Every year more than 35 million people visit Canada. Persons who wish to come to Canada for tourism, for business, to study or to work may need to obtain a temporary resident visa before doing so. Citizens of some countries are exempt from this requirement but most are not. Briefly, a temporary resident is someone from a foreign country who is authorised to remain in Canada for a limited period of time and who will leave the country at the expiration of the temporary resident status unless that status is extended/renewed or a different status is granted. Therefore, a temporary resident visa is essentially the material evidence (usually a sticker to be affixed into one’s passport) that an official authorisation has been granted by the relevant authorities allowing a foreign person to enter and remain in Canada for a temporary period, conferring upon that person temporary resident status.
The different categories of temporary resident visas offered are described here below.
A tourist visa is an official temporary authorisation granted to a foreign citizen allowing him to enter the Canadian territory for a temporary purpose, such as tourism or visiting family and friends. In assessing whether to issue a tourist visa to an applicant, the visa officer will determine on a balance of probabilities, whether the potential visitor has a compelling reason for visiting, sufficient money to pay for the visit, and is liable to return to his home country at the end of the trip. Tourist visas may be extended from within Canada. They may be single or multiple entries. With a few exceptions, a visitor is barred from working and studying in Canada.
A transit visa is an official temporary authorisation granted to a foreign citizen who is travelling through Canada to another country and whose flight/voyage will stop in Canada for less than 48 hours. The transit visa will allow him to enter the Canadian territory for transiting purpose only. A person willing to transit Canada may not apply for a transit visa upon his arrival in Canada, and unless told otherwise, should not expect travel agents, cruise lines and airlines to take care of transit visas. It is the sole responsibility of the traveler to determine if he needs to obtain a transit visa and if so, to obtain one in advance from its own country of residence. In assessing whether to issue a transit visa to an applicant, the visa officer will determine on a balance of probabilities, whether the applicant is genuinely just transiting Canada, has as final destination another country than Canada and shows specific evidence of his travel arrangements from his transportation company or travel agent.
A temporary resident permit is an official temporary authorisation granted to a foreign citizen who does not meet all legal requirements, but who is authorised to enter and stay in Canada. The temporary resident permit may be issued, at the discretion of the Canadian immigration authorities only, to individuals who would otherwise be inadmissible to Canada because of health or criminality issues, allowing them to enter or stay in Canada, when justified by compelling circumstance. In deciding whether or not to issue a temporary resident permit, the visa officer will weigh the inadmissible person's need to enter or remain in Canada against the health and security risks to the Canadian population. Temporary resident permits constitute a distinct and special category which is not applicable to most applicants.
These admissibility criteria are applicable without exception to all candidates who want to come to Canada. If any of the following examples apply to your case, it will constitute an inadmissibility factor that could render inadmissible your application:
- Inadmissible medical status
- Presence of criminal record or evidence of threat to Canada’s national security
- Insufficient funds to sustain living expenses and/or unavailability of adequate settlement funds
- Misrepresentation through withhold and/or distortion of facts and/or production and/or use of fake documents
- Non-compliance with the visa/immigration officers instructions
- Change in family composition and/or marital status, without noticing the Canadian immigration authorities in due time
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