A visitor means a person who is lawfully in Canada or seeks to come into Canada for a temporary purpose (such as work, study or visit) and who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or the holder of a minister’s permit.
Every visitor, unless exempted, must apply for and obtain a eVisitor before appearing at a Port of Entry (POE). All visitors who are required to obtain travel documents must be in possession of the travel authorization when they appear at a POE.
As of November 10, 2016, all air travelers from travel documents exempt countries require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before they board a flight. This includes those who are transiting through Canada. It only includes travelers arriving by air. For more information, click here.
The Canadian eVisitor application involves a two-step process:
First Step: The foreign national must first submit a visit travel authorization application to the responsible Canadian travel authorization office in the country or region where they reside. At this time, the applicant may need to attend an interview where the travel authorization officer will verify the applicant’s reasons for visiting Canada, the applicant’s ability or willingness to leave Canada within the eVisitor validity date and the applicant’s overall admissibility to Canada.
Second Step: Once a eVisitor has been issued, the applicant may land in Canada. At the port of entry an immigration officer will question the applicant to ensure admissibility.
The eVisitor may be for single entry or multiple entry uses. Single eVisitor may be issued up to six months before the expected date of travel. The maximum validity date for multiple entry eVisitor is up to ten (10) years or one month prior to the expiry date on the passport/re-entry travel documents, whichever is earlier. POE officers will routinely grant entry for a period of six months to a person requesting entry as a visitor.
A foreign national who has an immigrant eVisitor already in process is not prohibited from applying for a temporary resident eVisitor.