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Canada's shift to multiple-entry visas

Jamaica to Canada

Antonn Brown

Wednesday, June 18, 2014    

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Dear Mr Brown:

It is my first time applying for a Canadian visitor's visa. I am contemplating whether it is better for me to apply for a single-entry or multiple-entry visitor's visa?

-- JEB

Dear JEB:

I would need to learn more about your situation and circumstances in order to give a complete answer. However, I believe you will benefit from the following information as it relates to strategy regarding the type of visa to apply for to visit Canada.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A TRV is an official specially designed sticker or document, issued by a visa office that is placed in a person's passport to show that he or she has met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (a visitor, student or worker). Informally, TRVs are also known as "visitor's visas".

Single-entry visa

The first type is a single-entry visa, which allows a holder to visit Canada on one occasion. Once a holder of this type of visa has left Canada, (excluding travel to the United States, including its Territories and Possessions, and St Pierre and Miquelon), the holder will need a new visa to re-enter Canada. If the visa holder is travelling on a valid visa to the United States or St Pierre and Miquelon, then one would not require a new visitor's visa to return to Canada.

Multiple-entry visa

A multiple entry visa allows visitors to visit Canada on multiple occasions without having to reapply each time. This type of visa may be valid for up to 10 years, or one month before your passport expires, whichever is earlier.

For both types of visitor's visas, one must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date of the visa. Both are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after they expire. Visitor's visas allow one to remain in Canada for up to six months.

Automatic consideration for multiple-entry visas

Since February 6, 2014, all visa applicants are automatically considered for multiple-entry visas. In fact, one may be granted a multiple-entry visa even if one applied for a single-entry visa. This approach is much more flexible and convenient. It is less expensive, as the processing fee was reduced from Can$150 to Can$100. As such, Jamaican passports which are valid for ten years, can benefit from 10-year multiple-entry visas.

Temporary Resident Visas were originally intended to assist business visitors and tourists in order to grow the Canadian economy. However, this type of visa will now be the standard type of visitor's visa issued to genuine and qualifying visitors who are considered low-risk travellers.

The government of Canada maintains plans to grow the Canadian economy and create jobs. Accordingly, there has been a commitment to attract more visitors and business people. In April 2014, approximately 95 per cent of the visitor's visas issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada were multiple-entry visas. Canada continues to be a preferred destination for visitors and business travellers alike. It should be noted that in 2013 Canada issued 975,181 visitor's visas.

For further information visit jamaica2canada.com.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of Jamaica2canada.com -- a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.

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