Tourist Visa: Is it necessary to go to the Canadian Embassy?

Before you go to the Canadian embassy to apply for a visa, check whether you are eligible for the eTA system, which will save you the trip.

If you want to travel to Canada for tourism or any other reason, you will be aware that there are certain requirements for entry into Canada, including the need to present a residence permit such as a visa. This used to require a physical visit to a Canadian embassy in your country of residence, but now it can be done online. There is also another fairly recent procedure that allows you to avoid having to apply for a visa for that country with the eTA device. As we will see together here, this application is done entirely online and without any travel or sending of files.


Who can take advantage of the online eTA for travel to Canada?

The choice between a visa and an eTA for Canada depends above all on the eligibility criteria for the eTA system. Indeed, although the online eTA application is of course much more convenient and, above all, less time-consuming and less expensive than the visa application, it is not accessible to everyone. It is necessary to meet certain prerequisites, including :

If you meet these conditions, you will not be required to go to the Canadian embassy or send your application to the Canadian embassy to apply for a visa.

Of course, if you do not meet these conditions, a visa will be the only way to travel legally to this country and your application must be made to the Canadian consulate or embassy in your country. This will be mandatory if you wish to stay in that country for more than 6 months, if you wish to study or work in a Canadian company or if you do not reside in one of the member countries of this system. Depending on the visa you wish to obtain, it may not be necessary to go to an embassy or consulate. Indeed, some of the simplest visas, such as the visitor (tourist) visa, can be applied for online.


Which visas are processed by the Canadian Embassy?

A visa application at the Canadian Embassy concerns two different types of visa with the temporary stay visa and the permanent visa. The temporary visa is the most frequently requested and consists of a sticker affixed in the traveller's passport. It will allow people wishing to travel for tourism, study, temporary work or a long stay, to benefit from a temporary permission to stay in the country. This category of visa is further divided into many other types of visas depending on the purpose of the trip.

The permanent visa is, as its name indicates, a visa that allows you to stay permanently in the country and therefore to immigrate to Canada. The conditions for granting this visa are particularly strict and require in all cases a visit to the Canadian embassy for an in-depth interview.


How does the visa application process work at the Canadian Embassy?

If you need to apply for a visa to Canada and you do not qualify for the eTA Visa Waiver Program, you may be able to do so online or by applying to your nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.

But beware! Online applications are only for temporary resident visas such as tourist, study or work visas. As mentioned above, permanent visas can only be applied for by going to the embassy, except for visas issued under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class.

For visas that cannot be obtained online, it will however be possible to drop them off or send them by post to the embassy. For this procedure you will need a valid passport, the completed and signed application form and other supporting documents depending on your situation and the visa you wish to apply for, such as a medical examination, a certificate of good conduct or proof of sufficient financial means.

In some cases, however, you may be required to go to a Canadian embassy or consulate for an interview and answer questions from an immigration officer.


The procedure for applying for an eTA online without going to an embassy:

Of course, if you are lucky enough to be eligible for the eTA programme, the procedure to follow will be much simpler and much faster.

All you need to do is access an online form via the official website or a website like the one we recommend here. Fill in this online form by answering all the questions asked and indicating your passport number. Once the answers have been proofread and verified, you will have to pay the processing and transfer fees for your application, always online and on a secure page. This payment can be made by credit card or by Paypal.

If your application is successful, your eTA will be sent to you by email to the address you have given in the form and within a maximum of 72 hours. In fact, most travellers who request it receive it within a few hours. It will not be necessary or compulsory to print this eTA as it will be automatically linked electronically to your passport number. The only document you will need to present when travelling will be your passport, as by scanning it or entering its number into special software, immigration officials will be able to consult your eTA.

Once you have obtained this residence permit, you can use it for five years. The eTA is valid for five years from the date it is issued. It can therefore be used for multiple trips to Canada that meet the above conditions, provided that your passport number has not changed.

This website is not affiliated to the Canadian government, you have the possibility of completing the procedure without supplementary fees on the official website.