Visa Application Information

Attendees Outside of Canada

U.S. Residents A passport is required to travel to Canada.

United States

United States citizens are required to have a passport to travel to Canada. A travel visa is not required. It routinely takes 6–8 weeks, longer during travel seasons, so apply for a passport early. Note: a travel visa is not required.

Getting or Renewing a U.S. Passport

Other Countries

Meeting attendees from countries that require a visa to enter Canada, please note that processing times for visa applications vary depending on the visa office and time of year. You are encouraged to apply a minimum of 12 weeks in advance of your departure to ensure that you receive your visa in time.

Request a Visa Letter: If you do require a visa to travel, use this resource to request an official visa invitation letter. This letter will assist you in the visa application process.

Find Out if You Need a Visa

Apply for a Visitor Visa

Request a Visa Invitation Letter

Submission of Visa Applications

Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that delegates visit the website of the Canadian visa office responsible for processing their visa application. Information is available on the website on how to submit a visa application and the documentation required.

Processing times for visa applications vary depending on the visa office and the time of the year. Participants are encouraged to apply approximately 12 weeks in advance of their departure date to ensure they receive the visa in time.


Electronic Applications (e-Apps)

(In person or by mail)


  • This system allows clients to submit applications online.
  • Delegates that choose to apply on-line will not have to submit their passport until requested to do so by a visa officer.
  • The visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passports to finalize the visa process.
  • VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants.
  • VACs provide a number of services to clients, including help applicants fill out forms, answer questions and ensure that applications are complete.
  • Reduces unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications.
  • VACs serve as a collection point for applicants required to provide a biometric.
  • VACs send applications to visa offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner.
  • VACs do not process visa applications and have no decision-making authority.

NEW – Biometrics (Global Expansion)

Depending on your nationality, you may be required to give your biometrics:

  • Starting July 31, 2018 the biometric requirement becomes mandatory for nationals of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and
  • Starting December 31, 2018 the biometric requirement becomes mandatory for nationals of Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

For additional information on whether or not you require a biometric, please refer to the fast facts about Biometrics.


Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

As of November 10, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.

If you have any questions on the importation of goods related to your event please contact the International Events and Conventions Services Program (IECSP) at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).