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Making an application to visit Canada

Published:Tuesday | March 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I am a second-year University of the West Indies (UWI) student and would love to apply for a Canadian visa. Could you tell me the requirements please?

- S.S.

Dear S.S.,

You did not state your reason for wanting to visit Canada. Your reason/purpose will determine the kind of visa for which to apply. My response will be based on an assumption that the purpose of your trip is to visit Canada on holiday or vacation to visit family or friends or to attend a short course or event.

You may submit an application to the visa section of the Canadian High Commission office in St Andrew. This application may be submitted personally or via an authorised representative, such as a travel agent. Please note the costs of each option and that all applications will be processed in the same manner and will be done in order of receipt, in the absence of an emergency.

You will need to obtain the following:

1. A valid passport with expiry date more than six months from the date of submitting application.

2. Proof of current occupation. In your case, you will need to request a letter from UWI to prove you are a full-time student and a copy of your transcript.

3. Proof of assets such as car, home, investments and bank statements covering at least three months. Also, proof of sufficient funds to cover your trip and your living expenses while in Canada. If you are supported by your parents, you should provide information regarding their bank accounts and assets.

4. Proof of where you will be staying. You may submit an invitation letter from a family or friend. You may also submit hotel reservation and schedule of tours you will be undertaking.

5. Birth certificate of minor children, marriage certificate or statutory declaration of common-law union (if applicable).

6. Two recent photographs. Advise your photographer of the purpose of your photograph to ensure it conforms with the requirements.

7. The fees will depend on the number of times you wish to enter and leave Canada. A single entry visa is CDN$75, while a multiple entry visa is CDN$150. Fees may be paid at any Scotiabank branch or you may obtain a bank draft in Canadian dollars made payable to High Commission of Canada.

Application forms

Once you have gathered your documents you will need to complete, sign and date the following four forms:

1. Temporary Resident Visa Checklist, which should be placed at the top of your application

2. Application form (IMM 5257)

3. Family Information Form

4. Schedule

Every section of the form should be filled in or place the term 'not applicable (N/A)' if a section does not apply to you. Ensure that you complete the forms carefully and truthfully. The forms are available at the CIC office at 3 West Kings House Road, Waterloo Road entrance, Kingston or online at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5257E.PDF . It is better to complete the form online. Ensure that upon completion that you click 'validate' and print your application form. You will need to submit the barcode generated with your application.

Include a prepaid return envelop from one of the following companies: Airpak, DHL, FedEx or Tara Couriers with your application.

In last week's article, I focused on what the visa officer will be looking for in the documents that you present. Review your completed application to ensure that you have information to convince the authorities that you will return to Jamaica at the end of the time of your visit, that you are healthy and that you will not be a security threat to Canada. Remember to photocopy your application and keep a copy for future reference.

You may submit your form via mail to drop box or personally between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. to the CIC office at West Kings House. Additional information is available on the CIC website.

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 main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, 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