Canada – Immigration Alerts

Changes to Visa Requirements for Entry to Canada

What has changed

Effective August 1, 2015, persons coming from the United States for immigration interviews at a U.S. consulate in Canada will be required to obtain a visa to enter Canada, unless they are otherwise exempt. Previously, a visa had not been required.

In addition, persons on flights rerouted to Canada due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances are now exempt from the visa requirement. No previous instructions existed regarding visa requirements for persons on flights rerouted to Canada in emergency situations.

Who is affected?
What to expect

Persons from visa-required countries coming from the United States for immigration interviews at a U.S. consulate in Canada
Affected persons will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) well in advance of their travels in order to attend immigration interviews at a U.S. consulate in Canada.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

Emigra can assist anyone who requires a TRV to enter Canada
Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.


Citizens of Poland and Lithuania Exempt from Temporary Resident Visa

What has changed

Effective August 1, 2015, all citizens of Poland and Lithuania are exempt from the temporary resident visa (TRV) requirement in order to enter Canada, regardless of travel document held.

Prior to August 1, 2015, citizens of Lithuania or Poland were only exempt from the requirement to obtain a TRV if they held a machine readable passport that contained a contactless integrated circuit chip issued by Lithuania or Poland.

Who is affected?
What to expect

Citizens of Poland and Lithuania who are traveling to Canada and whose travel document are not machine readable
All citizens of Poland and Lithuania are now exempt from the temporary resident visa (TRV) requirement. Citizens of Poland and Lithuania whose travel documents are not machine readable are no longer required to apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) in order to enter Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will no longer accept TRV applications submitted by citizens of Poland or Lithuania. Citizens of Poland or Lithuania who were in the process of applying for a TRV prior to August 1, 2015,  may refer to the following procedures as outline on the CIC website:

  • If the TRV processing fee has been paid but the application had not been submitted by August 1, 2015, the processing fee will be refunded upon request with a receipt of payment.
  • If the application was received by CIC before August 1, 2015 and fees have been processed, but either the application is not yet in process or it is already in process but a final decision had not yet been made, the following steps will be taken:
    1. CIC will withdraw the file and return the passport or identity documents (or both) to the applicant;
    2. The responsible CIC office will refund the processing fees (no action required by the applicant.
  • If the application was received by CIC on or after August 1, 2015 and neither the processing fee nor the application has been processed, the following steps will be taken:
    1. CIC will return the passport or identity document (or both) to the applicant;
    2. The responsible CIC office will not process any fees (no action required by the applicant)
  • Work or study permit applications submitted to CIC that have not been processed or finalized will continue to be processed by CIC (no action required by the applicant).

Note: If an applicant submitted their TRV application through a Visa Application Centre (VAC) , the VAC service charge will not be refunded as the VAC has provided a service. Any TRV applications submitted by the applicant via the VAC will be returned to the applicant through the VAC.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Important: Citizens of Poland or Lithuania who currently hold a TRV but have not yet traveled to Canada may continue with their travels as planned and must not remove or damage the counterfoil in their passport.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

To sign up to receive Global Immigration eAlerts, CLICK HERE