5 Tips on your Temporary Resident Visa Application

Temporary Resident Visa Application

5 Tips on your Temporary Resident Visa Application

Are you from a country that requires a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada?

Read on! This article aims to offer some advice on how to avoid a refusal on your visa application.

The government of Canada insists “you do not need to hire a representative” to assist you with your application. While this is true, it can be misleading.  Immigration law is not always straightforward.  Applications are time consuming.  Many people find that the rules and regulations change so quickly that it is hard to keep up.  So while hiring a representative is optional, it is certainly helpful in many ways.  For those who decide to proceed on their own (or for those simply interested in this topic), we hope these tips help you with your Temporary Resident Visa application.

1.  Gather the right documents (and more!)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a document checklist with each Temporary Resident Visa Application.  Let’s stress something:  these are not optional!  You need to provide more evidence to support your application than simply the items listed on this document checklist.  It is very important to understand that the responsibility to prove that you are a visitor to Canada is on you!  You have to show this to the visa officer!  The checklist documents will not do this on their own.

2.  Understand what the purpose of the visa is

It is well known that certain countries require visas and certain countries require only an eTA.  But why?  The easiest way to explain this is that IRCC determines that individuals travelling from certain countries may be less inclined to leave Canada.  This is important for your Temporary Resident Visa Application because in order to be successful, you must prove to the visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized time in Canada.

The second test that the visa officer reviews your application for is evidence that you can support yourself financially without working in Canada unauthorized or accessing social assistance services.  There is a financial test and we have another blog post about this so check it out!

Let’s go back to Tip # 1.  Look at the document checklist and ask yourself, “Do these documents alone show that I can a) financially support myself and my family members travelling with me for my full trip, including return flights, emergency medical insurance, food and housing?  And b) does my application show that I have ties to my home country and that my stay in Canada is truly temporary?”  They don’t!  So it is incredibly important that you prepare additional documentation to help your case.  The onus is on you!

3.  Include an itinerary for your Temporary Resident Visa Application

Part of the visa officer’s examination of your documents includes reviewing the purpose of your trip. This is where they assess the reasons for your trip. They will determine if there is enough evidence to prove you are a true visitor.  It is so important that you include the details of your trip!  This includes an explanation letter that discusses what cities you will be visiting, which attractions in these cities you want to see, any friends that may already be travelling in the country, potential schools you want to visit if you are researching opportunities in Canada to study at later, tickets for games, shows, trains–any tourist activities that you have pre-booked can help show this.  If you have clear plans, the visa officer if more likely to believe that this in fact a vacation and your will be returning home after your visit in Canada.

4.  Ensure your Letter of Explanation is detailed

Wait?  What’s a letter of explanation you ask?  That’s not on the required document checklist!  But it is an optional document that all applicants should include with their temporary resident visa application.  This document allows you a chance to explain your situation to the visa officer.  Without it, your Temporary Resident Visa Application is nothing more than a series of government forms.  You can discuss your previous travel (or reasons you’ve never travelled outside of your home country before), your current job (that you will returning to after your trip), your family in your home country, your hobbies at home (great to include if you are a member of any teams, churches, groups, etc.  Even better if you have photos!), why you’ve decided to travel to Canada, and more.  A little effort to complete this document goes a long way! 

5.  Provide evidence to support your claims

Telling the visa officer you have a job at home or that you have a friend in Canada that is going to support you while you are visiting them isn’t enough.  You need to provide proof and this proof needs to be detailed.

For example, if you have a job, ask your employer for a letter to confirm your vacation.  Be sure to include how long you’ve worked in that position for, what your salary is, what dates your vacation is approved for, your job title and your supervisor’s contact information in case the visa officer needs to reach your employer.  These letters must be on company letterhead.

Temporary Resident Visa Applications can be confusing.  This is especially true if this is your first time submitting one.  If English and/or French is not your first language, this can add even more difficulty.  With all immigration applications, there is no guarantee that your application will be approved, but if you use these 5 tips, it will give your application more credibility and a better chance at approval.

This post does not constitute legal advice.  You should consult with an immigration consultant (ICCRC) or lawyer if you wish to have your individual situation assessed.  Norteway Consulting Canada is a licensed immigration consultancy firm.  Our immigration consultant is licensed with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) to provide immigration advice.

Need help with your file?  Email us at info@norteway.com.  We would be happy to help!


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