Travel restrictions to Canada are expected to end on May 21, 2021, and just in time for visitors to enjoy the start of eventful summer days with plenty more outdoor activities like canoeing, wildlife viewing, camping in the Canadian Rockies, or simply sipping a cocktail (or two) at the Toronto Waterfront. The Canadian tourist industry can't wait to welcome back visitors and show them why Canada is one of the most vibrant destinations to satisfy the wanderlust of every type of traveler!    

Itching to book that flight? You might have to take care of some important business first. Below, find out how to apply for a visitor visa in Canada when the much-awaited time finally arrives!

How to Apply for a Canadian Visitor Visa in 3 Steps

Step 1: eTA vs Tourist Visa

The first step is to check if you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a tourist visa to visit Canada. An eTA is a simple entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals, and the application process is much simpler and faster. All you need is a valid passport and $7 to pay the application fee. Your eTA approval will be sent to your email in a matter of minutes!     

While an eTA is easy enough to obtain, the majority of visitors require a Canadian tourist visa that's valid for six months. The tourist visa application process is longer, more expensive, and requires more documents.   

Read more about the Canadian tourist visa here.

Step 2: Visitor Visa Application Processing Times

One of the most important things you must consider when applying for a Canadian tourist visa is the application processing times so that you can plan your trip and book your flight accordingly. The good news is that the Canadian tourist visa is valid for six months from the time it is issued, and visitor visa applications are typically processed in a few weeks or less, but keep in mind that processing times vary from country to country.          

However, it's best to prepare for delays due to additional COVID-19 measures and a surge of applications once the travel ban is lifted. 

Step 3: Canada's Tourist Visa Eligibility Requirements

One of the major tourist visa eligibility requirements is to show proof of your genuine intention to visit Canada. So, if you're planning to ski at Whistler Blackcomb, for example, you could include a copy of your hotel reservation or ski pass. Otherwise, if you're going to visit your family, simply include a letter of invitation from your parents, siblings, etc. Other requirements include submitting documents of the following:      

  • Proof of funds to cover your travel expenses during your stay;

  • Proof of identity and first-time applicants must give their biometrics at an additional fee of $85;

  • Police certificate (only when asked for by Canadian officials); and 

  • Pay a $100 processing fee. 

Use ArriveCAN to Travel to Canada

Currently, all eligible travelers are required to provide travel, contact, and quarantine information upon and after entry into Canada by using ArriveCan, which's available as a mobile app, or you can sign in online. A quarantine plan may be exempt or adjusted from the travel requirements to Canada once the borders open. However, you will be requested to provide a negative COVID-19 test at the airline before boarding an international flight to Canada. 

Plan Your Trip. Leave the Admin to Us

Not sure how to proceed from here? Don't let one mistake on your visitor visa application hold you back from an adventure of a lifetime! Simply visit to put your application in the trusted hands of certified visa professionals who know how to apply for a Canadian tourist visa on your behalf and get the results you want - faster!