Applying Canada visitor visa from USA

By HorizonNerd - February 26, 2018

Canada visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa issued for short term stay in Canada. On visitor visa, you are allowed to stay for six months from the day of entry.

As per CIC, there are 2 types of visitor visas issued: Single and Multiple entries, however, there is no option to select these options in form and I am not sure in which case single entry visas are issued. 

Here are the steps for applying for the visa 
  • Copy of Passport and Visa (Original as well but later)
  • Pay stubs - 3 Months
  • Bank statement - 3 months
  • Marriage certificate( if required)
  • Booking details( flight and hotel)
There are 2 ways one can apply, starting from here

Apply On paper:- 

Application bundle can be downloaded from here after selecting the country of residence and type of visa. IMM5645E, IMM5257E, etc. are forms u will get from it.

Forms are editable PDF, duly fill it and click the validate button on top of the page to validate the form. The form will generate the bar-code after successful validation. 

An application must be validated to generate a bar-code also make sure it comes properly in a printout. 
Family information form for all family members( including US citizen children). 
Statutory declaration of the common-law union are the 2 other forms required

Fee payment in $CAN can be done from the following link

After payment print, the receipt and put it on top of the application while posting along with the checklist and 2 photos of all applicants.

Send the application to the following address for west coast applicants. 

Visa Application Centre – Los Angeles
2120 E Grand Avenue Suite 108A
El Segundo, CA, 90245, U.S.A.

After submission within 1-2 days, you get an email to submit the original passport(it says incomplete package). Along with passport user is asked to pay the VAC fee(VAC Service charge). 

VAC service charges can’t be paid online. Cashier’s check, demand draft or money order favoring “CSRA Consular Services Inc”. Personal checks are not accepted. VAC Service charge is in $CAN per applicant. 

So now 2 packages would be dispatched DD for VAC Service charge will go to lockbox address (for west coast applicants) 

P.O. Box 841908 (CSRA Consular Services Inc)
Dallas, TX 75284-9557

Copy of DD along with passport and return mailing label will go to Visa Application Centre – Los Angeles address mentioned above. Return mailing labels can be purchased from USPS or UPS. 

For applying online:- 

Check your eligibility for online application( Nationality, DOB, country of residence, etc.
At the end of the questionnaire, you will be provided with a reference code. Make a good note of it. 

Even after being eligible for an online application, we could not use it because for login it requires a GC key that can be generated from login accounts of certain banks( like. Scotiabank, etc.) which we don't have. So, in the end, we choose to pass the online application and downloaded the application bundle.

I am not sure about the process after login as we could not proceed with that. In case you are looking for the online process this post is not for you.

Some pointers:- 

  • We used USPS tracking numbers to track both onward and return mails. For any queries call VAC customer care number
Working Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone Number: (646) 741- 0130
Email Address:
  • We applied from west coast location, I am sure but the process remains the same from the east coast with the following addresses of VAC and Lockbox but it's always good to validate.
Visa Application Centre – New York
290 Madison Ave,2nd fl.
(41st Street & 40th Street)
New York, NY 10017
  • Mail your VAC payments for Visa Application Centre in New York to:
P.O. Box 419557 (CSRA Consular Services Inc)
Boston, MA 02241-9557
  • Biometrics is waved off for the Indian passport holders if it is not the case for you pl check and validate from the CIC website.
  • As per my experience visa process is pretty straightforward and fast, but it may differ case to case so it’s better to start the visa process 3 months in advance from the date of travel.
  • The maximum validity of multiple-entry visas is 10 years or the validity of the passport(main applicant’s passport) whichever is earlier.
  • Visa will start from the date of travel you will mention in form.
Statistics :- 

Time taken to figure out how to apply - 2 Weekends
Time taken to fill and post-application package - 1 Week
The initial response from VAC to submit passports - 2 Days
End to end processing time after submitting passports. - 3 Weeks

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