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Advice for Visitors to Canada

Chinese Visiting Canada

Residents of China wishing to visit Canada must obtain the proper visa in order to enter the country. Since China is home to some 1.4 billion people, there are several locations available where one can obtain information and assistance in completing and submitting their visa application. Along with the main Canadian Embassy in Beijing, China has Canadian consulate offices in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is important that Chinese visiting Canada submit their applications to the proper office to avoid delays in processing.

Temporary Resident Visas
Chinese Visiting Canada Individuals from China coming to Canada on a temporary basis are required to obtain a temporary resident visa. This includes persons:

  • Visiting family or friends
  • Studying at a Canadian institution for less than six months
  • On a short business trip

Note: through the China Transit Program, persons travelling through Canada to or from the US can do so without the need of temporary Canadian visa (some conditions apply).

It's important to know that a temporary resident visa does not allow visitors to obtain employment within Canada. If the purpose of the visit is work-related, a separate work permit will be required. Also, as of December 31st, 2018, a biometrics profile (photo and fingerprints) will be part of the visa application process for all Chinese citizens traveling to Canada.

Chinese Visiting Canada for School
Chinese students wishing to come to Canada to pursue studies that will require them to stay for more than six months in the country must apply for a study permit. In some cases, a medical examination may also be required. Study permit applications and all essential supporting documents, including fees, can be submitted to Canadian Embassy or consulate offices in China for processing (some restrictions may apply - see below). All study permit applications should be submitted at least three months prior to the start date of the school term. This will help to ensure that the candidate does not miss any important dates in the event the application presents problems during processing.

Where to Go to Apply for a Visa
Some visa application offices have restrictions, and certain applications can only be submitted at specific locations:

Beijing
Chinese visiting Canada for any reason may submit their applications to the Canadian Embassy located in Beijing. This particular office services individuals from the People’s Republic of China, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mongolia, as well as people hailing from other provinces and territories that were legally admitted to China, and need visas to travel to Canada.

Hong Kong
The Canadian Consulate General located in Hong Kong processes all types of visa applications, and services those who reside in The People’s Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macao. Applicants who use the services at the Hong Kong office may be required to attend an interview.

Shanghai
The Canadian Consulate General office in Shanghai will only accept certain types of applications, including those for temporary resident visas, work permits, and travel documents. It does not accept applications for study permits. The Shanghai office services the region of Shanghai, as well as the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang. Only in-person applications are accepted at this location. All applications submitted by mail must be directed to the Beijing or Hong Kong office.

Working Arrangement Holiday
The Canadian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hong Kong, effective March 2010, allowing qualified individuals aged 18 to 30 from Hong Kong and Canada to travel to each other’s countries to work and visit for the duration of one year. Eligibility and application information ocan be found on the Hong Kong government website.

Super Visa Insurance
Chinese Visiting Relatives in Canada
As of December 1, 2011, parents and grandparents from China can visit their relatives in Canada using the Super Visa. This visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for up to two years. Visitors can make multiple trips during this period without applying for a new entry visa each time. For more information, see the Super Visa.