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.
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
- APPLICATION FOR VISITOR VISA (IMM5357)
- FAMILY INFORMATION (IMM5645)
- PURPOSE OF TRAVEL
- PROOF OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- PASSPORT OR TRAVEL DOCUMENT
- DIGITAL PHOTO
- PROOF OF RELATIONSHIP
- BUSINESS REGISTRATION
- TRAVEL HISTORY
- INVITATION LETTER
- THERE WERE ALSO OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS YOU CAN UPLOAD
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.
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!
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