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.

Citizens of

Andorra Cyprus Israel Namibia San Marino
Antigua and Barbuda Denmark Italy Netherlands Singapore
Australia Estonia Japan New Zealand Slovakia
Austria Finland Korea Norway Solomon Islands
Bahamas France Latvia Papua New Guinea Spain
Barbados Germany Lithuania Poland Swaziland
Belgium Greece Liechtenstein Portugal Sweden
Botswana Hungary Luxembourg St. Kitts and Nevis Slovenia
Brunei Iceland Malta St. Lucia Switzerland
Croatia Ireland Monaco St. Vincent Taiwan*

Or:

*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:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp

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

Step 3: Pay the Fee

Step 4: Submit Your Application

By Mail:

Canadian Consulate General
Immigration Regional Program Centre
1 HSBC Center, Suite 3000
Buffalo, New York 14203-2884

Mailing instructions for Buffalo are found here:

In Person:

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 Officeor,

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.

Buffalo: www.canadainternational.gc.ca/buffalo/
Fax: 716-858-9591
Case Specific Enquiry: https://dmp-portal.cic.gc.ca/cicemail/intro-eng.aspx?mission=buffalo
General Enquiry Email: buffalo-im-enquiry@international.gc.ca
NYC: www.canadainternational.gc.ca/new_york/
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: NewYork-im-enquiry@international.gc.ca

Re-Entry into the United States
Upon return into the United States, you must present the following documents at the border crossing:

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.