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TRP Canada

Canada immigration lawyer focused on helping Americans apply for a Temporary Resident Permit so they can travel to Canada with a criminal record. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike many businesses who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Application for Temporary Resident Visa Canada (IMM5257)

A Canada Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is needed by many foreign nationals who want to visit Canada temporarily for leisure, business, or to work or study. Foreign nationals who are citizens of certain countries do not require a Temporary Resident Visa in order to travel to Canada, but people from all other countries may need to obtain one before entering Canada. A TRV allows a visitor to enter Canada for a fixed amount of time, and can be issued for a one-time visit to the country (single entry Canadian Tourist Visa) or for several visits (multiple entry Visa Canada). Please note: individuals from visa-exempt countries may still require a Canada Electronic Travel Authorization in order to board a flight bound for the country.

It is very possible to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa on your own either online or via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) application form IMM 5257, called "Application for Visitor Visa." Applying for a Canadian Visitor Visa on your own is fairly simple and should not take long, although Immigration Canada has very high standards and might refuse to issue a Tourist Visa if an application is not filled out correctly. Being denied a Canadian Travel Visa can also make entering the country even more difficult in the future, so it is always best to do things right the first time. Although a Canadian immigration lawyer is certainly not needed when applying for a Canada Travel Visa, we do offer our services should anyone worldwide be interested in having a lawyer professionally prepare their Canadian Visa application.

Having trouble opening the Canada Visa form? We have received several inquiries from people unable to open the Canadian Visa application form from the official IRCC website. To access the IMM5257 Canada Tourist Visa application form (PDF) try right clicking this link and selecting "Save link as..." and then opening the file on your computer using a PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat.

Canada Temporary Resident Visa DUI

If you have a criminal record, you may be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied a Temporary Resident Visa. Any foreign national with a criminal record may need special permission in order to travel to Canada, above and beyond a standard Canadian Travel Visa. If you have a criminal history and need to go to Canada, fill out our contact form or phone us today for an extensive free consultation. Our immigration lawyer has extensive experience helping people from all over the World visit Canada with a criminal record and our fast service will maximize your chances of successful entry into the country. If your criminal record is from more than ten years ago, and it was only a single charge or conviction that is not serious, it is possible you could be considered deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time. This would allow you to apply for a Canada Visa without first needing to attain special permission to enter with a criminal record, although you should always consult a legal professional to accurately determine your admissibility.

I Live in the USA, Do I Still Need a Canada Tourist Visa?

Whether or not a person requires a Canadian Visa to visit the country is typically determined by the traveler's passport not where they currently reside. This means that a citizen of a country that requires a visa to visit Canada normally needs one even if he or she lives in a visa-exempt country such as Germany, France, Italy, or the UK. Canada has special rules for legal US residents, however, and Green Card holders do not require a Temporary Resident Visa in order to travel to Canada provided they present their valid Green Card (Alien Registration Card) at the border. Consequently, citizens of countries that typically need a visa to visit Canada, such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, do not need one if they are a permanent resident of USA. People living in the United States on an H-1B Visa or Study Visa may still require a visitor visa in order to enter Canada, and US Green Card holders who will be flying into Canada will typically need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Canada Visitor Visa Application Form

The application for Temporary Resident Visa Canada is the IRCC IMM 5257 form, commonly referred to as IMM5257e or the English visitor visa form. The several page application asks many questions, and it is crucial that it is filled out 100% correctly otherwise the Canadian Government might not issue a Visitor Visa allowing a person to enter the country. The application begins by requesting personal details, starting with a person's full name including family name and given name, as well as any other name a person has ever used such as a nickname, alias, or maiden name. The application then asks for a person's sex, date of birth, place of birth, country, citizenship, current country of residence, and all previous countries of residence for more than six months during the past five years. The form then asks which country you are applying from, your current marital status, and if you are married or in a common-law relationship as well as the date in which you entered into that relationship. The IMM5257e.pdf form also asks if you have previously been married or in a common-law relationship, and if so you must give your ex-husband or ex-wife's full name.

The Canada Temporary Resident Visa application then asks a person's mother tongue, which language they use most often (if native language is not French or English), and if the person is able to communicate in English or French. An applicant must then provide their passport number, as well as their passport's issue date, expiry date, and country of issue. Additionally, the TRV Canada application form asks for an individual's current mailing address, residential mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and email address.

Some of the most difficult questions on the IMM 5257 Canada application come under the heading "details of visit to Canada." Here the applicant must explain the purpose of their visit and indicate exactly how long they plan to stay in the country as well as exactly how much money they have to support themselves during their stay. The applicant must then list the name and address of any people or institutions they will be visiting in Canada, as well as their relationship with them. The Canada TRV application also asks for a person's educational history including school names and fields of study, as well as a detailed summary of all their employment history for the past ten years including the exact dates spent working for each employer.

When it comes to being issued or denied a visitor's visa, how you answer the questions in the "Background Information" section is crucial. The first question in this section of the IMM 5257e form asks if you or a family member have been in contact with a person that has tuberculosis in the past two years. The form then asks if you have any physical or mental disorder that requires social or health services in Canada other than medication. The next question on the IMM5257 Canada TRV application asks if you have ever remained beyond the validity of your status, or gone to school or worked in the country when you were not supposed to. Canada treats overstay violations very seriously, and anyone busted studying or working in the country without a permit can get in major trouble and can even be deported.

Individuals completing the Temporary Resident Visa Canada form must disclose their full criminal history. The Canada IMM 5257 PDF form asks if a person has ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any criminal offense in any country. If the answer is "yes", the person then must provide full details. Any person who has committed a crime in the past, such as a DUI or DWI, may be denied a Travel Visa, especially if the offense occurred in the last ten years. Even with a valid Canadian Visa, a potential visitor could be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada and refused entrance.

If you have a criminal record, you can overcome your criminal inadmissibility with a Canada Temporary Resident Permit or TRP. The two names are very similar, but they each serve a completely different purpose. A Temporary Resident Visa gives someone permission to visit Canada as a tourist, while a Temporary Resident Permit gives someone permission to enter Canada with a criminal record. Be careful not to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit if you actually only need a Canadian Visitor Visa. There is also a process called Criminal Rehabilitation which can permanently fix inadmissibility to Canada, but has a government processing time that can be close to a year.

The final questions on the Canada Visa application are whether a person served in any military, police, or security organization, whether they have ever been part of a violent political or religious group, and if they have ever witnessed or participated in the poor treatment of people or have purposely damaged a religious building before.

When you apply for a Canada Tourist Visa online, the IRCC Website informs you at the beginning that you will be asked questions about your nationality, age, language abilities, family, education, work experience, employment income, net worth, and details about any job opportunities you have received. The website also informs people that a medical exam or police criminal or security check may also be required by some temporary resident applicants.

Countries That Require a Canada Temporary Resident Visa

Citizens of the following countries require a Visitor Visa in order to enter Canada:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel (only people with Israeli "Travel Document in lieu of National Passport")
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • North Korea
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Lithuania (people with non-biometric passports only)
  • Macao
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives Islands
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland (people with non-biometric passports only)
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome e Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sudan
  • Surinam
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan (only people without an ordinary passport)
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Please note: Citizens of the above countries who possess a valid US Green Card may be eligible to enter Canada without a Canadian Travel Visa. As of 2017, citizens of Bulgaria and Romania no longer need a Visitor Visa to travel to Canada, but instead will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to fly into the country. Romanian citizens without a valid electronic passport still require a Tourist Visa in order to visit Canada.

Does It Matter Where a Person Travels or Why?

Anyone who is not from a visa-exempt country may require a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa in order to be permitted entry to the country. It does not matter which airport you fly into or which provinces you visit, if you want to set foot on Canadian soil, you may need to present a valid T.R.V. at the border. It also does not matter why you are entering Canada, whether for business or as a tourist, Temporary Resident Visas can be required regardless of the reason for visiting. Foreign nationals who will be studying or working in the country will also likely require a Canadian Student Visa or Canadian Work Visa as an ordinary Travel Visa does not allow a person to study or get a job in the nation.

How Long Is a Canadian Visitor Visa Valid?

By default, a Canada Tourist Visa is valid for six months from the day of entry into the country. If no date of expiry is explicitly given, you must leave Canada within six months of the date you entered the country otherwise you could be considered unlawfully present. When you complete the Temporary Resident Permit Canada application, you must specify the exact dates you plan on spending in Canada. In certain scenarios, such as when someone is studying at a University in Canada, the length of the visa may be longer. In situations where the validity of the Visitor Visa is shorter or longer than six months, immigration officials will stamp the date of expiry on the visa itself (which should be attached to your passport).

Temporary Resident Visa Canada Documents

The IRCC website contains a great document checklist for anyone applying for a Temporary Resident Visa. Unlike the IMM 5257 PDF form that supposedly does not work for many people (it allegedly gives them the error message "to view the full contents of this document, you need a later version of the PDF viewer"), the document checklist (form IMM 5484) appears to work great regardless of what version of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat you have installed on your computer. Documents that are required for the application include a valid passport with a completely blank page, two passport sized photos, a photocopy of any current work or study permits, proof of financial support, and a photocopy of a valid return airline ticket if applicable (you are still allowed to change the flights). There are also additional supporting documents that may be included to further strengthen your Canadian Visa application.

I Cannot Open the IMM5257 PDF Form

The Government of Canada website (www.canada.ca) gives people the option of applying for a Canadian Visa online or applying on paper. Unfortunately, many people allegedly have difficulty accessing the IMM 5257 application form, and Internet message boards and Canadian immigration discussion forums contain several posts talking about people not being able to download the application. Even if you have an up to date version of Adobe Acrobat Pro or Adobe Reader on your Windows PC or Mac computer, it can supposedly be challenging to access the IMM5257e pdf file in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. We have provided a link to the Immigration Canada IMM 5257 form at the top of the page.

Any necessary supporting documentation should also be included with a Canadian Visa application. Examples include travel itinerary, family information form (CIC form IMM 5645), employment reference letter, proof of income, proof of relationship, invitation letter, proof of means of financial support, travel history, digital photo, and proof of medical exam. The supporting document requirements can vary from case to case, and people that apply online typically generate a personal checklist code to help them keep track of what docs they need.

Do I Need a Canada Visitor Visa to Layover at a Canadian Airport?

Anyone transiting through Canada on their way to another country may still require a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. If the stop-over is less than 48 hours, such as an overnight layover at Toronto Pearson Airport, you may need a Canadian Transit Visa which does not have any government application fees attached (it is free to apply). Qualifying for a Canada Transit Visa is not necessarily any easier than a regular Tourist Visa, however. People transiting through the country will occasionally leave the airport and attempt to live or work in Canada, or claim refugee status, so Canadian Transit Visa applicants still have to be approved for full entry into Canada even though the person is not supposed to leave the secure transfer area of the airport during their stop-over between flights.

Eligibility for Canadian Tourist Visa

When determining if a person is eligible to be issued a Temporary Resident Permit, several factors are considered. These include a person's reason for traveling to Canada (to study, to work, to visit, to move there, to transit through, etc.) as well as the length of time they plan on staying in Canada (temporarily less than six months, temporarily more than six months, or permanently). A person's age, whether or not that have a family member who is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, if they have a USA Green Card, and if they have ever lived in Canada before are also factors. The online eligibility questionnaire asks whether you will be visiting family or friends in Canada, or conducting business while in the country. It also asks if you have a job or own a business in the country you currently live in, if you depend on someone for financial support, and if you have traveled to other countries in the past ten years.

It is important to realize that if you do not currently have a job, the Government may be hesitant to issue you a Canada Temporary Resident Visa because they could be worried that you are coming to the country to work illegally. Depending on your exact situation, you may appear to have a lack of ties to your home country if you do not have a job so additional documentation may be necessary to demonstrate that your visit is only temporary. The questionnaire also asks if a person is traveling with any family members. If so, it also asks if they have ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime in any country in the world, or if they have undergone a medical exam performed by a CIC authorized doctor in the last year.

Canada Visa Requirements - Biometrics

Citizens of the following countries are required to give their biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) within 30 days of applying for a Canadian Tourist Visa, Canadian Study Permit, or Canadian Work Permit: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen. There is a separate biometric fee of $85 when applying for a visa, but if you apply in person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) then this fee also covers the center's fee for handling your application.

Enhanced Biometric Screening Program

In 2015, the Canadian Federal Government announced they are expanding their biometric screening to all foreign travelers visiting the country that require a Visitor Visa, Study Permit, or Work Permit. Previously, only visitors from 30 "high risk" countries were required to undergo biometric screening in order to enter Canada, but beginning in a few years citizens of 178 countries will be screened via fingerprinting, hand geometry, facial recognition, retinal scan, or iris recognition, when entering Canada on a temporary or permanent basis. These changes are proposed to be implemented in the near future, but citizens of the United States will not require biometric screening in order to get into Canada.

How Much Does a Temporary Resident Visa Cost?

IRCC, formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC, charges a $100 CAN fee for both a single entry Canadian Visitor Visa and a multiple entry Canada Visitor Visa. The maximum fee for a family is $500, so if you are a very large family, you essentially get a discount on government fees. A transit visa for individuals transiting through Canadian airports for less than 48 hours is free. There is also a biometrics fee of $85 CAN.

Apply For Canada Visa - How Does a Lawyer Help?

An experienced Canadian immigration lawyer may have successfully prepared dozens of Canada Temporary Resident Visas and may know the IMM 5257 form like the back of their hand. A qualified legal professional will ensure that your application does not contain any mistakes, and can prepare an application that maximizes your chances of success. Most people do not require professional help when applying for a Canadian Tourist Visa, however, as the application process is quite simple. Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit to fix criminal inadmissibility is usually more difficult, and assistance from a Temporary Resident Permit lawyer may be smart. To speak with a Canadian immigration law firm about getting a Canada Visa, please fill out the contact form at the top right of this page and we will contact you within 24 hours for a free consultation.

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