Updated for 2019
To come to Canada you need either a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), unless you are an American citizen or a French citizen who resides on St. Pierre or Miquelon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
In Canada, a routine tourism or business visa is called a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). If you have been issued a TRV, you will normally be allowed to stay in Canada for 6 months, as long as you successfully enter the country. TRVs are now often issued as "Multiple Entry" meaning that you can return to Canada after your first visit of less than 6 months, as long as the visa is valid.
This page will tell you
- Who Needs a TRV
- Who Needs an ETA
- Online or Paper?
- Where to Find the IMM 5257 TRV Application
- What is the difference between a TRV and a "Super Visa"
- How to Complete the Application
- Where to Submit the Application
- The Results of Submitting the Application
Who Needs a Temporary Resident Visa?
If you are from one of the below countries, you normally need a temporary resident visa to come to Canada to travel, do business, or visit family or friends.
|Azerbaijan||Eritrea||Liberia||Russia||United Arab Emirates|
|Belarus||Fiji||Macao||Sao Tome e Principe||Uzbekistan|
|Bosnia Herzegovina||Grenada||Maldives||Sierra Leone||Zambia|
|Burkina Faso||Guinea||Marshall Islands||South Africa|
|Burma (Myanmar)||Guinea-Bissau||Mauritania||Sri Lanka|
|Burundi||Guyana||Micronesia||St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Central African Republic||Indonesia||Mozambique||Swaziland|
|Djibouti||North Korea||Palau||Trinidad and Tobago|
Who Needs an ETA?
If you are not a national of any of the above countries but you are also not a US citizen or a qualifying French citizen (a resident of St. Pierre et Miquelon), you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Some restrictions apply based upon your citizenship and type of passport:
|Andorra||Chile||Greece||Liechtenstein||Papua New Guinea||Solomon Islands|
|Australia||Croatia||Hong Kong||Lithuania||Poland||South Korea|
|Brazil*||Finland||Italy||Netherlands||Singapore||United Kingdom, Channel Islands and BOTCs|
|Brunei||France (excluding St. Pierre et Miquelon)||Japan||New Zealand||Slovakia||United States Green Card holders|
|Bulgaria*||Germany||Latvia||Norway||Slovenia||Vatican City (Holy See)|
*Citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania must either have a valid visa to the United States or have had a Canadian visa within the last 10 years to use the ETA. Citizens of Israel must have "national" passports to use the ETA. Citizens of Taiwan must have passports with their National Identification Number to use the ETA.
Online or Paper?
All ETA applications are done online however, if you are applying for a TRV, it depends where you are living and what passport you have as to whether or not you can use the online visa application service. However, now most people can apply online, it's only a select group who cannot do so. Click on the link to determine whether or not you are eligible.
If you are eligible to apply online, follow the instructions. You can read below for details on the information you need to provide, so keep this guide open.
If you cannot apply online, please keep reading this article for instructions about paper applications.
Where to Find the IMM 5257
If you are not using a paid representative for your application, the IMM 5257 form can be downloaded from Immigration and Immigration Canada (IRCC formerly CIC) along with the other forms you must submit:
- the IMM 5645 Family Information Form,
- the Schedule 1 for the IMM 5257,
- the IMM 5409 Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (if applicable), and
- the IMM 5484 Document Checklist.
- You can also access the photo specifications when you download these forms.
If you are using a paid representative, such as Immigroup, you should be provided with the forms by your representative. Additional forms may be required depending upon your nationality and where you live.
What is the difference between a TRV and a Super Visa?
A temporary resident visa (TRV) is the regular tourist or business travel visa issued to successful applicants from any country in the above list. A "Super Visa" is a special, longer-term visa that is issued solely to allow Permanent Residents and naturalized Canadian citizens to have their parents or grandparents visit them in Canada for extended periods of time. It is an alternative to the family sponsorship program, which is currently on hold. The requirements for the two different visas are significantly different. Please see our visa page or book a consultation to learn more.
How to Complete the IMM 5257
If you have a current version of an internet browser your plugin is up to date, you can complete the PDF in your browser and then print it off. If not, you should "save a copy" to your computer or download it to your computer. Once you have done that, you can complete the form on your computer, or you can print off the form and complete it by hand.
If you have dealt with IRCC before and you have a client ID, you can enter it on the form. You must also pick which language you want Citizenship and Immigration Canada to respond to you in. Canada is a bilingual country and the federal government must provide service in either English or French.
IRCC needs to confirm your identity to ensure you are admissible to Canada, so in this section record your vital information, such as your full name and your citizenship. The residence questions are used to help establish your admissibility and also to determine if you have lived in Canada within the past. You must provide your marital information regardless of whether or not your spouse - if you have one - is accompanying you. If your spouse or children are accompanying you, they will have to complete separate IMM 5257 forms.
You must also provide your native language and your passport information.
In case there are issues with your application, IRCC will need to get in touch with you, so you must provide current contact information. The information you provide in this section will be the only information IRCC uses in any correspondence they send to you.
Details of Visit to Canada
IRCC needs to know what you plan on doing in Canada to ensure that you are using the correct application form. If you are intending on working in Canada, you should get a work permit instead. If you are intending on studying in Canada for longer than 6 months, you will need a study permit.
Education and Employment
Providing education information helps IRCC establish who you are. Providing employment information helps IRCC establish that you will be returning home to your country before your visa expires.
People who wish to come to Canada re subject to certain standards: Canada will not accept those with criminal histories, with certain medical conditions, or those who have attempted to immigrate to Canada illegally. Providing your background information lets Citizenship and Immigration Canada confirm that you are a law-abiding person, that you are healthy and that you have not previously tried to sneak into Canada or stay in Canada past your permit's validity.
Please note that providing false information on this form could prevent you from being able to visit, work or study in Canada in the future.
If you are bringing family members with you, they must complete their own forms.
Where to Submit Your Application
Remember you must submit all required documentation in addition to the complete IMM 5257 Form.
If you are eligible to submit online, it's easy.
Otherwise you will have to submit your application by mail or courier to a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Immigroup endeavours to keep our VAC directory up-to-date.
Results of Submitting a TRV Application
Your visa application will either be accepted or denied.
If it is denied, you should be provided with reasons as to why.
If it is accepted, you will receive a visa and you will be able to travel to Canada. Please remember that a visa is not permission to enter Canada. Actual permission to enter Canada is granted by the CBSA officer at the port of entry.
Good luck with your journey!
How to Complete the an IMM 5257 Form