires.
Canada Visa Type Fees
The Canadian visa and permit fees that you must pay will depend on which type of Canada visa or permit you apply for and the size of your family.
Some of the common fees for various Canadian visa types are as follows:
- Canadian Permanent Residence Fee = $850 CAD
- Right of Permanent Residence Fee = $515 CAD
- Dependent Child Fee (Permanent Residence) = $230 CAD per child
- Canadian Permanent Resident Card Fee = $50 CAD per person
- Visitor Visa = $100 CAD per person
- Visitor Visa for 5 or More Family Members = $500 CAD
- Temporary Resident Permit = $200 CAD per person
- Study Permit = $150 CAD
- Work Permit = $155 CAD
- Biometrics Fee = $85 CAD per person / $170 CAD for a family of 2 of more people
Note: The amounts of these Canadian governmental fees were from December 2022, other governmental fees may apply and amounts are subject to change at any time.
Processing Times for Canada Visa Types
The processing times will depend on which type of Canadian visa you apply for, which country you are from, how much time it takes the Canadian immigration agency to process your application, and other factors.
According to the Canadian immigration agency, it usually take about six months to process a complete application for Express Entry immigration to Canada.
Canadian visa programs that can be processed using the Express Entry system include the:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class Program
- Provincial Nominee Program
The Canadian immigration agency also reports the following processing times for a Visitor Visa to Canada filed from the following countries (for example):
- Visitor Visa to Canada from China = 74 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from France = 160 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from India = 160 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from Mexico = 171 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from Nigeria = 179 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from Philippines = 115 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from Saudi Arabia = 113 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from South Africa = 101 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from Türkiye = 146 days
- Visitor Visa to Canada from the UK = 133 days
The processing time for a Study Permit is about 9 weeks, according to the Canadian immigration agency (you must first receive a letter of acceptance to enroll full-time in a designated learning institution in Canada before you can apply for a Canadian Study Permit).
Examples of processing times for a Work Permit, according to the Canadian immigration agency, are as follows for essential occupations:
- Canadian Work Permit from France = 12 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from India = 8 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from Mexico = 5 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from Nigeria = 27 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from Philippines = 11 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from Saudi Arabia = 10 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from South Africa = 13 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from Türkiye = 18 weeks
- Canadian Work Permit from the UK = 9 weeks
Note: These are limited examples of processing times for some, but not all, Canadian visa types and permits as of December 2022, and they are subject to change.
There are many types of Canadian visas which can be categorized as either Permanent Resident Visas or Temporary Resident Visas.
Several Canadian visa programs are available to apply for the different types of Canada visas.
Over 400,000 people receive Canadian Permanent Residency each year, most of them skilled foreign workers and their families, through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Provincial Nominee Program and Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program, among other Canadian immigration programs.
Each of these Canadian visa programs has its own eligibility requirements, application procedure and benefits.
Since 2012, Canadian Visa Expert has been working with authorized immigration consultants who can provide you with an Eligibility Evaluation of your best option to apply for immigration to Canada and guide you through the application process if you qualify.
If you become a Canadian permanent resident, you can:
- Live in Canada for an unlimited amount of time
- Work in Canada legally
- Access world-class education programs
- Receive free or subsidized public health care
- Have the option to start your own business
- Get the opportunity to buy your own home
- Sponsor family for Canadian permanent residency
- Travel to and from Canada
- Experience freedom and equality in a peaceful country
- Enjoy beautiful beaches, mountains, lakes, forests, and other outdoor scenery.
- Apply to become a Canadian citizen after living in Canada 3 out of 5 years
Would you and your family like to live in Canada as permanent residents?
The first step of the process is to find out which Canadian visa type and program is right for you.