Travel to Canada - Visas, permits and proof of citizenship

Si vous avez besoin de cette information en français svp visitez les sites Web énumérés ci-dessous puisque toute information canadienne de gouvernement est disponible en français et anglais.

If you are looking for information on visa requirements to Canada, here is what I was able to discover.

Short Version:

  1. Many countries do not require a visa to visit Canada. If you visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp you will find a list of those that require visas, but if you scroll down to the bottom you will see those who do not. For those of you in the UK, I am told you should check with your own embassy.
  2. Most people will be considered tourist visitors. Please check for regulations if you are extending your trip for tourist travel. We will post tourist destination information on this site too.
  3. One important distinction is a five (5) day limit. All the conference paper acceptances will indicate that the conference presenters will not receive payment and attend a conference less than five days in duration to help clarify your stay. Please keep this e-mail once you receive it to present to immigration officials at the airport or the border.
  4. Below you will find information about temporary resident visas. I was told that the pertinent section is:
  5. 5.11. Work without a work permit R186(j)—Public speakers

R186(j) includes both guest speakers for specific events (such as an academic speaker at a university or college function) and commercial speakers or seminar leaders provided the seminar to be given by the foreign speaker entering under this provision does not last longer than five days.

A ’seminar’ is defined as a small class at a university, etc. for discussion and research, or a short intensive course of study, or a conference of specialists. Commercial speakers are people who sell tickets or registrations to people who come to hear them speak on a particular topic. Commercial speakers have a vested interest in the event at which they are speaking. Typically, they rent commercial space in a hotel, advertise, charge admission, deliver the event and then leave Canada. If they are doing this for no more than five days on one trip, they can enter under

R186(j). This regulation covers situations where the speaker is speaking to multiple groups, as long as the duration of the speaking events is no more than five days, not counting travel time in the case of multiple engagements.

Not included in R186(j) are commercial speakers who are hired by a Canadian entity to provide training services. In these cases, other entry options must be explored including HRSDC LMOs or the NAFTA Professional category which allows for professionals to provide training services under some circumstances. From: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/fw/index.asp

  1. Some participants would require visas and permits. Please check, we do not want to have anyone stranded at the border.
  2. Documents that you would wise to carry:
    1. Your passport
    2. Visa and permit as applicable
    3. Proof of the reason for your visit, for this the e-mail invitation to the conference and the conference program with your name listed if you are presenting.
    4. Proof of sufficient funds, perhaps something indicating your position.
    5. Proof of links to your country.
  3. Citizens and Residents of the United States: Currently citizens and residents of the United States are only required to bring documentation that would be accepted as proof of citizenship or residency. This means that you do not have to have a passport as of today, but would need to bring other documents such as a “green card” or birth certificate. Please check with the Canadian Border Services Agency that regulates traffic across the border. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
  4. Please note that all this information was current as of December 2, 2008. Regulations are subject to change, but given the short time interval changes are unlikely.

Here is the information received from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada call centre.

Please do not reply to this email. Sir, Madam, Thank you for contacting the Call Centre. Following today’s conversation, December 2 2008, I am pleased to provide you with the requested information:

For more information on working in Canada as a public speaker, without needing a work permit, please see section 5.11 of the Foreign Worker Manual (FW1) through the link below.

The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information: Description: Foreign Worker Manual - see FW 1, section 5.11 Address: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/fw/index.asp

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a document required for citizens of certain countries who want to visit Canada for a short time. It is a sticker the size of a passport page that shows that your application has been examined by an officer at a Canadian visa office and that the officer was satisfied that you met the requirements to enter Canada. To find out if you need a TRV, see the list of countries and territories on our Web site.

The cost of a single-entry TRV (to enter Canada only one time) is $75 and the cost of a multiple-entry TRV (to enter Canada many times) is $150. In many countries, the payment can be made in the local currency. For more information, please visit the Canadian visa office Web site of the country where you will apply.

If you want to study or work temporarily in Canada, you generally need a Study Permit or a Work Permit. If you need a TRV in addition to your permit, you do not have to make a separate application or payment. An officer will give you a TRV at the same time as your permit.

The application for a TRV is available on our Web site. You can fill out the application on-line and print it or fill it out by hand. You have to contact the responsible Canadian visa office to see if you need to fill out any additional forms or provide any additional documents.

The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

For more information about working in Canada, you can consult the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines (FW) through the link below. The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

For more information on Enforcement, you can consult the Enforcement Manual (ENF) through the link below. The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has many visa offices located around the world. These offices:

  • process applications for permanent residence, temporary resident visas (visitors), study permits, work permits and refugee resettlement.
  • give clients information to help complete their applications, and
  • work to ensure that immigration applications are processed according to standards.

If you want to apply for permanent residence, you must submit your application to the Canadian visa office responsible for:

  • your country of nationality;
  • your country of residence; or
  • the country where you are physically present and have been legally admitted for at least one year.

If you want to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, Study Permit or Work Permit, you must submit your application to the visa office responsible for:

  • your country of nationality;
  • your country of residence; or
  • the country where you are physically present and have been legally admitted.

If you are a permanent resident outside Canada and you need a travel document to return to Canada because you do not have a valid Permanent Resident Card, you should submit your application to the Canadian visa office that services the country where you are physically present.

The contact information for all Canadian visa offices is available on our web site.

The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has many visa offices located around the world. These offices process many types of applications. You can visit our Web site to find the contact information for any Canadian visa office. Before contacting the visa office, please note that they receive many questions every day. If they tried to answer all of those those questions right away, there would not be enough time to process applications. Before sending a question, please make sure:

  • that the information you are looking for is not on the visa office’s Web site or CIC’s Web site at www.cic.gc.ca (e.g. the Frequently Asked Questions section, the instruction Guide that comes with an application and the e-Client Application Status section to check the progress of an application); and
  • that you have checked the processing times. Only contact the designated office if the processing times have passed.

When communicating with the visa office, include all your questions in a single message.

For files that are already being processed at the visa office, please note that most offices will answer your questions only if the processing time has passed. The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ensures the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada. For more information, please visit their Web site through the link below.

The Government of Canada Web site offers information on the structure and functions of the Government of Canada. The Internet links below will provide you with more detailed information:

The information in this email is meant to assist you in understanding the immigration and citizenship policies and/or procedures. It is a summary of the information contained in the law. If you plan on consulting this email again at a future date, please visit our Web site to ensure that you have the most current information on our programs and policies. For any further questions, please visit our Web site at www.cic.gc.ca or contact our Call Centre at 1 888 242-2100 (8 a.m. - 4 p.m. local time). If you are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, or you have a speech impediment and use a text telephone, you can access the TTY service by calling 1 888 576-8502 (8 a.m. - 4 p.m. local time). Don’t forget about CIC’s other on-line services: