Indian nationals must obtain Visitor Visa to travel in Canada for Tourism purpose. The Visa Process can be done in 2 ways. Online application on IRCC website or Paper application through VFS. I don’t know about the paper application process as i did apply online. Online application process starts here with a check if we need a visa to enter Canada …
The link ‘Find out if you need a visa’ will take us to a set of questions. Based on our answers to these questions they will tell us if we need a visa to enter Canada. For Indians this tool will always say we need to obtain a visa prior to our visit to Canada. So the next step is to create a GC Key (Account with Government of Canada).
Here we need to go to ‘GC Key’ section and register a account there (Its Free). After registering we can login to that account where we can submit our application to the Canadian Visa Consulate directly. Again the Visa Application preparation is not same for everyone. It varies according to people and their eligibility. If a person holds a US Visa or if the person traveled to Canada or USA in last 10 years then for them there will be no much documents needed and visa process also will be faster. If the applicant is traveling for the first time then the procedure is different. They ask lots of documents and we need to submit all in PDF format for them to review.
As this is my first trip to North America i had to go through the huge documentation process. After login to GC Account there will be a section called ‘Determine your eligibility and apply online’ which ask us a set of questions and based on our answers it decides and tell us the list of documents that we need to submit for the process.
The main visa application form is IM5257. For me the following items were asked to submit along with the application.
- Travel History ( Scanning previous passport and make it as PDF )
- Travel Document ( Scanning current passport and make it as PDF )
- Proof of Means of Financial Support ( Scanning bank statements as PDF )
- Purpose of Travel – Other ( Scanning flight tickets, day trip vouchers as PDF )
- Digital Photograph
- Family Information Form (IM5645-e)
- Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada (IMM 5257) b-1 form.
- Client Information ( Optional document – A letter to officer explaining your further information that was not declared on visa form )
After all the documents attached to the application we have to pay visa fee. For visitor visa the fee is 100 Canadian Dollars. We can pay it online itself. Then we will be able to submit this application with all attached documents to the Canadian Consulate.
As per IRCC website the wait time for online visitor visa is 28 days for Indians. But for me they send emails periodically says that they received huge volumes of applications and my application is still in normal process and not to contact IRCC unless there is a change in application details.
Finally after 52 days Canada approved my visa.
They sent a message saying ‘Original Passport Request’. As soon as i got the message i took my passports to the Bangalore VFS office and submitted it with the passport request message printout copy and VFS consent form and logistics fee.
The very next working day i saw message on VFS tracking page that the stamping of visa was done and i can collect my passport back. It seems like stamping process is happening in Bangalore itself.
Canada gave me multiple entry visitor visa valid for next 10 years.
Actually i got this visa approved on second attempt. The first attempt was a failure one. When i did a detailed research on why they refused me a visa when i have decent travel history, i get to know that i have not followed the instructions of the document preparation properly. So when i look back at the document i submitted… and compared the points in the visa refusal letter that makes clear sense. I made document with all unwanted items that the visa officer has no reason to accept it as valid proof. And when i resubmit with new documents on which i followed the instructions clearly they approve the visa. So be sure to read the instructions given next to each type of documents requested on the IRCC website and be sure you add only those information.
The painful thing in Canadian visa process is wait time. You will never know when they will get back to you. I saw in the forums people says their application is under process for more than 108 days !!! If you are trying for first time they will revert back within 30 days approx for Indians. If you have failure attempts in the past then its up to them.