Calgary Visas & 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 our 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 a certain period of time, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa.

For a complete list of countries whose citizens are required to have visas before entering Canada, or for those who are visa-exempt, please visit or 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

Read the guide carefully before you complete the application form. The fee for processing your form is non-refundable, so ensure you are eligible for 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 traveling with you.

All required documents must be included with your application:

  • You must have a valid travel document (such as a passport) for each family member on the application.

  • Two recent passport photos of each family member are required. Make sure these photos meet the requirements. For more information on specifications for photographs, see the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

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

  • You must provide proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the Canadian visa office in your country or region.

  • You may need to include other documents. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, a letter of invitation from relatives or friends in Canada, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

The fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry).

Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information on fees, including how to pay them.

You might need a medical examination to be allowed to enter Canada. If you do, a Canadian immigration officer will tell you and will send you instructions about what to do. 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 wishes to work while 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 may 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 her or him to accept any job with any employer. Your spouse’s permit will be valid for the same period 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 to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You must have a social insurance number (SIN) to work in Canada. You can pick up an application form for a SIN at the point where you enter Canada. You can also download the form from the Human Resources and Social Development Canada website, listed below. When you receive your SIN card, give the number on it to your employer.

As a temporary resident, your main form of identification is your passport. Even though you may not need a passport to travel within Canada, you should carry at least two pieces of identification whenever possible. 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 can answer your questions about shopping, education for your children, transportation, language training and other important matters. Contact Crown Calgary 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 bring into Canada.

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

Transport Canada, Vehicle Importation

330 Sparks Street, Tower C

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

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

The following items cannot 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, feathers, fur, bones and ivory;

  • cultural property, including antique and cultural objects considered to have historical significance in their country of origin (you may, however, bring family heirlooms);

  • more than 200 cigarettes (you must pay tax on the excess amount) per person over 18 years of age if you are immigrating to Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, or per person over 19 if you are immigrating to Ontario or any of the other provinces;

  • more than 1.5 litres of wine or 1.14 litres of commercial alcohol (you must pay tax on the excess amount) per person over 19 years of age.

If you are not sure about an item, you can write to or telephone:

Canada Border Services Agency

Customs, Excise and Taxation

Information Services

2265 St. Laurent Boulevard

Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4K3

Telephone: +1 506 636-5064 or +1 204 983.3500 (when calling from outside Canada), or +1-800-959-2036 when calling from inside Canada
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?

Depending on your personal situation and length of stay, you should consider bringing some or all the following important documents with you to Canada:

  • Birth certificates 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, including an International Driver’s Permit, and a reference from your insurance company

  • Photocopies of all essential and important documents, in case the originals get lost (keep separate from the originals)

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

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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.