How to apply for a Canadian tourist visa in the Philippines online

If you are applying for a Canadian Tourist visa in the Philippines, you actually have 2 options. One is to apply online which I did and the other is to go to the Visa Application Center and submit your paper application personally or through mail. This post is about how to apply for a Canadian tourist visa in the Philippines online. You would have to determine your eligibility first.

Determine your eligibility and apply online. This is important. What is required of me maybe not the same for you. After the questionnaire, you are given what is required for your application depending on your personal situation and how you answered the questionnaire of course. The information they provide is very detailed and easy to understand.

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After you determine your eligibility online, it would give you a unique number and ask you to sign up. I signed up with GCKey.

Once you have signed up, I applied for a tourist visa and it listed the requirements I need to fill up and documents I needed to upload.

  1. APPLICATION FOR VISITOR VISA (IMM5357)
  2. ITINERARY/TRAVEL
  3. FAMILY INFORMATION (IMM5645)
  4. PURPOSE OF TRAVEL
  5. PROOF OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
  6. PASSPORT OR TRAVEL DOCUMENT
  7. DIGITAL PHOTO
  8. PROOF OF RELATIONSHIP
  9. BUSINESS REGISTRATION
  10. TRAVEL HISTORY
  11. INVITATION LETTER
  12. THERE WERE ALSO OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS YOU CAN UPLOAD

NOTES:
1. I actually printed this one and filled it out with pen and tried to upload it but I couldn’t. I had trouble with this but I found a note saying I could actually just fill it out and validate the form electronically and then upload that with the bar codes, no need for signatures since you will be signing this application electronically.
7. I asked for a digital copy at the photo studio since they needed a specific resolution. I tried scanning a passport photo but it was a little blurry and a little bit short of the resolution they needed. Just to be sure, I just went to the photo studio and asked for a digital copy and I only needed to pay 50 pesos extra on top of the 100 pesos for the paper copies.
8. I included our photos and a family tree.
11. My aunt and I met up in Europe this summer so she invited me to come to their home and wrote me an invitation while we were there and also gave me a copy of her identification.
12. I didn’t submit any of the optional documents.
13. Do download a program that consolidates your papers. You can’t possibly have it all in just one document. I used the program called PDFill PDF Tools to merge my pdf files. Just be wary of the size of your document.

You have 60 days to complete the requirements. Once you’re ready to submit everything, it would take you to payment so have a credit card ready to pay for the CAD $100 fee.

This is my timeline:

Sunday – submitted online application
Monday – passport request
Thursday – mailed passport
Monday – received at Visa Processing Center
Tuesday – transmitted to embassy
Wednesday – approved dispatched to vfs
Wednesday – endorsed to courier
Thursday – received passport

It took roughly about two weeks but most of it is my fault. I think it could have been faster if I had submitted my passport earlier when they requested but I just didn’t have my passport at the time. I didn’t think it would be that fast to be honest.

Once they request your passport, you would have to submit the letter they send you under messages with the reference number to your application. Also, a manager’s check addressed to “VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc.” for passport transmission (594) and courier service if you need to like I did (318). If you’re going to pick up your documents, no need for that. I wish I had availed of the SMS notification service (81) for the peace of mind. We were leaving the following week for my birthday so I was fraught with worry about my passport. I called, and did the chat thing and got the reference for my application so I can track it. I would even track it with 2go. I really commend the application process as it is probably the best one by far. I got a multiple entry visa until my passport’s expiry! Woohoo!

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HELPFUL LINKS:

– http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/getting-started.asp
http://www.vfsglobal.ca/Canada/Philippines/how_to_apply.html
– http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=401202

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I saw these at the bottom of the upload page and thought they were handy information for uploading documents.

faq1

faq2

 

UPDATE:  As of March 15, 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 travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.

However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. During this time, border services officers can let travellers arriving without an eTA into the country, as long as they meet the other requirements to enter Canada. Find answers to your questions about the leniency period.

UPDATE: Effective 14 April 2014 The Embassy of Canada in Philippines will only accept visa application submitted either on-line or through one of Visa Application Centres (CVACs) in Manila and Cebu. Please refer to How to submit an application

 

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57 thoughts on “How to apply for a Canadian tourist visa in the Philippines online”

  • if they ask for your passport already, is it a guarantee that you have been approved? i applied last month, unfortunately, i was denied mainly of my negligence. I failed to submit my itinerary to US, as i will only sidetrip to canada my entire trip. I assumed the consul only wants to see my US-Canada plan and budget and not the entire cost originating here in Manila. Would you mind estimating the amount if budget for let’s say a week trip in canada? i only presented roughly 130,000php (3,000USD account) and i was denied. 🙁

    • Hi thebachelor24,

      I’m not sure if they ask for your passport, that guarantees approval but I’ve read on forums that if your application is denied, they give you a letter instead. They won’t ask you for your passport.

      That amount should be more than okay for a week kung travel budget lang talaga ang icoconsider. Baka inassume din nila na that’s your entire budget for your US and Canada trip. Since hindi nila alam kung gaano ka katagal sa US, baka cinonsider nila yung possibility na mashort sa funds. Hula ko lang yan. Haha. At least makapunta ka ng US. 🙂

  • Hi Ms.Em I would like to ask do you think it’s faster if I will submit and apply online rather than submit everything in person through CVAC?

  • Thanks Ms. EM. Lori here again may I ask is it okay if I will fill up the forms handwritten and just pay everything in CVAC how long ang waiting period ng pagsubmit ng docs personally. Hope someone can help me answer esp. those who applied in paper 🙂 Thank you in advance 🙂

  • Ms. Em would it help kung gagawa ako ng cover letter to explain some issue regarding strong ties and okay lang ba na hand written ung Imm 5257 I will submit my appication in person.

    • Hi Lorie,

      I think it wouldn’t hurt if you did submit a cover letter. Hindi ko sure kung pwede hand written. Hindi din ako sure kung yun yung form na may bar code? or iba ba? Nakatype kasi halos yung mga sinubmit ko para mas legible ang info.

  • Okay thank you Ms. Em I just read they won’t accept handwriting anymore 🙂 So thanks for enlightening us in many ways. God bless!

  • Hello Ms. Ems. I need you help. When I enter my personal reference code to begin my application, I received and error message stating: “Validation error: Provide the necessary information below to continue.
    Error Description:
    The code you have entered is incorrect. Please re-enter your personal reference code.”

    I had begin my application yesterday and i wish to continue today but this was prompted.

    Kindly help me. Thank you

  • Good day!ask Lang po San address po submit ang application sa manila?if tourist visa po.thanks need your reply ASAP.thank you.

  • Hi Ms. Em:

    I have visited the CIC site numerous times and still I needed clarification on several matters whose details I can’t find in the CIC website.

    I am applying for a Visit Visa in Canada for 55 days covering both Christmas and New Year as part of the Christian Tradition. I received a duly-notarized invitation letter from my elder sister and I prepared all other documents ready.
    I’ll be applying in person since it was mentioned in the website not to mail-in the application and submit it in person since they’ll be collecting my biometric and other stuff.

    Now my question are:

    1.) Do they allow walk-in Visa applicants and hand everyone priority numbers any day of the week?
    It was not mentioned in the site whether to book an appointment or not.

    Another thing is that, I’ve read in the VFS site that availing of their services is voluntary. Meaning it is not at all compulsory.

    2.) If I do walk-in application, will it hurt my chances of getting a YES if I do not avail of the VFS service?

    I’ve left all my expectations and I’m just hoping for the best.
    I am pretty sure that their services and assistance isn’t for free.

    3.) Upon submission in person, where will I place all my documents?
    Is it proper to use Brown Envelope or a folder?

    4.) Will I undergo series of interviews?

    5.) Biometrics Fee. Do they allow payment in cash upon application?
    The Manager’s Check I will submit only covers the processing fee, so I’m thinking of just paying over the counter in cash on the very day of my application. I just need further clarification on this matter.

    Thank you very much & God Bless =)

    Regards,

    • Hi Roisven F. Galdo Jr.,

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I will try to answer your questions but I’m no expert. 🙂

      1.) Do they allow walk-in Visa applicants and hand everyone priority numbers any day of the week?
      It was not mentioned in the site whether to book an appointment or not.

      – I don’t think they allow applications at the Canadian embassy for Tourist visas. You have to go through their Visa Processing Center which is VFS Philippines. That information is on the CIC website. Link is here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/vac.asp

      Another thing is that, I’ve read in the VFS site that availing of their services is voluntary. Meaning it is not at all compulsory.
      – You can either go through them with a paper application/mail in application OR do the online application so yes you get to choose if you avail of their service.

      2.) If I do walk-in application, will it hurt my chances of getting a YES if I do not avail of the VFS service?
      – You have to avail of their service if you are going with paper application. If you do an online application, you don’t have to.

      I’ve left all my expectations and I’m just hoping for the best.
      I am pretty sure that their services and assistance isn’t for free.
      – Yes, it’s not free. Their application handling fee is 634.70. Don’t mistake it for the application fee, that’s different. You have to pay the visa application fee whether you go with paper application or online.

      3.) Upon submission in person, where will I place all my documents?
      Is it proper to use Brown Envelope or a folder?
      – You just submit your documents if going through the VAC

      4.) Will I undergo series of interviews?
      – I did the online application so I would not know. I did submit my UK visa application through the same VAC and company, my experience with that is that you just submit your documents. They just check if everything is complete. I don’t know if it is the same with Canada.

      5.) Biometrics Fee. Do they allow payment in cash upon application?
      – The Philippines is not listed as a country that needs to give biometrics. That is only applicable if you are a citizen of said countries listed here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/biometrics.asp

      The Manager’s Check I will submit only covers the processing fee, so I’m thinking of just paying over the counter in cash on the very day of my application. I just need further clarification on this matter.
      http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/fees/result.asp?countrySelect=PH&lob=trv

  • Hi Ms. Ems =)

    I received my Visit Visa some 3 weeks ago.
    I’m really excited about the forthcoming trip.
    Now that I already have my roundtrip ticket to Canada and v.v., do I still need to go back to VFS and present them my travel itinerary or not?
    What other documents do I need to hand-carry with me upon checking in on the very day of my travel aside from the ticket?

    Thanks for the tips =)

    Regards,

    Roisven =)

    • Congratulations Roisven! 🙂 I don’t think you need to present your round trip ticket to them unless VFS required you to do that.

      When I travel, I always bring the tickets of course, hotel bookings (if you have this but skip it if you are staying with someone), company ID (if you are working, sometimes Philippine immigration asks for this for some reason), information of your address and contact at the country you’re visiting (always have this handy) makes it easy to fill out forms – that’s about it. Enjoy your visit to Canada. 🙂

  • Hello miss ems..where shud i follow up my application? Its been 18days since i submitted my application online .the website says 8days processing .how come theres no reply yet ? Btw i applied online on their website..last update on my email was 10days ago. TIA

  • Good day, i have a question. I want to apply my cousin who’s a minor through online, kaso they dont allow minor to have myCIC account. I read somewhere na pede daw ang parents gumawa ng account and submit it online. Do you have any idea paano mag apply ang minor online? Since she cannot make her own account and submit all documents, would it be okay kung ako or parent nya ang mag submit gamit ang aming account? thank you

    • Hi Melvin,

      Sorry, I have no idea. I would suggest to also call their Visa Processing Center and they might have the answer for you. Do let us know when you find out if that’s okay. 🙂

  • Hi Ms. Em
    I just wanna ask if is it okay if my bank account is still in peso? Also what is proof of relationship?? Does it mean that i need to submit our picture together?? What if i’m going to meet him there for the first time?

    • Hi Reyna,

      The bank accounts here are usually in peso. The one I submitted is in peso. 🙂 Proof of relationship is mga evidence ng relasyon ninyo. I submitted pictures, a family tree, birth certificate – these are only a few examples. Sorry, if you’re going to meet for the first time – hindi ko alam ano ang pwede na proof.

  • Hi. my aunt invited me to visit them in canada. Can she just email me the letter of invitation or should it be sent via regular mail? Ty

    • Hi Ruth,

      The first time I applied in the Philippines, our invitation was mailed. My application was also by paper then. The second time I applied was through online and I submitted only a scanned copy that was emailed to me and they accepted that. I’m not sure if it depends how you apply. 🙂

    • Hi Emma,

      It depends on the policy of your bank/branch but yes, it is possible to get a manager’s check within a day. I’m not sure which courier they are currently using. Are you planning to send your application to the Visa Processing Center? It should be able to get there with any reputable courier and you can always track it. 🙂

  • Hello, This article is really helpful. Thank you!
    I want to apply a Canadian Visa online on canada.ca, but I don’t know whether I will sent my passport to Canada or I sent it to the consulate in my country. Because I am worrying about the time spend on the delivery.
    Appreciate!

    • Thanks Jie Niu. Usually, the passport is sent to the consulate in the country. Once you’re application is approved, they would send you a letter requesting your passport and instructions along with it. I’m just not sure if it’s the same with every country. Which country are you from? 🙂

      • Apperiate! I am now getting all materials done including the financial proof, police check, and the other certificates. Because now I am yet a minor, so I guess the application would be a little bit more complicated. By the way I am from China.

      • Hi. Just a question. When you said “approved dispatch to vfs”, what did it actually mean?

        I asked this question because when I logged in to my GCKey and checked the status of my application, it says in the “details” section that it is “approved”. Previously, it just said “updated”.

        I already submitted my passport about two days ago and according to LBC, VFS already received my documents. I also availed the SMS/email notifications however I still got no updates from the embassy/VFS.

        • Hi Allen,

          If they requested your passport and VFS has received it. They have to forward it to the Canadian Embassy so the visa can be attached to your passport. Then they will return it to the forwarder which is VFS to be mailed to you. Ganun yung intindi ko sa process nila. Depende kung nasaan ka, you should receive it back in a few days. 🙂 Nagattach ako ng paid return envelope dun sa akin dati.

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