Travel to Canada

For most foreign tourists, travel to Canada is severely limited to occasional travel and tourism to selected regions in Canada. In response to the recent outbreak of CAN SPAM, which is commonly known as the “Vancouver syndrome”, the Canadian government has implemented measures that limit entry into Canada through various means. Until further notice, all foreign nationals are prohibited by law from travelling to Canada without a valid visitor visa and electronic travel authorization (etc.) The measures affect both permanent and temporary resident status.

A valid Canadian visa is required for any tourist or immigrant to Canada. In order to apply for a visa, applicants must prepare their personal details such as name, address and telephone number. Two types of identification are available to apply for a visa: the Social Security Number (SSN) and the birth certificate. Immigrants can also obtain a temporary resident card (TRIC) that can be used to enter Canada. Temporary resident cards are valid for up to a year and do not require a waiting period.

Visitors can apply for either a permanent resident or a temporary resident card by visiting a Canadian Immigration website. After registering, applicants can proceed to enter Canada through the port of entry. Electronic travel authorisation is necessary for crossing the International Border. Visitors may need to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status. Some of the most common reasons for travel to Canada include visiting family and friends, undertaking a Canadian tourist tour, visiting employment opportunities in Canada and working in Canada while studying.

Temporary resident status is available to many individuals who wish to live and work in Canada permanently. To apply, applicants must visit a Canadian immigration site. There they will register with their temporary resident status number (romanumbered). After registration, applicants can proceed to enter Canada through the regular port of entry.

The most common reason for travel to Canada is employment-based. Many international corporations hire hundreds and even thousands of workers each year from outside of their country of citizenship. For these employers, permanent residence is not possible. For these companies, and for the many other workers travelling between countries for work, a visitor visa makes sense. A visitor visa is valid for up to six months after arrival, during which time the worker can apply for employment in Canada, where he or she will become eligible to apply for social security number and leave to enter Canada. While granting permission to reside and work in Canada, visitors cannot bring family members with them.

As well, visitors can be restricted by the Canadian government when it comes to travelling outside of specific regions. For example, a measles outbreak last spring resulted in thousands of people travelling from the United States to Canada, many of whom were elderly. The Canadian government quarantined a large portion of its population as a precautionary measure and has instructed all returning citizens to receive two doses of the measles vaccine as part of their immunization schedule. While other travellers have been allowed to continue to travel without any restrictions.

Yet, travellers must understand that travelling between countries does require some additional paperwork. If they intend to stay in Canada while their trip is in progress, they will need to apply for a work permit. They will also need to provide proof of funds, either salary or other Canadian funds, and meet other eligibility criteria. When travelling between countries for work, or even just for pleasure, travellers are required to obtain an exit and entry clearance card from the country of destination. And, of course, they will need to provide a passport when travelling back into Canada – unless exempted by the Immigration Services Canada (ISC) website.

The information on Travel to Canada is updated daily. It’s worth taking a look at this website from time to time in order to keep informed about the latest requirements and changes to the laws and regulations that apply to travellers entering and leaving the country. You may also wish to consult the Canada Immigration Services website for further information on entry requirements. There you can obtain complete information on what documents you need to bring with you, as well as advice on how to apply for and manage Canadian visa and citizenship registration.