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Who Can Sponsor Me for a Visitor Visa in Canada? And What is the Process?

Thinking about visiting Canada? The first crucial and basic procedure is to know who can sponsor you for a visitor visa and sometimes even the process of getting the visa. Canada is a choice many people decide to visit for tourism, student exchange, or temporary visits for a close relative or just for fun. It is important to understand the different aspects of the visitor visa sponsorship and various procedures to avoid any complexity. We are now ready to immerse ourselves into this extensive and encompassing guide:

Who Can Sponsor Me for a Visitor Visa in Canada?

In Canada, a visitor visa also called a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) permits you to enter the country to tour, visit family/ friends, or for business. However, before starting with the application it is essential to figure out who can act like a sponsor to you. 

1. Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens are the most straightforward individuals who can sponsor someone for a visitor visa. You can be sponsored by a relative or friend who has a Canadian citizenship or permanent residence visa. This person needs to prove that he or she is a Canadian citizen, and to do that he or she must produce some form of legal identification such as a Canadian passport or a citizenship card.

2. Permanent Residents of Canada

Canadian permanent residents can also apply for a visitor visa for family members whom they would like to come and visit them. However, they have to be residents of Canada for not less than 3 years to enable them to assume such responsibilities. To complete the form, the sponsor has to identify themselves as a permanent resident of Canada, this requires documentation, which include the PR card or record of landing.

3. Canadian Organisations

In some cases, you may be able to come to Canada through sponsorship from an organisation or business in Canada. It is more so in the case of business visits or a conference or any similar events or programs. These sponsors must explain to the immigration authorities why you will be visiting their country, how you are connected to them, and whether they have any financial or legal issues that prevent them from being allowed entry into Canada.

What is the Process to Obtain a Visitor Visa in Canada?

Now that you know who can sponsor you, let’s explore the step-by-step process to apply for a visitor visa to Canada.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before proceeding with the application, it is important to ensure that he or she qualifies for the application. Key factors include:

Purpose of Visit: It is very important to know what you need and prepare all the documentation that will be necessary for you to state your purpose of visit clearly. This could be for a vacation, to visit relatives, or for business among other things.

Financial Stability: Prove that you have enough resources to support yourself every time you are in Canada.

Ties to Home Country: Confirm that you have sources of income, family, or property within the home country thus exhibiting willingness to return at the end of the visit.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

The next step is to collect all necessary documents. These typically include:

Passport: To be valid for at least six months from the planned date of entry in the receiving country.

Sponsorship Letter: A letter from your sponsor in Canada stating the nature of the existing relationship with you, the purpose of intended stay and assurance of support during your stay there.

Proof of Relationship: Family documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates or photographs showing your relationship with the sponsor.

Financial Proof:  Bank statements, pay stubs, or employment letters to show you have sufficient funds.

Travel Itinerary: Information regarding the specific plans and arrangements that one has in place when travelling such as the destination, place of residence, and program.

Step 3: Complete the Application

As much as all forms should be in the right format, all documents should be prepared to enable the filling of the application forms. There is only one type of a visitor visa and it can be filed on the **IMM5257**. Make sure to:

Fill Out the Form Accurately: Ensure that you fill all the necessary information accurately to avoid time wastage.

Pay the Application Fee:  Make sure to pay the processing fee, which is different for citizens of different countries and visa types.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

The application can be filled in online or you can use a paper application to complete it. Submitting them online can also be much easier and takes a shorter time. Ensure you:

Upload All Documents: Scan your original documents as necessary and ensure all the copies are attached to the application.

Track Your Application: The system generates a tracking number for your application; you should check on its status to determine the progress.

Step 5: Biometrics and Interview

According to the country of your origin, you may be required to submit fingerprints and / or photos. Also, you might be invited for an interview at a Canadian visa office if that applies to you. Be prepared to:

Answer Questions: Always tell the truth and be clear with regard to all your travel arrangements and purposes.

Provide Additional Information: Sometimes, the visa officer may request additional documents or additional information and this could be because of the following reasons.

Step 6: Wait for Processing

The duration of processing the visitor’s visa may also take some time. You are advised to apply for this permit way before the intended travel time or date. During this period:

Stay Updated: You can check the status of your application online.

Be Patient: The time to process your visa may also vary by your home country and the season, however, it should not take longer than a year.

Step 7: Receive Your Visa

Once your application is approved, you will receive a visa sticker or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). Ensure you:

Check the Details:  Verify that all the information on your visa is correct.

Prepare for Travel: Make any final arrangements for your trip, including booking your flight and accommodation.


Getting a visitor visa for Canada is a bit complex, but it is important to know who can sponsor you so that you follow the entire process. Whether you have a friend, a family member living in Canada or you a Canadian organisation who can sponsor for your visit, then everything is set to ensure that whoever visits Canada has a genuine reason for his or her visit. Following the tips as mentioned above, you can increase the rate of getting the visa and have a splendid time in the beautiful country of Canada.


Q: How long does it take to get a visitor visa for Canada?

A: The processing time differs with the individual, but it lasts from weeks to a few months. You should use it some time before you begin your journey – earlier in the process is usually better.

Q: Can I apply for a visitor visa online?

A: Yes, it is possible; for example, one can find an online application on the official Web site of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that will take less time

Q: What if my visa application is denied?

A: If the visa has been refused, you or and your legal representative could apply again, or you could try to appeal against the decision of the officers judging your visa. In any case, it is advisable to read the reasons for the refusal and try to correct them whenever possible before reapplying.

Q: What documents are needed for a visitor visa application?

A: You will need a passport, a sponsor letter for your application from a relative, proof of your relationship with the relative, proof of money, and your travel plans.

Q: Can I extend my stay in Canada on a visitor visa?

A: Yes. You must apply for a visa extension if you want to stay in Canada for longer than your visa would let you. In this case, you should also be certain to make the application for the extension before the current one expires.

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