canada visa policy

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While tourism in Canada can be a great idea for your next getaway destination you might also want to learn about some norms before applying for a visa. To know more about these norms you will probably have to take a look at the visa policy of Canada which explains in detail about both the importance of a visa and who all would want it before taking a flight to Canada. To know more all you have to do is stick on with the article and read about the specification!

What is a visa policy?

According to the set of international affairs, a foreigner is supposed to have a visa if they want to go to another country of which they are not a citizen. However, there are some countries that allow the entry of foreigners without a visa. This is possible for some countries only, as there is an agreement made between those two countries about it. This means that those nationals of the countries who do not need a visa can go to the specified country of interest without a visa.  However, those that need a visa must have an electronic travel authorization issued for them. This decision was brought into action on the 10th of November 2016. However, this ETA is needed for only those who will be arriving through airways.

Visa-free entry:

There have been a lot of countries that are allowed to go to Canada without a visa. This visit to Canada can allow the nationals of the following list of countries to stay for a period of 6 months. This period can be shortened based on the decision made by the officials at the immigration office. This decision, however, will be totally up to them. Most of the countries might also have to produce an electronic travel authorization upon arrival if they will be traveling through airways. The only people who do not need an ETA are the nationals who belong to the US and those who belong to France and are coming from Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The list of countries that do not require a visa to go to Canada can be given as follows:

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece
Hungary Italy Ireland Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States Vatican City
United Arab emirates Andorra Australia Bahamas Barbados Brunei
Chile Hong Kong Iceland Israel Japan Liechtenstein
Mexico Monaco New Zealand Norway Papua New Guinea Samoa
San Marino Singapore Solomon Islands South Korea Switzerland Taiwan

All of the above listed 54 countries need not take a visa to go to Canada. 

Stay allowed for those without a visa:

For those who do not have a visa can stay for 6 months or as mentioned on the passport when the stamp is put. This stamp will be put onto the passport at the border of Canada by the Canada border service officers. The foreigners need to ensure that they exit Canada before the date that has been specified. It is also to be noted that if the foreigner wants to stay for a longer period or extend their visa, they might have to send an application before 30 days of the expiration date.

Conditions for countries to be included in the exemption list:

If a country is to be added to the exemption list, it has to follow some conditions which are divided into seven groups, the groups can be given as follows:

  • Socio-eco conditions
  • Immigration issues
  • Travel documents
  • Safety issues along with security
  • Border managing
  • Human rights consideration
  • Bilateral acceptances

This decision of adding a country to the list is however made by reviewing the overall mentioned conditions which makes it easy to add a country on the list.

ETA or Electronic Travel Authorization:

This ETA Canada as mentioned needs to be taken by all of the foreign nationals except for those that have already been mentioned who do not require an ETA. This was done to have a common approach to screening the foreigners who enter Canada. All the foreigners will have to do is, give details about themselves, the passport details, background information about their citizenship or about the funds, and contact details. The foreigners will however also have to answer some basic security questions that will be asked as well. 

ETA and citizens of Brazil:

The citizens of Brazil who have a non-immigrant US visa will have to take an ETA when they take the airways route. The Brazilian citizens cannot enter through the seaways or by road unless they hold a valid visa. Those Brazilian who do not meet the criteria might also have to hold a valid Canadian visa.

Citizens of Canada who have dual citizenship: 

A Canadian citizen who is a citizen of other countries that have been mentioned under the visa-free list will not have to apply for an ETA as they can enter Canada with just a valid Canada passport. Those people who are already permanent residents of Canada might not need an ETA as they have their permanent residency cards issued to them. And if they wish to draw out from the permanent residency, they will have to inform the officials first and then go about with it. This will make them eligible for an ETA. These people can enter Canada by sea or even through the land. 


Transit is allowed in Canada for all of the foreigners and they need to carry a transit visa along with the ETA. This visa is required until and unless the citizen matches the following condition


1. If the citizens are from visa-exempt countries for Canada then they need not apply for a visa. They will only need to have an ETA which will allow them to transit for free regardless of their final destination. Also, this e=ETA is only necessary if they arrive via air. This ETA will, however, will not be required for Americans who will be transiting through Canada.

2. Those Brazilians who do not hold a transit visa can only transit through Canada if they have the ETA document issued for themselves.

3. There are two programs such as the transit without visa program and the china transit program which allows the nationals of some countries who need a visa to transit through Canada to the US without a transit visa and an ETA. However, for this, there are some conditions so that they become eligible. These conditions can be given as follows:

  • They must hold a valid US visa
  • Must be traveling on an approved airline
  • Those who travel through Canada international airport which includes the Vancouver international airport and the Calgary International Airport. 

While coming from the US:

These foreigners must also remain in the transit area when they arrive from the US. They must also have completed the US immigration and customs clearance. 

While going to the US:

The passenger must have a valid visa which is to the US. However, if the passenger has an expired US visa in possession then they can transit through Canada provided they have not been removed or are under a deportation order.

Nationals of the following countries can avail of the TWOV benefit:

Indonesia Philippines
Taiwan Thailand

Taiwan: only those citizens whose passport will not have a personal identification number.

For getting the benefit of CTP, the foreigner must either be a citizen of china or must have a Chinese passport issued to them.

Types of temporary residents living in Canada:

As far as the temporary residents in Canada are concerned there are four types of people. They can be listed as below:

  • Temporary visitors
  • Students
  • Temporary foreign workers
  • Temporary resident permit holders.

These temporary residents are considered to be legal immigrants who are allowed to stay in Canada for a temporary period. Apart from those who are nationals of Canada or have an ETA or have a temporary resident visa others must have a permit being shown if they need an entry into Canada. This permit can be applied before they arrive or even after they arrive or even on arrival. However, an ETA or a temporary resident visa becomes necessary if they wish to re-enter the country.

You can also check the other types of visas available to go to Canada by checking the types of Canada visas which will give you a detailed view of the visas and its conditions.


Q. Will a Brazilian need to take an ETA if he or she is going to Canada?

Only those Brazilian citizens who hold a US non-immigrant visa will have to take an ETA. Or else they need not take one. They might also have to take a valid Canadian visa along with them if they want an entry permitted.

Q. Is it possible that the six months of stay can be rescued by the officials?

According to the visa policy of Canada, a Canadian border service officer can decide whether a person gets to stay for six months or not. This decision will be entirely based on the purpose of the visit that the foreigner tells them about.

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