Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens
Visa requirements for Canadian citizens are the stipulated rules and conditions that Canadian citizens need to meet prior to entering any foreign country. Canadian nationals who are holders of valid passports have the opportunity to visit nearly 200 destinations without any travel authorization document.
Canada, along with Australia, is in the top 10 territories that have the most freedom when traveling abroad. Numerous destinations offer either visa exemption or an easy electronic visa system for Canadian nationals.
Canadian citizens are allowed to stay in foreign countries for various amounts of time. The length of the permitted stay differs depending on the selected destination. It varies anywhere from 7 days to even 5 years.
Since the Canadian passport is effective, it makes Canadians eligible for different types of visas. Travelers from Canada can apply for regular visas obtained at an Embassy, electronic visas available online, and Visas on Arrival.
All of these serve leisure, recreational, professional, or transit purposes. Moreover, all visa types can be divided into short-term or long-term permits. The specific travel authorization document you should choose depends on your current travel needs.
Electronic visa for Canadian passport holders
An electronic visa for Canadian passport holders is a short-term travel authorization document that is obtainable entirely online.
It is often issued for all recreational, work, or transit purposes. e-Visas are the most suitable for going on vacation, sightseeing, exploring, going on a short business trip, or simply transiting through a selected country to reach another final destination.
List of countries issuing electronic visas for Canadian citizens
- Cape Verde
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
More than forty territories came forward with an electronic visa system that includes any Canadian citizen with a valid passport. Find the list of the specified destinations above and check if the place you want to travel to has an e-Visa option.
The length of the permitted stay for Canadian e-Visa holders varies according to which destination has been selected. It can be two weeks, one month, three months, half a year, or even 5 years (Guinea). However, the most common length is 30 days.
The approved e-Visa can be used for leisure, work, and transit purposes. This means that Canadian nationals can engage in leisure-related activities, such as going on vacation, visiting friends and family, or exploring any selected country.
Moreover, all Canadian citizens traveling with an e-Visa can handle any professional matters they have in a foreign country. e-Visas allow you to attend a business meeting, conference, seminar, or negotiate contracts and future cooperations.
Using the electronic visa system is also perfectly suitable for transit trips. If the destination you're visiting requires a stop-over in a foreign territory that uses e-Visas, you can take advantage of it and transit in an effortless way!
Visa on Arrival
A Visa on Arrival is a travel permit obtainable upon entering a selected foreign country. Handling this type of travel authorization document is often connected with waiting in long lines at the airport, filling application forms, stress, and uncertainty if a visa is even going to be issued. That is why it's always best to travel prepared and obtain an e-Visa whenever possible.
List of countries issuing Visas on Arrival for Canadians
- Burkina Faso
- Marshall Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
Over 40 territories offer a Visa on Arrival option for Canadian passport holders to use. Many of them also provide an eVisa option that may be obtained prior to Arrival. The destinations that have introduced a Visa on Arrival for Canadians are often more exotic destinations, such as Madagascar or the Maledives.
All Canadian citizens traveling with a valid passport can get their Visas on Arrival in a few steps:
- As soon as your plane lands or as soon as you cross the border in any other way, reach the closest border entry point.
- Ask for a Visa on Arrival application form and fill it out with correct information.
- Cover the visa fees (if necessary) and wait until your application is processed.
Visas obtained upon Arrival allow various lengths of stay depending on the selected country. It can be a few days or a few months. Check how long you will be able to stay in the destination you've chosen before visiting. Moreover, this type of visa can be issued in the form of a single or multiple-entry permit. Each country stipulates its own requirements and visa characteristics.
An Embassy visa for Canadian citizens is a document that allows its holders to travel abroad. Embassy visas are obtained at an Embassy or Consulate of the selected destination.
Embassy visas are considered the most difficult travel authorization documents to get and involve a more complicated application process than electronic visas.
List of countries that issue Embassy visas for Canadians
- Aland Islands
- American Samoa
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- The central African Republic
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Cook Islands
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- Isle of Man
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- North Korea
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Helena
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sierra Leone
- Sint Maarten
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
As of for now, more than seventy destinations set a mandatory rule of having an Embassy visa for Canadian citizens. These are mostly the lesser-known places, such as Wallis and Futuna, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Tokelau, Eritrea, Artsakh, or Mayotte. This type of visa needs to be obtained at an Embassy in person and usually requires applicants to prepare extensive paperwork to validate the purpose of their stay.
All Canadian citizens that wish to visit any of the places that do require an Embassy visa need to prepare for the application process a few weeks before the planned departure date.
First, check the current operative requirements to meet and determine which documents you need to gather. Next, fill the visa application form, attach the collected documents, and with complete paperwork, submit your application to an Embassy. Sometimes, foreign governments require applicants to go through visa interviews or cover a visa fee. The last step is simply waiting for approval, which in the case of Embassy visas, may take even a few weeks.
Embassy visas can also serve as long-term travel permits, which are most often used for more extended stays related to work, studying, or joining your significant other abroad.
Canadian passport holders can visit over a hundred places visa-free. Numerous destinations have imposed a visa waiver towards Canadians, making traveling and crossing the border much more accessible. Remember that despite the visa waiver, Canadian citizens still need either a valid passport or ID to travel without any issues.
So, how does traveling from Canada to the visa-exempt places look like? Well, the process could not be easier!
In this case, Canadian citizens do not need a visa. Therefore, no visits to an Embassy or Consulate are necessary. The only requirement is a valid travel document in the form of a passport or non-expired Canadian ID. So get your travel document ready and book your ticket to one of the visa-exempt destinations!
Moreover, traveling visa-free usually enables Canadian citizens to engage in leisure, transit, or even professional activities. As in the case of short-term stay visas on Arrival, e-Visas, or Embassy issued travel permits; the visa-free destinations allow Canadians to do many different things.
Canadian passport holders will most likely not be eligible to work or study for a more extended period of time when traveling only with a valid passport. However, visa exemptions expand Canadians' traveling freedom even further!