Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Immigration Corner: How do I get a visitor's visa?

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I have a good friend in Canada and he is willing to sponsor me for a visit to Canada. I'm not working but he will pay for the ticket and I can stay at his place. How do I go about applying for a visitor's visa? My friend said he will send all the documents I need to show that he can afford to have me there for the visit. Can I just send the application to the Canadian embassy with all his information?

- LK

Dear LK,

When an individual is seeking to apply for a visitor's visa or a temporary resident visa to Canada, the person applying, the applicant has to satisfy the Visa Office that has strong social and economic ties to his home country that would motivate you to return to your home country. That means that the onus is on you to show that you can afford the trip and that you will return to Jamaica at the end of your trip.

The person sponsoring you would only need to send an invitation letter, enclosing proof of his status in Canada and financial situation. He would need to show the reason that he is motivated to sponsor your trip. The reason should not be because you will be working for him during your visit.

Your responsibility is to establish social and economic ties to Jamaica. Some of the documents you may submit are:

1. Letter from your employer, or provide reasonable explanation for being unemployed.

2. Your birth certificate

3. Valid Passport

4. Your bank statement from your bankers to show your savings.

5. Proof of ownership of property such as land, house, motor vehicle.

6. Membership to professional organisations.

7. You will also need to pay for an submit your biometrics (photograph and fingerprint)

8. The completed application forms and fees.

Additional information on documents to submit to prove your status is available on my website.

If you do not have a job you may want to wait until you are employed to make this application. Evidence of a stable job is usually one of the ways to establish social and economic ties to your home country. You should note that if you are retired or on leave from a job, then you should not be penalised for this.


Where to submit application?

You should not bring your application to the Canadian Embassy. You will now need to use their electronic system or submit your application to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) closet to you. You should also note that you will now need to submit your finger print to the VAC as well. The forms and checklist are may be found at:

Visa Application Centre ? Kingston

31 Upper Waterloo Road,

Kingston 10

Phone Number: (876) 632-7370


Visa Application Centre ? Montego Bay

14 Sunset Boulevard

Montego Bay, St James

Phone Number: (876) 632-7370



Common law/ Spousal Relationship


If you are in a common law, conjugal or marital relationship you should note that your application should be for sponsorship under the Family Class and not merely for a visitor visa. This is an application for permanent resident visa based on your relationship with your sponsor. This application is a two step one and both your sponsor and you would need to be approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If that is the type of relationship that you are in, then I suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer, before you apply for a temporary resident visa to ensure that you are submitting the correct application.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in Immigration, Commercial, Real Estate, Personal Injury, Family and Administration of Estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: Subject line: Immigration Twitter: deidrespowell Facebook: jamaicanlawyer