Canada is indeed a beautiful country (with such a handsome Prime Minister haha!). It is blessed with such mesmerizing landscapes and lakes (they have the most lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined!) that will surely take your breath away ❤
The Visit Visa Application for Canada is pretty easy as you can do it within the comforts of your own home. However, this doesn’t mean that your approval is guaranteed-- you have to take time to gather and go through all your documents which proves your financial capacity as well as your deep rootedness in the Philippines.
WHEN AND WHERE TO GET THE VISITOR VISA FOR CANADA
The visa application for Canada can be done online or personally through the various visa application centers in Cebu (Canada Visa Application Centre, VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc., 9F Keppel Center Unit 905 Samar Loop cor Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu Business Park) or in Manila (Canada Visa Application Centre, VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc., Mezzanine Floor Ecoplaza Bldg., Chino Roces Ave Ext., Makati City).
Obviously, it’s more convenient to course your application online, so for purposes of this post, I’ll discuss the online process. If you still prefer to do it personally, please refer to the VFS Global Page. The visa processing can take up to a month, so I strongly suggest you get it at least two months before your intended trip.
PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS IN APPLYING for CANADIAN TOURIST VISA
Before anything else, make sure you have access to a working PC/Laptop, a scanner, and a credit card. Make sure to arm yourself with a lot of time and patience too! Scan all these documents first so you wouldn’t have any trouble with your application.
1) Valid passport. With a remaining one year validity. Scan the bio-page;
2) Duly accomplished Form IMM5257. This is the Application for Visitor Visa Form. Fill it out digitally and truthfully. (This works on Internet Explorer and the latest Adobe Reader version);
3) Duly accomplished Form 5645. This requires your Family Information which shall also be filled out digitally;
4) 2 passport size photos (35mm x 45mm). Must be photographed within the last six months. See complete photo specifications here;
5) Proof of income/financial capability. This shall include Bank Certificate/Bank Statement within the last 4 months, Certificate of Employment and Income Tax Return (for employees, self-employed and digital nomads), School Records such as Enrollment Receipt/Certificate (For Students), Business Permits (for business owners), as well as Condominium/Car/Land Titles (if any).
6) Affidavit of Support. This only applies if somebody else is paying for your trip. Also, attach his/her proof of financial capability;
7) Travel history. Scanned copy of your visas (whether valid or expired) as well as entry/exit stamps. Make sure just to put everything in 1 file; AND
8) Purpose of Travel. Your flight and hotel reservations and day-to-day itinerary.
NOTE: You may also scan the receipt of the Bank Statement and Bank Certificate. Make sure they are just in one file.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON YOUR VISA APPLICATION FOR CANADIAN TOURIST VISA
STEP 1: Prepare ALL the documents stated above and scan them with the PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, DOC, DOCX format. Make sure that one type of document is in 1 file (i.e., Travel History-- all scanned visas and entry/exit stamps shall be in one file)
STEP 2: Create your CIC Account here -- this is where you can apply, upload your documents, pay for visa fees and monitor your application status.
STEP 3: Upload ALL the required documents. Make sure it is complete. Otherwise, your visa application will not push through.
STEP 4: Put your complete name in the Electronic Signature section. (That’s considered as your signature)
STEP 5: Pay the visa fee of 100 CAD using your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card.
STEP 6: Be patient and wait for updates. Every time a consul opens your application, you will receive an email saying that ‘your application has been updated.’ Just wait for the final decision.
STEP 7: If you receive an email saying that your visa has been denied, then there’s nothing left to do. If, however (and hopefully), it has been approved, submit your passport, and a copy of the Passport Request sent to your CIC account to VFS Global in Makati/Cebu. Pay the required fees, and you’ll receive your visa in a couple of days! :)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT APPLYING for CANADIAN TOURIST VISA
1) How much is the visa processing fee for Canadian Visit Visa Application?
It’s 100 CAD for the processing fee alone. If your visa has been approved, you need to pay VFS their fee of 543.15 Php and Courier Fee of 293.95 Php. You can opt for pick-up your passport too.
2) How long is the processing time?
It usually takes 10-14 days. But sometimes, it can take as long as one month, depending on the circumstances.
3) Do I need to have a ‘show money’?
Definitely as one of the requirements is your financial capacity! However, it is not clear how much should be in your account. People say that 200 CAD/day of stay is more than sufficient. But make sure you have enough to cover your accommodation and flight expenses as well.
4) What if my visa gets denied?
You can always re-apply. But this time, make sure to determine all the red flags which caused the denial and do not make the same things again. You have to use your old CIC Account for this.
5) Is there a limit to the file size that is to be uploaded?
Yes! Each file shall not exceed 4MB.
6) I have a valid U.S. Visa. Do I still need to apply for a Visit Visa to Canada?
Yes, most travelers need a visitor visa or an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to travel to, or transit through, Canada.
7) I forgot to attach a document to my application. Is there a way that I can send them after I have already submitted my application?
No, unless they ask you for this document (which I think is unlikely). This is the reason why you have to go through your documents and make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
8) How long can I stay in Canada?
Most visitors are allowed a 6-month stay in Canada counted from the day they entered the territory. However, you may also be allowed to stay for less than this period. This shall be indicated on your visa.
9) Can my authorized length of stay be extended?
Yes. If you want to stay longer, you may apply for an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.
10) Do I need a travel insurance?
It is not mandatory but I always recommend getting one. You’ll never know what will happen on your trip so getting one is a MUST for me. Check the one that is offered by World Nomads :)
11) Is it advisable to avail of the services of a tour agency?
For me, it doesn’t make any difference if you avail of their services. I got ALL my visas without their assistance. I did it all by myself! Aside from being very expensive, it doesn’t guarantee the approval. It’s always up to you and the documents you have submitted that matters.
For more information, please visit the website of The Government of Canada. Good luck on your visa application! Get that visa!! :)
Please do note that the Visa Application Tips that I am posting are all for free. But if you need a little more assistance, I can give you a one-on-one travel coaching for a minimal fee-- it’s a lot cheaper than getting it through a travel agency. Together, we can go through your documents, fill in what’s missing, practice for the interview, and work together for you to get that visa!
Despite all the visa application challenges with my Philippines Passport, I did everything on my own, and I’m now on the way to my 100th country-- so I’m sure you can trust me with this one!
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