​If you are a citizen of a TRV-required country, you will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. This article explains the two options available to you for applying, the documents needed and the cost of the visa and how to pay for it.

Canada welcomes tourists from all around the world, with a record set in 2017 of 20.8 million trips of one night or more. However, these tourists need an authorization from Canadian immigration authorities to be let in the country. For many, this means obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also known as a visitor visa, before departing to Canada.
Nationality is the main factor as to whether you require a visitor visa or not. If you are a citizen of a country exempted from the visitor visa requirement, you must obtain an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before travelling to Canada by air. If you are not exempted, you are required to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. You can find out here if you are a national exempt from needing a TRV.

When individuals receive their visa, it is generally a multiple-entry visa, allowing them to leave and re-enter the country as they like, as long as the visa is not expired.
You have two options to apply for tourist TRV, either (i) online, or (ii) on paper:
  • To apply online, you need a scanner/camera, and a credit/debit card. To begin your application, you need to click here. You will need to open a GCKey account (do not forget the four questions/answers you chose, because every time you login to your account, you have to answer one of the four questions you picked after entering your login and password). You can then choose to begin a visitor TRV application in your account. After filling in, signing, scanning and uploading the forms, you will also have to upload all required supporting documents.

  • To apply on paper, you will need to fill in the forms and sign them. Then find your country’s Visa Application Center (Vfs.Global) and bring them with all required supporting documentation.

The application process for a TRV on paper is easier and more reassuring than online:
  • You have the opportunity to ask questions in the Visa Application Centers (VACs), and they will answer you in your local language. They also check if your application is complete or is missing documents.
  • VACs can take your photographs for a fee, thus making sure they are acceptable.
  • VACs accept cash as a payment method.
  • You still need to bring your passport to the VAC when applying online (to send it to the Canadian Consulate for visa stamping) and pay a fee almost the same as when applying directly with them. You will just be able to save a few bucks (less than $5).
Depending on the country of nationality on your passport, you may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints scanning and photograph) to a Visa Application Center, for a fee of $85. You can check here if you need to provide them.
​In regards to forms to fill and supporting documents to provide, we invite you to check our dedicated guide on the matter.

If you are invited by someone in Canada, either a family member or a friend, you must add a Letter of Invitation signed by them. You can find all the necessary information and a sample of the Letter of Invitation here.
The fees for a Temporary Resident Visa for visitors is $100.

Processing times for a visitor Temporary Resident Visa depend on the country from where you are applying.

​You can find out your country’s processing times here. You need to select “Visiting, studying, working temporarily”, then “Visitor Visa (from outside Canada)”, then choose the country you are applying from.