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Immigration in to Canada

Application & Document Requirements


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that foreign nationals are under the obligation to obtain certain documents before entering Canada. These regulations address mandatory requirements respecting applications.

Purpose of these provisions

The purpose of these provisions is to establish which documents foreign nationals require before seeking to enter Canada. The regulations in this part also specify the requirements that must be met in order for an application to be considered, such as the type of form to be used in making an application, the required information to be submitted on such a form, including any supporting documentation necessary, and the place where an application is to be filed.

What the regulations do

The application and documentation provisions prescribe:

  • the circumstances in which visas are required to enter Canada;
  • the circumstances in which foreign nationals are exempt from requiring temporary resident visas;
  • the circumstances in which a study or work permit is required before entering Canada;
  • the form, content, mandatory information required and place where an application can be made; and
  • general rules regarding the form in which documents are required to be presented when the Act or the Regulations so specify.

What has changed

Except for some differences in terminology, the legislative regime surrounding the requirement for foreign nationals to obtain visas prior to entry is essentially unchanged.

Subsection 11(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires a foreign national to apply for a visa before entering Canada where the need for such a visa is prescribed by the Regulations. The authority to make such regulations is contained in subsection 14(1) of the Act.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRP Regulations) specify that a foreign national may not enter Canada to remain on a temporary basis without first obtaining a “temporary resident” visa. This term replaces the term “visitor” visa, which is used throughout the 1978 Act and Regulations.