A Complete Guide to the Documents Required for a Visitor Visa to Canada

If you are planning a trip to Canada to explore its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and friendly culture, you need a visitor visa. Whether you’re going to visit family and friends or experience Canada’s attractions, obtaining a visitor visa is mandatory unless you are from a country that is visa-free to Canada.

Documents Required for a Visitor Visa to Canada

To obtain your visa, you need to compile your documents and submit them for your visa application, the immigration officer will then review your documents if they are complete and if you are eligible for a visa. Your visa will be granted and you can travel to Canada. Before submitting your documents, you have to make sure they are complete else your visa approval will be delayed.

If you are currently planning on applying for your visitor visa, here are the documents required for a visitor visa to Canada.

Documents required for a visitor visa to Canada


This is the foundation of your visa application, your passport is your travel companion. Unless on special occasions, you always need it.

It should be valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure from Canada. If your passport is nearing its expiration date, consider renewing it before applying for a visitor visa.

Visa application form (IMM 5257)

This is your ticket to Canada. To start your journey, you need to complete the Visitor Visa Application form, also known as IMM 5257. You can find the form on the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

When filling out your form, remember to answer all questions truthfully and accurately. Double-check for typos or missing information – even the smallest mistakes can lead to delays

Avoid mistakes as much as possible, errors or inconsistencies in information can delay your visa application or cause rejection.

Family information form (IMM 5645)

The Family Information Form (IMM 5645) is needed to provide details about your family members. It’s a simple one-page document that helps Canadian authorities understand your connections back home.

Passport-sized photos

Grab a couple of passport-sized photos that adhere to the specifications outlined by the IRCC. Usually, your photos need to be 35mm x 45mm, with specific measurements for your face, eyes, and background color. Keep a few extra copies – you might need them for other travel-related purposes.

Proof of financial support

To ensure you won’t be a financial burden to Canada during your stay, you need to prove that you have sufficient funds. Canada doesn’t want you to come when you can’t afford your stay.

The specific amount required varies depending on the length of your stay and whether you’re staying with friends or family or staying in a hotel.

As a general guideline, you need around CAD 2,500 for a short visit. This can cover expenses like accommodation, food, transportation, and more. You just need to show that you have enough money to sponsor yourself throughout your stay in Canada.

Travel itinerary

You need a travel plane. Outline your travel plans – when you’re arriving, where you’ll be staying, and what places you’ll be exploring. This demonstrates your intent to return to your home country after your visit. Canada also wants to make sure you have the intention to return home after your visit.

Invitation letter

You need an invitation letter if you have been invited by someone (a friend or family member). If you’re visiting family or friends in Canada, having an invitation letter from your host can be beneficial.

The letter should include information about your relationship, the purpose of your visit, the duration of your stay, and details about your status in Canada.

Travel history

Have you traveled before? Yes, you may need to provide your travel history. Providing a record of your previous international travel can help establish your credibility as a genuine visitor.

This can be in the form of stamps on your passport, entry/exit records, or visa approvals from other countries.

Purpose of visit

You may need to explain your intention. Write a brief but clear explanation of why you’re visiting Canada. If you’re attending an event, visiting family, or exploring the country’s attractions, explain your intentions honestly.

Proof of ties to your home country

Lastly, you need to show that you have strong reasons to return to your home country after your visit. This could be in the form of a job, property ownership, family ties, or any other commitments.


How many funds are required for a visitor visa in Canada?

The amount of funds required for a visitor visa to Canada depends on the length of your stay, your planned activities, and whether you’re staying with friends/family or in a hotel. Generally, you need between CAD 2,500 to CAD 3,000 available per month for a comfortable visit.

This amount should cover your accommodation, food, transportation, and any other incidental costs.

Is there an interview for a Canada tourist visa?

Canada does not require an interview for a tourist visa (visitor visa or temporary resident visa).

The decision to approve your visa application is primarily based on the documents you submit as part of your application, and the visa officers assess your eligibility without a formal interview. An interview is not needed unless on special occasions.

How long does it take to get a visitor visa for Canada?

The processing time for a visitor visa (also known as a temporary resident visa) in Canada takes between 1 to 3 weeks. However, if the volume of applications received by the authorities is much, it can extend to 4 weeks.

Furthermore, if you have a missing document, your application will be delayed and processing time can take between 4 weeks to 6 weeks. To avoid any delay, ensure you submit a complete application and apply well in advance of your planned travel dates.

Final Thoughts

If you gather all these documents, you’re setting the stage for a successful visitor visa application. Remember, you need to provide accurate and honest information to Canadian authorities, this helps to demonstrate your genuine intention to visit temporarily.

By following these steps and presenting your case clearly, you’ll be well on your way to exploring the wonders that Canada has to offer. Safe travels!

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