Thu | May 28, 2020

Immigration Corner | Can I apply for a visitor’s visa now?

Published:Tuesday | April 7, 2020 | 12:17 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

IS THE Canadian High Commission accepting applications for visitor’s visa? Since I have to stay at home, I decided to use the time to apply for a visitor’s visa. I would like to visit my family for Christmas. Will my application be processed? If so, what are some of the documents I would need to submit? How can I make sure that my application is successful? Thank you for your time.

– A.S.

Dear A.S.,

Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the department which processes applications on behalf of the Canadian government, is currently accepting online applications for temporary and permanent residence visas. This includes applications for visitor’s visa, study permits, work permits, and applications under the Express Entry System. The processing time for these applications may be delayed. However, you can still expect that your application will be processed. You will just need to be patient.

HOW TO APPLY

Do not go to the Canadian Consulate or the Visa Application Centres because these offices are closed, as the world is dealing with the effects of COVID-19. You may apply via the government of Canada electronic system via their website https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit....

To apply, you will need to have access to a scanner and have a credit card to pay the required fee. You will be notified as soon as the visa application centres are open, where to submit your biometrics to finalise your application.

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

The Canadian government evaluates each application based on documents you submit, and on your ability to satisfy them of some key factors. The key factors are: demonstrating that you have a legitimate reason for visiting Canada; that you have the resources to cover the expense of your trip and will not go bankrupt; that you are not a threat to the safety of persons in Canada; that you will respect the law of Canada; and most importantly, that you have strong social and economic ties to your home country that would motivate you to return at the end of the time granted.

Some of the documents you should submit are:

1. Accurately completed application forms and fees.

2. Valid passport.

3. Notarised invitation letter from your relative or friends.

4. Letter from your employer or provide reasonable explanation and supporting documents outlining the reason that you are unemployed. (example: retirement)

5. Your bank statement from your bankers to show your savings and investments.

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

7. Membership to professional organisations, children’s birth certificate.

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

I suggest that you consult with an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer before you apply so that you can get additional guidance. Many of us lawyers are available for consultation via telephone, Skype and other online platforms.

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: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration Find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.