Immigration Corner | Looking to entertain in Canada
Dear Ms Powell,
I am an entertainer and a friend wants me to perform at their wedding. I want to apply for a Canadian visitor's visa. Can you tell me what I will need to apply for a visa? I hear that all applications must be submitted online. I'm worried I may make a mistake if I do that. What are the documents that I need to send in with my application?
You may apply for temporary resident/visitor's visa to Canada either online or by submitting a paper application to the Visa Application Centre (VAC), either in Kingston or Montego Bay. You will first need to download the application forms online and complete them, since you do not want to apply online.
The required forms are found at www.cic.gc.ca. You must complete the application carefully and answer all questions. Each country has a different list of required documents, so you will need to download the latest forms that are specific to your country.
You should note that the application form for temporary resident visa was recently updated, so be sure to use the forms that were updated this year. Other forms that you should download and complete are temporary resident visa checklist; family information; application for temporary resident visa; and statutory declaration of common-law union; or marriage certificate, if applicable.
You will need to have a valid passport, job letter or proof of employment, photographs, birth certificate. You will also need to submit your fingerprints to the VAC.
If you are self-employed, proof of business registration or incorporation or contracts; newspaper clippings; recordings of past performances; letter from recording label or manager; proof of assets such as title to home, land or car.
You will also be required to provide a bank statement and proof that you have enough money to cover expenses for the duration of your stay. The amount of money you will need depends on the circumstances of the visit, how long you plan to stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives. If your visit will be financed by a third party, friend or relative, that person will need to send an invitation letter along with proof that they are in Canada legally and can afford to sponsor your trip.
DETAILS OF THE PERFORMANCE
The key issue is to remember that you must satisfy an immigration officer that you will return to Jamaica at the end of your trip. This is usually by showing that you have significant ties to Jamaica and your community. You should mention community involvement, family and financial ties to Jamaica.
The person inviting you will need to provide an invitation letter and a copy of the wedding invitation. The letter should state specifically the services you will provide, details of the performance and whether this wedding will be your only performance. It will need to show when exactly will you be performing and if you have a signed contract, you should provide the contract.
As an entertainer, you are required to submit proof that you are established in the profession. Submit a police report with your application. If you or family members have any convictions, you will need to provide an explanation of the circumstances leading to the convictions. In fact, if you have been detained, charged or have any criminal record, I strongly recommend that you meet with an immigration lawyer to discuss your application.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.4092/922.8899