Visa & Entry Formalities
It is the responsibility of the registrant to ensure that they have the documents to enter into Canada. It may take several months to obtain these documents so please allow yourself sufficient time. You can obtain your Letter of Invitation via the online registration process. Note that Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation became mandatory in 2016. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Read about the changes and how they may affect you. Information for international students and those travelling from the United States on F-1 visas can be found through: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel; information on revalidation of US re-entry visas can be found through: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/automatic-revalidation.html.
Submission of Visa Applications:
Delegates participating in events in Canada should consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for information and a complete list of countries whose citizens require a visa to enter Canada. Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that delegates visit the website of the visa office responsible for processing their visa applications. Information is available on the website on how to submit a visa application and the documentation required.
This system allows clients to submit applications online.
Delegates who need a visa but require their passport for other travel purposes are strongly encouraged to submit their visa applications on-line (e-Apps). Delegates who choose to apply on-line will not have to submit their passport until a decision has been taken on their applications. If required, the visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passports to finalize the visa process.
Visa Application Centres (VACs):
VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants.
VACs provide a number of services including helping applicants fill out forms, answering questions and ensuring that applications are complete, thereby reducing unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications.
Applicants who are required to provide biometrics information as part of the visa application process can do so at a VAC. Additional information on the biometrics requirements is available at the CIC website.
VACs send applications to Visa Offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner. VACs do not process visa applications and play no role in the decision-making process
Visa Applications Processing Times:
Processing time for visa applications vary depending on the office and the time of the year. Participants are encouraged to apply early for their visas, and to submit complete applications including all supporting documents.
Please visit the CIC website for information on the time it takes to process visa applications at the various visa offices.