For all those Indian folks who have been itching to go and explore the Great White North, here is how you get the Visitor’s visa to Canada
First of all, you can check your eligibility here – on whether you need a visa to visit Canada. If you are an Indian on H1 or L1 (or other visa without a Green Card) and live in US (No B1/B2 visas).
- Create an account here – Canadian website for Visa Application. Use the option to create a GC key and sign in to start your application.
- Fill in the application – for yourself and family members if required.
- After that there is a page to upload all your documents (none of the documents should be more than 4 Mb in size)
- Travel History for each applicant – Front and back pages with all pages with all entry/exit stamps. You need to ensure that there are atleast 3-4 empty pages.
- In case you have been issued a new passport after your old passport expired, the new passport should have the link to the old passport.
- Financial Proof – A proof of W2 (tax) forms, Employment verification letter/Offer letter, Pay stubs and Bank statements.
- Form 5257b – This has to be filled in with details about your travel to foreign countries (apart from home country) in the last 5 years
- Form 5257e – This has to be filled in with personal details, purpose of visit to Canada and employment details
- Form 5713 – This is for authorizing a family member for Online Applications – specifically when you are applying on behalf of your spouse or any other family member
- Form 5645e – Provide all the family information in this form
- Digital Photo – There are specifications for the photo which will be mentioned on the application page. We went to Costco to get the digital photo and chose the specifications for Australian Visa as the specifications were the same as that for Canadian Visa.
- Client Information – Attach a letter to the Consulate Officer clearly indicating the purpose of the trip and other details to support your application
- Once the application is complete and all the documents have been submitted, you have to pay $CAD 100 per applicant and $CAD 85 per applicant for biometrics.
- Since December 2018, the rules have changed – Indians need to provide Biometrics and Photograph at a Visa Application Center (New York or Los Angeles) or any of the many Application Support Centers (ASCs) in the US. Find where to give your Biometrics and Photo.
After Submitting the online application….Schedule a Biometrics Appointment
- Once you submit the application online, check out for messages on your account. You will get an email every time there is a status change or a new message
- After you submit your application, you should get a message requesting for your Biometrics and Photo
- You need to select the VAC or ASC and schedule an appointment for Biometrics. Once you schedule the appointment, take a printout of the “Request for Biometrics” letter and your passport for Biometrics and Digital Photo.
- After 3-4 days, you will receive another message with details on the Biometrics and the validity (for 10 years usually) and another mail requesting for your passport.
Submitting your passport
- Original Passport (send the new passport; no need to send old/expired passport)
- IRCC letter requesting for your passport
- Payment of 19.90 USD by money order, banker or cashiers check in the name of “VFS Services (USA) Inc..” (no personal checks)
- A piece of paper with your contact information (Name, Phone, E-mail, address) and one each for your family member
- TT Services Consent Form – 2 copies for each applicant. Also, you need to Sign the page number 2 and not on any other page
- Prepaid envelope from UPS or USPS for the return of Your passport. Fedex envelopes are not accepted
Timelines for the entire process:
We submitted the online application on May 6 and got a request for Biometrics on May 8. We got an appointment for Biometrics with May 21 as the earliest date
We used UPS next day delivery to submit all of these documents on May 28 and it got delivered the next day. The application was received by them on May 29 and they sent the application to the IRCC office on May 29 itself.
We received another update on May 30 saying that my application was under process and a further update that the processed decision envelope has been dispatched to IRCC office.
On May 31, I received a couple of updates saying the decision envelope is being processed and is couriered to my address. On June 4, we received our stamped passport with the Visa eligible until the passport expiry date 🙂 🙂
For us, as Indian citizens, it took 4 weeks for the overall process
Wishing all you folks the best of luck…for your Visitor’s visa to Canada.
P.S. This is our experience as of June 2019. Please post if you have any queries and we will be happy to answer them.