Canada hosts millions of visitors annually. Statistics estimate that more than 35 million people from all over the world visit this country for various purposes. They may be visiting friends and family, traveling for tourism purposes, or they may be on a business trip. When you wish to come to Canada on a temporary basis, either as a tourist, visitor, student or worker, you require a Temporary Resident (Visitor) Visa or TRV. It is also called an eTA (electronic travel authorization). This document is not required if you hail from a visa-exempt country.
There are several ways in which to obtain a TRV. You can employ a reliable consultant, or take the help of a qualified, experienced immigration lawyer or you can do it all yourself. Just as you would prefer to consult a real estate lawyer to help you with buying a property, it’s wise to consult an experienced, reliable and qualified immigration lawyer to help you with this too.
In the long run, this could be useful if you wish to extend your stay or consider immigrating to Canada on a permanent basis.
Different Types of Visas
People may need to travel frequently to Canada or this could be a one-off trip. In case you need to visit Canada frequently, a multiple entry visa is more suited for your purposes rather than a single entry visa.
If you wish to extend your stay for some reason, you need to apply for an extension before the current visa period expires.
In general, it takes about two months to process an application and grant the visa. An experienced immigration lawyer can ensure that the application is accurate so this may speed up the process.
Eligibility and Documents Required
Before obtaining the TRV, your immigration lawyer can evaluate your eligibility to travel to the country. These aspects are compulsory:
- You must possess a valid passport or travel document from your country of origin
- You should be in good health and not pose a risk to the country’s security
- You should be able to provide the visa officer with proof that you have strong ties like family, job, home etc that ensure your return home when the TRV period expires
- Proof that you don’t intend to work in Canada during your stay
- Proof that you will be leaving Canada at the end of your visit – for instance, return tickets etc.
- Proof of enough funds for the duration of your stay in Canada and your travel. This may vary according to your circumstances, if you plan to stay with friends, family or hotel and how long you intend to stay.
You may be required to provide medical certificates, undergo a medical examination, attend a personal interview and provide a letter of invitation from a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
There are certain conditions under which you will not be granted a TRV. These include possessing a criminal record, for any kind of crime, whether major or minor. Even committing a crime like driving under the influence or drugs or alcohol could prevent you from getting a TRV. In certain cases, if the crime was committed when you were below 18, you could obtain the temporary visa.
Do You Really Need An Immigration Lawyer?
Most travelers who wish to visit Canada on a temporary basis may feel that it’s not necessary to hire an immigration lawyer. In many cases, it’s sufficient to employ a travel consultant.
The difference between an immigration lawyer and a travel consultant is quite significant. It also depends on whether you have further intentions to settle in Canada, look for a job or join your family there. Both immigration lawyers and consultants are regulated by their own regulatory bodies.
However, a lawyer has a University law degree that allows him/her to practice law. A consultant’s educational qualifications are not relevant. This may not seem important at first glance. However, in case you face any issues while traveling, we can assist you in a more professional, effective and swift manner.
In case your application for permanent resident status is refused for some reason, only an immigration lawyer can represent you in the federal court. Consultants cannot perform this duty.
Often, people wish to visit Canada while simultaneously pursuing an application for permanent residence. This could be refused at the port of entry in Canada. We can advise you to answer all questions truthfully and emphasize that your visit is purely of a temporary nature.
These and other pieces of practical and useful advice are provided to our clients when they come to us for assistance with a visa.
Another important aspect that we can help you with is the paperwork. We ensure that all relevant and required documents are organized and collated in the correct format.
Often, a minor mistake, inaccuracy or omission can result in your application being refused. This could not only upset your travel plans but it can also result in huge losses in terms of airline tickets, hotel bookings etc. Often, no reasons are given for the refusal. Re-applying is also quite expensive. Additionally, re-applications are always scrutinized more thoroughly.
We can help you to file the application accurately and in the exact format required by the visa officers.