What is a Canadian Visa?

A Canadian visa is a stamp on your passport that allows you to travel to the country. It means that the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your country has decided that you are eligible and fulfill all the requirements to enter the country.

The type of visa you would require depends on your status and purpose of visit. You must pick the type of visa that best suits your motive of visiting the country. 

Here are the main types of visas available to people looking to visit or immigrate to Canada.

1. The Canadian Visitor Visa

The Canada Visitor Visa is also known as the temporary resident visa. You can apply for this visa online or through paper applications at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate. One would require a visitor visa even if you are transiting through a Canadian airport to a final destination.

Visitors with this visa can stay for up to six months in Canada. Temporary visas can be single entry visas or multiple entry visas. 

Single entry allows you to enter the country once and will not permit you to get back after exiting the country.

The multiple entry visa will allow you to come in and move out of the country as many times as you like during the validity period.

2. Permanent Residence Visas

The Canadian Permanent Residence Visas permit the holder to live, work and settle in the country. It is also known as an Immigrant Visa and can be of different types.

Types of Permanent Residence Visas



Immigrant Investor Program

This program is for people willing to make investments in the Canadian economy. However, they must have a net worth of at least CAD $800,000. They should invest at least CAD $400,000 and which the Canadian government would return without interest in 5 years’ time.


Startup Visa Program

The Startup Visa is for people who would like to individually involve and contribute to the Canadian economy. A net worth of at least CAD $300,000 is expected. The individual must also commit to owning and managing one-third of the Canadian business as well. It is to create and maintain employment within three years of being in the country.


Self-Employed Persons Visa

This visa is for people who are having skills in farming, culture, athletics, or business. They can start their own venture in Canada. However, they must demonstrate their skills in particular areas and spell out how they will finance the business.


Family Sponsorship Program

This is a key program aimed at family reunification. It allows spouses and dependents of Canadian permanent residents or citizens to permanently immigrate to Canada. Sponsors, however, promise to support the family members for a period of three to ten years.


Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)

It is given to members who are qualified to take care of children, disabled people, or the elderly. They will, however, have to live in private homes in Canada.

3. Express Entry Program Visas

There are three types of Express Entry categories catering to different aspects of the Canadian economy.

Types of Express Entry PR Visas



Canadian Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled worker applicants in this category must score at least 67 CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) points to qualify. They must also prove that they have enough funds to support themselves and their family members.

Successful skilled worker candidates under this category will be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residency. It will allow the skilled worker visa holder and family members to permanently live and work anywhere in Canada.


Canadian Skilled Trades Visa

International skilled tradesmen are eligible to apply for permanent residency under this category. All applicants are ranked in order of their CRS points score. Only the highest-scoring applicants are invited to apply for permanent residency through draws as required.


Canadian Experience Class Visa

Permanent residency applicants under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are eligible to apply if they are currently in Canada on a temporary foreign worker visa or study permit. They should, however, meet the following criteria to qualify.

  • At least 12 months of work experience in Canada within the last three years.
  • Meet the minimum English or French language requirements.
  • Agree to live outside Quebec.


4.  Provincial Nominee Program Visas

All provinces and territories of Canada have an agreement with the government of Canada to nominate immigrants wishing to settle in the province. Such candidates will have to apply to the province and obtain a nomination from there. Moreover, each province has its own eligibility criteria.

5. Canada Student Visa

The Canada Study Permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study in the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). International students from India would require a study permit to study in Canada.

The study permit however is not a visa to let you enter Canada. You should apply for a Canada Student Visa. This visa is required if your course of study is more than six months. International students will need a TRV visa if their course of study is less than 6 months. 

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