Five tips for applying for a visitor visa for Canada


There are various types of temporary resident visas (TRV) for Canada, but the most common type of TRV is a visitor visa. Canada welcomed 22.1 million visitors in 2019 alone! People visit Canada for various reasons. Many visit for tourism or to meet family or friends.

An overwhelming majority of business clients who contact me tend to visit not only for tourism, but also to take advantage of their trips to Canada (even if for tourism) in order to explore business relationships and opportunities.

One of the things that I love about Canada is that it has a lot to offer, not only for a friendly and easy vacation, but also for businessmen and businesswomen who wish to develop relationships in order to invest in Canada and grow their net worth. It is also a great destination for those who wish to enhance their businesses back home by purchasing high-quality Canadian goods, equipment or by knowledge acquisition. With the innovative and global-minded businesses in Ghana in this day and age, it is no wonder that Ghanaian businesses wish to enhance their operations from absorbing inputs from countries such as Canada. Concurrently, Canada is looking for successful business persons, such as those who come from Ghana, to use their inputs in the Ghanaian economy. It is a win-win situation for individuals from both countries. Therefore, I thought to myself, why not write an article with some tips and tricks for Ghanaian business persons (and tourists) who wish to travel to Canada in order to put in strong applications to enhance their chances of success in getting their visitor visa…  So without further ado, here are 5 tips that I have for you!

  1. The purpose of visiting, when you are applying for a visitor visa for Canada, is extremely important. It is important to demonstrate to the visa officer exactly why you wish to go to Canada. The explanation is one of the key inputs in putting together a successful application.
  2. It is important to highlight the ties you have to your home country. For many reading this article, these may include employment or business ties. But these also include financial, family and social ties. Both formal and informal ties can be included. These ties will convince the visa officer that you will indeed return to your home country.
  3. Do you have sufficient assets to fund your trip and return back home? The assets you must demonstrate will depend upon various factors affecting the cost of your trip such as purpose (costs of conferences or trade shows, for example), duration (the longer the trip, the greater the costs), accommodation and other expenses.
  4. Are you admissible to Canada? Do you have any immigration-related, criminal or other issues which may deem you inadmissible? Are you in good health?
  5. Have you submitted a comprehensive application package with the required forms or documents? Often, document checklists outline the bare minimum requirements that you must include with your application, and you must go above and beyond the documents listed. You must often get creative and ensure that you cover all the elements listed earlier to make it easier for the visa officer to make her or his decision.

We hope the above tips will help you assess whether your profile may have what it takes to put in a strong application. We, at One Heart Immigration, are happy to answer your questions, or to help put in an application for you to cover the required elements!

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I do not like providing all my financial information due to privacy reasons.  What can I do?

Canada has strict privacy laws. You can even do a quick check on IRCC privacy and get all your answers there. The information you provide us does not go beyond immigration authorities. We are regulated, and we do not share your private information with anyone who has no reason to know. We will not discuss your information with a third party unless you ask us to do so. We also respect Canadian privacy laws and Ghanaian laws and customs around privacy. You may rest assured that you can trust us with your information so we can assess it and make the process a dependable one for you.

How diverse is Canada when it comes to people who do not look ‘Canadian’?

Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It is a multi-cultural country and you will find people from all over the world from different races, religions and heritage. This multicultural diversity is the result of years and years of immigration. People from all over the world move to Canada, so one can only imagine the mix of people from different nations. For example, did you know that Toronto has more foreign-born nationals than those who are born in Canada? This makes the country a very welcoming place for individuals from all over the world.

How much money should I have in my bank account for it to be considered sufficient?

This really depends on the reason for your visit and the number of people you are travelling with. If you are applying for a tourist visa for yourself, you would need enough to cover the costs of your trip and to be able to return. If you are travelling with your family, this amount would have to reflect the costs for all of you.  An important thing to note is that proof of money in your bank account cannot date back to only a few weeks. Depending on the country you are applying from, you must show proof of funds for several months. We can guide you on how many months you must show your bank statement for.

I have been trying to apply to Canada and have been rejected twice so far. Can I still apply a third time?

Yes you can apply again, but you will have to address the reasons for rejection. We can get a copy of your refusal notes from authorities to see why you were rejected and help re-apply if we deem you are eligible. If you were refused because you were ineligible then we will inform you.  However, if you were refused for other reasons such as lack of supporting documentation or information for the visa officer to make his or her decision, then we can help you prepare a comprehensive application to re-apply. Unlike the US visa process where you attend an interview, Canada’s screening process usually takes place without an interview. Therefore, it is extremely important to prepare a strong application as visa officers make their decision based on the information provided in the application.

If I do have a criminal record but I am now on the right path, can I still apply to Canada?

It all depends on the nature of the crime and how long it has been since the crime was committed. The way a person has behaved since committing the crime is also a factor that can be taken into consideration. If a person meets the relevant criteria and is unlikely to take part in future crimes, then there could be a chance they can apply to go to Canada. Criminal inadmissibility is a serious issue and we would need to conduct an assessment of what has been mentioned earlier and other key factors before we could advise you regarding re-application.

Is it part of your service to help me write the purpose of my visit to Canada when I am working on my application?

We help with all aspects of the preparation for the application; however, you will need to advise us of the purpose of the visit. Once we know the purpose, we can guide you on the details the visa officer will need in order to be able to assess whether your purpose of visit is valid and the visa officer has enough information on the purpose of your visit.

I am not in good health and wish to visit doctors in Canada. Can I include that in my visa application? Will it make the process faster for me?

While you do not usually need to undergo a medical exam for a visitor visa, the law states that you are inadmissible to Canada based on medical grounds if your medical condition can endanger public health, public safety or put a strain on the Canadian medical system or on social services (there are ways to address this issue depending on your situation). Please contact us if you wish to go to Canada for medical purposes, and we will provide you with information based on your specific case.

What if I travel to Canada for a visit and decide to stay there. Will I be able to do so?

It is not permitted to use the visitor visa for Canada to stay back permanently. A visitor visa for Canada is to permit you to go to Canada for temporary purposes only, such as tourism, family visit or for business purposes (for business visitors).  If you go to Canada and something changes in your situation, for example, you decide you would like to stay back to study in Canada or you are offered employment in Canada, then you must follow the law and policies in order to apply for status as a student or visitor.  If you are in Canada as a visitor and find yourself in this situation, please contact us and we can advise you.

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