Obtaining a visitor’s visa

Immigration Matters:  Sukhram Ramkissoon

Obtaining a visitor’s visa

I have previously written about the visitor’s visa or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). It is, of course, an important document for persons wishing to visit family members and friends in Canada and applicants should properly understand the process of obtaining it. Unfortunately, there still seems to be considerable misunderstanding about the TRV among many in the Caribbean community. So I am returning to this subject in this week’s column.

First of all, applicants are advised that to obtain a TRV, there are some simple requirements such as:

Having a valid travel document, such as a passport;

Being in good health;

And having no criminal record or immigration-related adverse history.

Applicants must also convince an immigration officer that they have ties – such as a job, home, financial assets or family – in   their home country.  In other words, after a vacation in Canada, they will be returning to commitments and obligations in their home country.

Canadian Immigration law stipulates that a foreign national must, before entering Canada, apply to an officer for a visa or other documents. Further, every foreign national, other than those exempted under the law, who seek to enter or remain in Canada as a visitor or temporary resident is required under the regulations to leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.

It is often over-looked that it must be “established” that the foreign national will leave at the end of the authorized stay in Canada. 

This requirement does not leave much room for officers to give the applicant “the benefit of the doubt.” Rather, before the visa is issued, there is a positive obligation that it be established that the foreign national will leave Canada.

In a TRV application, the officer assesses various factors, including the purpose of the visit, family ties in Canada and in the country of residence, the economic and employment situation abroad, past attempts to emigrate to Canada (or elsewhere), any absence of prior travel history and the capacity and willingness to leave Canada at the end of the stay.

It is always important when completing the application for a TRV to answer truthfully all questions or information requested in the form – such as, parents’ and any other relatives’ full names, dates of birth and addresses, employment history with supporting documents, financial status, funds available and travel history and a true copy of your passport with all relevant pages indicating travel history and past visa issued

An applicant must furnish all relevant information and documentation with respect to the visa application. It should be noted that an officer is under no obligation to ask for further information, if applicants have not” met their burden” and put their “best foot forward.”

Also, please remember: A visa does not give you the right to enter and remain in Canada.  You must still satisfy the officer at the port of entry of the intended purpose of coming to Canada. That officer will then determine the length of time you are granted to stay in Canada as a visitor.  And remember: You must arrive in Canada before the expiry date on your visa.

SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON   is a member of ICCRC and specialises in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.