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Advice for Visitors to Canada

Russians Visiting Canada

Many people come to Canada each year to visit, study or work. Some of them have had to obtain a temporary resident visa in order to enter the country, depending from where they are coming from. If you are a Russian visiting Canada, you will need a visa, regardless of the purpose of your visit or the length of your stay. Individuals from the following countries (all part of the former Soviet Union) require a visa to enter Canada: Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Tajikstan.

Russians visiting Canada may apply for a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa, depending on their particular situation. Also, a transit visa may be obtained for those who must travel through Canada on their way to another destination. An understanding of the application process and knowledge of which supporting documents are required will help facilitate the task.

Visa Entry into Canada
Russians Visiting CanadaA visa officer determines whether or not an applicant meets the requirements for the issuance of a visa. It is also possible that, even with a visa, a Russian visiting Canada may not be able to enter the country as the decision rests solely on the officer at the port of entry.

A visitor must assure the visa officer that he or she has a valid reason for the trip and that they will be returning home after their stay. In certain cases, the applicant may be required to undergo a medical exam to show proof he or she is in good health before the visa officer’s final decision is reached.

The Visa Application Process
The following information is for Russians visiting Canada, specifically those who are in the country to study and who will not be working during that time. The application form can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website (a Russian-translated version can be downloaded). Here are some things to remember:

  • A visa application must be completed for each person over 18 years of age traveling to Canada.
  • A family information form must also be completed for every person over 18 years of age who travels to Canada.
  • A valid international passport is required.
  • The application fee, which cannot be refunded, must be paid regardless of whether or not the applicant’s request for a visa is accepted.
  • ID photos must be included with a visa application.
  • All supporting documents (see list below) must accompany a visa application.
  • Biometrics (photo and fingerprints) are required of all Russians who apply.
  • A separate study permit or work permit is necessary for those either pursuing studies or contracted to work in Canada temporarily. Study permits are typically valid for the entire term of the study program, plus an added 90 days. Work permits can be valid for up to 4 years (certain terms and conditions apply).

Supporting Documents for Visa Application
In accordance with the type of visit planned (i.e. vacation, business, or studies), various documents need to be included with a visa application form. Should the Canadian Consulate General of the Russian Federation decide that further documentation is necessary to assess your application, they will contact you.

For instance, if you are a Russian visiting Canada simply as a tourist, or visiting friends and/or family, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • An invitation letter from your host living in Canada
  • Proof of your host’s status in Canada
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to pay for your travels
  • A copy of your itinerary, including any hotel reservations.

Super Visa Insurance
Russians Visiting Relatives in Canada
As of December 1, 2011, parents and grandparents from Russia 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.