Vancouver Visas and Permits

As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?

Every year, more than 35 million people visit Canada to enjoy the many opportunities the country has to offer. Depending on where you live, and the reason for your visit, you will need to meet certain entry requirements. In some cases, if you plan to stay in Canada for an extended period of time, you will need a Temporary Resident visa.

For a complete list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas before entering Canada, or are exempt, please contact Crown Calgary for more information.
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What kinds of visas are available?

There are two kinds of visas:

  • Permanent -for workers and their families who are moving to Canada permanently.

  • Temporary -for workers, visitors and students who will be residing in Canada for more than six months, but not permanently.

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What is required to obtain these visas?

Many visa offices have specific local instructions about which documents you must submit with your application. You need to find out what they are, and make sure you include all the correct documents. Consult the list of Canadian visa offices abroad to find the office responsible for your country. You can download the application kit from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Be sure to read the guide carefully before completing the application form. The fee for processing your form is not refundable, so make sure you are eligible to get a Temporary Resident visa before you apply.

You can use the same application form for your spouse or common-law partner, and for dependent children under 18, if they will be accompanying you.

All required documents must be included with your application:

  • You must have a valid passport (or other approved travel document) for each family member.

  • Two recent passport photos for each family member are required. For information on specifications for photographs, see the Useful Links section below.

  • Enclose the application fee and the IMM 5401 receipt of payment. Your fee will not be refunded, even if your application is denied.

  • You must provide proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the purpose of your visit and length of stay. You can get more information from the Canadian consulate in your country.

  • You may also need to include other documents, such as identification cards, proof of employment, or a letter of invitation from relatives or friends. Check the website of the visa office in your country for more information.

The fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa, and $400 for a family (multiple or single entry). Check the website of the visa office in your country or region where you live for more information on fees, including how to pay them. You could be required to undergo a medical examination before being allowed to enter Canada. If you do, a Canadian immigration officer will provide instructions for the process. A medical examination can add more than three months to the processing time of your application.
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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?

If your spouse or common-law partner wants to work in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same requirements that you did, including (if needed) the labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Social Development Canada. However, they can qualify for a work permit without an LMO.

For your spouse to apply for a work permit without an LMO, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be authorized to work in Canada for six months or longer.

  • The work you are doing must meet a minimum skill level (usually work that would require at least a college diploma). Specifically, your job must be listed in Skill Level O, A or B in the National Occupational Classification.

If you meet these two requirements, your spouse may apply for a work permit that is "open" and that will allow him or her to accept any job with any employer. Your spouse's permit will be valid for the same length of time as your authorization to work in Canada. Spouses or partners may apply for their work permit from within Canada.
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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?

One of the first things you should do after arriving in Canada is apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You must have a SIN to work in Canada. You can pick up an application form for this at the point where you enter Canada. You can also download the form from the Human Resources and Social Development Canada website, listed below.

As a temporary resident, your main form of identification is your passport. Even though you don't need a passport to travel within Canada, you should carry at least two pieces of identification with you at all times. Common forms of recognized identification include birth certificate, driver's license, permanent resident papers or citizenship card, credit cards and SIN card.
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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?

Settling in will be much easier if you contact an immigrant -serving organization as soon as you arrive. The people who work for these organizations can help you find a place to live and answer questions about everything from shopping, to education for your children. Contact Crown for a list of these organizations.
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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?

There are strict laws about what you can and cannot bring into Canada.

Cars must meet Canadian safety and pollution control standards. Many are not allowed into the country. Contact Transport Canada for information before you ship your car.

Transport Canada, Vehicle Importation

330 Sparks Street, Tower C

Ottawa, Ontario K 1A 0N5

Telephone: +1 613 998 8616 when calling from outside Canada or +1 800 333 0371 from inside.

The following items should not be brought into Canada:

  • Firearms, explosives, fireworks and ammunition;

  • Narcotics, other than prescription drugs;

  • Meat, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables;

  • Plants, flowers and soil;

  • Endangered species of animals or products made from endangered animal parts, such as the skin, fur, bones or ivory;

  • Cultural property, including antiques and objects that have historical significance in their country of origin.

  • More than 200 cigarettes per person over age 18, if moving to Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba;

  • More than 200 cigarettes per person over age 19 if moving to Ontario or any of the other provinces.

  • More than 1.5 litres of wine or 1.14 litres of commercial alcohol per person over age 19.

You'll be required to pay tax on excess amounts of cigarettes, wine and alcohol. If you are not sure about an item, you can write to or call:

Canada Border Services Agency

Customs, Excise and Taxation

Information Services

2265 St. Laurent Boulevard

Ottawa, Ontario K 1G 4K3

Dial +1 506 636 5064 or +1 204 983 3500 when calling from outside Canada, or +1 800 959 2036 from inside.
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?

You should consider bringing some or all of the following important documents with you to Canada:

  • Birth certificates and/or baptismal certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Adoption, separation or divorce papers

  • School records, diplomas or degrees for each family member travelling with you

  • Trade or professional certificates and licenses

  • Letters of reference from former employers

  • A list of your educational and professional qualifications and job experience (resumé)

  • Immunization, vaccination, dental and other health records for each member of the family

  • Driver's license/ international driver's permit and a reference from your insurance company

  • Car registration documents (if importing a motor vehicle into Canada)

  • Photocopies of all essential and important documents in case originals get lost

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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.