Mon | May 2, 2016

What do I need for a Canadian visa?

Published:Tuesday | February 5, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I Am 24 years of age and I have travelled to the United States (US) four times. The last time was in September 2012. I am now interested in visiting my relatives in Canada. Could you tell me what I would need to apply for a visa?

- G.C.

Dear G.C.,

In order for you to visit your relatives in Canada, you will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visitor Visa.

You will need the following:

1. Valid passport;

2. Proof of employment, job letter;

3. If self-employed, proof of business registration or incorporation;

4. Proof of assets such as title to home, land or car;

5. 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 can vary with the circumstances of the visit, how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives. If your visit will be financed by a friend or relative, that person will need to send an invitation letter along with proof that he is in Canada legally and can afford to sponsor your trip.

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 done by establishing that you have significant ties to Jamaica and your community. So you should mention community involvement, family, and financial ties to Jamaica.


If you are staying with a friend or relative, you must submit a letter of invitation from the person who lives in Canada. The letter should include information about yourself (e.g. your name, date of birth, your address, telephone number, your relationship to the person in Canada, the purpose of your trip, how long you will stay in Canada, the date you intend to leave) and information about the person writing the letter (complete name, date of birth, address, telephone number, occupation, immigration status or citizenship, details of the family unit, number of people residing in the household). The person may also opt to submit a sealed letter with copies of his bank statement and status in Canada.


You will have to fill in a number of forms, which you can find on the Canadian High Commission's website. These include:

Temporary Resident Visa Checklist;

Application for Temporary Resident Visa [IMM 5257];

Family information [IMM 5645];

Schedule 1 - Application for Temporary Resident Visa [IMM 5257 - Schedule 1];

Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union [IMM 5409], if applicable.


You must include in your application all the necessary documents such as:

Two recent passport photographs (make sure these photographs meet the visa application photograph specifications);

The application fee;

Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada;

You may need to include other documents such as copies of identification cards, professional membership cards, or a proposed itinerary, and medical insurance.

The fee per person is CDN$150 for a multiple entry visa and CDN$75 for a single-entry visa.

Your application should be submitted at the Canadian visa office,3 West Kings House Road, Kingston. It sometimes takes up to 35 days to process your application, so you should submit your application in advance of the proposed date of travel.

Best of luck!

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, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email:info@deidrepowell.comSubject-line: immigration, or Tel:613-695-8777.