Travel to Canada
Do I need a Tourist Visa (“Temporary Resident Visa”) to enter Canada? If you meet one of the requirements below, you do not need to apply for a visa to visit Canada.
|Antigua and Barbuda
||Papua New Guinea
||St. Kitts and Nevis
- Persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence;
- British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom;
- Citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
- Persons holding a British National (Overseas) Passport issued by the Government of the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
- Persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China;
- Persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.
- Persons holding ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number.*
*Note: this list is subject to change. Check this website for an up-to-date list: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp#exemptions
If your country is not on the list above, then you must apply for a visitor’s visa (called a “Temporary Resident Visa”) for Canada. Find a complete list of countries needing a visa to enter Canada.
So I need to apply for a tourist visa to Canada. How do I do that?
Instructions on how to apply are below. Get the complete application packet (PDF).
Step 1: Complete the forms found here:
NOTE: Write your name exactly as it appears on your passport. If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”.
Step 2: Gather all of the necessary documents
- A valid passport
(yes, the original)
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future (meaning it will not expire within the next 6 months).
- Be sure your original I-94 card is included.
- Two recent passport photos
- Read the information on page 30 of the instructional booklet for specifications
- A copy of your financial documents: Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada
- This amount may vary depending upon the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
- You may submit either a bank statement (online print-out with bank logo is OK) or your funding letter.
- It is recommended to show least $500 for single-entry and $1000 for multiple-entry visa.
- Proof that you are currently a student.
- Photocopy of your most recent I-20 with a current travel signature (check the bottom of page 3. It must be signed within the last 12 months to be current) or DS-2019.
- Pre-paid self-addressed envelope, 9" x 12" (no smaller) USPS Express Mail or USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation envelopes so they can return your original immigration documents and new Canadian visa to you! They cannot use FedEx, UPS, or DHL to return your documents.
- Other supporting documents which will satisfy the Canadian immigration officer that you are entering Canada for a temporary purpose (e.g. letter of invitation from a relative or a friend in Canada, bank statements, your travel itinerary, return ticket, etc.) If the purpose of your trip to Canada is to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate in Canada, then supply the appointment/interview confirmation letter.
Step 3: Pay the Fee
- Single entry costs $75 or Multiple Entry costs $150. (See FAQ section below regarding the difference between these two types of visas).
- Certified check (from your bank) or money order (from the customer service desk at a grocery store or from the U.S. Post Office). The Canadian Consulate does not accept personal checks, credit cards payments or cash (unless applying in person).
- The money order or certified check must be payable to “Consulate General of Canada”.
- Note: Your fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
- Put the bar-code page on top, then include all forms, necessary documents, and fee payment. See consulate website for the best information.
Submit your application either via mail or in person at a Canadian Consulate. The closest Canadian Consulates to UVM are in New York City and Buffalo, NY (near Niagara Falls). There are others in Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle and Washington DC.
Canadian Consulate General
Immigration Regional Program Centre
1 HSBC Center, Suite 3000
Buffalo, New York 14203-2884
- Send your application via Express Mail or Priority Mail. Keep in mind that you are sending your original passport!
- Be sure to include a pre-paid envelope (US Postal Service only – USPS express mail or priority mail is OK).
- Note: they cannot return your documents through courier mail services (FedEx, DHL, nor UPS). Documents are returned through the United States Postal Service only.
- Be sure to submit ALL required documents. Incomplete applications will be refused.
Mailing instructions for Buffalo are found here:
You may have same-day visa issuance unless you submit an incomplete application or you are from a country which requires a mandatory 10-day waiting period. (See FAQ below)
New York, NY: 8:00am – 10:30am Monday through Friday Drop Box Service (except US and Canadian holidays)
You can pick up your visa on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1pm – 2:30pm. If you wish to have someone else pick up your visa for you, you must complete a “Release Form”
The offices of the Canadian Consulate General are located on the Concourse Level of 1251 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), at West 50th Street in Rockefeller Center, Midtown Manhattan.
How to submit an application at the New York City Office: or,
Buffalo NY: 8:00am – 10:00am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
(except US and Canadian holidays. Not open Wednesdays.)
The Canadian Consulate in Buffalo does take cash but only the exact amount of the fee. The consulate is located on the 30th floor of HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo at Seneca and Main. It is the tallest building in the city with easy access from the interstate system (I-190), crosstown expressways and the Peace Bridge. There is parking available in the building and at adjacent lots.
How to submit an application to the Buffalo NY office:
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long will it take to get my visa?
If you apply by mail, it will take about 6 weeks (30 days for processing plus mailing time). If you go in person, you might receive your visa the same day.
Note: there is a mandatory waiting period of 10 business days for citizens of certain countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The same waiting period also applies to holders of travel documents issued by the Palestinian Authority.
What is the difference between a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa?
Single Entry Temporary Resident Visa US $75
The single entry visitor visa allows you to enter Canada from one (single) chosen country. A single entry visa allows you to travel between the United States and Canada as many times as you would like for the duration of the visa. This means that the single entry visa may be used for repeated entries into Canada from the U.S. until the Canadian visa stamp expires.
Multiple Entry Temporary Resident Visa US $150
The multiple entry visitor visa allows you to enter Canada from any country an unlimited number of times during the validity dates of the visa. This visa is often used by individuals traveling to their home countries via the Montreal airport. If applying for a multiple entry visa, you must also provide a detailed explanation of why it is required.
Note: The choice of visitor visa is entirely yours. We have heard that students applying for the Multiple-Entry get a visa for a longer time.
My U.S. visa stamp has expired. Can I still travel to Canada?
YES!! Most international students can re-enter the United States from Canada if you visit Canada for less than 30 days. This is called “Automatic Revalidation”. However, citizens of Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan are not eligible for this. These students will need to apply for a new visa stamp at a United States consulate or embassy if their visa stamp will be expired upon re-entry to the US. More information about Automatic Revalidation is found here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1299.html
FAQs from Citizenship and Immigration Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/index.asp
I have more questions. How do I contact the Canadian immigration service regarding my application?
Contacting them via email or fax is best. They don’t accept phone calls.
Case Specific Enquiry: https://dmp-portal.cic.gc.ca/cicemail/intro-eng.aspx?mission=buffalo
General Enquiry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (212) 596-1791 or (212) 596-1725
Case Specific Enquiry: https://dmp-portal.cic.gc.ca/cicemail/intro-eng.aspx?mission=new york
General Enquiry Email: NewYorkemail@example.com
Re-Entry into the United States
Upon return into the United States, you must present the following documents at the border crossing:
- Your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel signature from OIE. (Don’t forget: your I-20 must be signed every 12 months!)
- A valid passport-- meaning it does not expire within the next 6 months.
- If you are F-1 and on OPT, then you must show your EAD card and proof of employment.
NOTE: If you have an expired visa stamp, you are allowed to re-enter the United States from Canada if you have been visiting Canada for less than 30 days.
Always follow directions and answer all questions from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. When you pull up to the booth, turn off your car radio and take off your sunglasses if applicable.
If you have any problems or concerns about re-entry into the United States, please contact the Office of International Education as soon as possible.
- During regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm, call (802) 656-4296.
- If it is after hours, please call UVM Police Services at (802) 656-3473. They will contact an OIE staff member for you.