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May 21, 2017

COMPLETE GUIDE: Approved, Multiple-Entry Canada Tourist Visa for Filipinos/Philippine Passport Holder

Many Filipinos would consider Canada being part of their travel bucket list. But like any other G8 Countries (world′s major highly industrialized economies), a Filipino with legal travel document (Philippine Passport) would still need a valid VISA to visit Canada. To be specific, a Filipino tourist who intends to stay in Canada for a number of days or temporary basis for tourism would fall under the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application category. There are three (3) types of TRV: Single Entry, Multiple Entry and Transit Visa and these would matter depending on the purpose of the trip (transit or temporarily staying in Canada territory for number of days).

Traveler's Couch shares to you a complete guide for higher chances of getting approved, multiple-entry Temporary Resident Visa (Tourist/Visitor) for Filipinos/Philippine passport holders.



In general, applying for visa can be disastrous when the traveler fails to explain the main purpose of the trip to the consul. For tourism, it is advisable to present documents that would prove temporary stay in Canada as a tourist like travel itinerary (agency or personal), flight and hotel reservations, etc. 


This has to be the most important part of any Tourist Visa Application - to show strong proofs that you will have to return to the Philippines after the trip or exit Canada after the intended stay (if traveling in different nations). This can be shown or done in many ways but not limited to the following: proof of employment in home country,  proof of exit in Canada through confirmed return ticket or proof of strong family ties in the Philippines (main support of aging parents that needs physical assistance). For self-employed or employed through online jobs, this can be challenging part to prove but Tip #3 would definitely help you get a positive outcome on the process.


This is also related to Tip #2, as you are to prove through your travel history that you've been to places and confirmed return to the Philippines within the validity of allowable period stay in those visited countries. Other travel visas and entry/exit stamps in your passport would be ideal to support this part, as well as other travel documents obtained from your previous trips like travel permits or boarding passes as supporting document would help make your case more firm.


You don't need to be a millionaire to visit Canada, but at least prove to the consulate officer that you are financially capable to stay in Canada all throughout the trip, either you personally support your expenses or through sponsorship from other person.


Canada is not the only country that requires visa for the purpose of tourism and your visa application outcome can affect your future travels or other visa applications, both in good and negative way. Once approved, your Canada tourist visa can be an additional supporting document to get higher chances of approval with your other visa applications like for USA or Schengen visas. But when denied, this can still affect your future applications as you might encounter in certain application forms for some countries that will ask your application history with other countries (ex: "Have you ever been denied of a visa... Have you encountered Visa Refusal..."). As much as possible, only apply for Canada Tourist Visa when you are confident that above tips are considered to have the application outcome be in your favor.


Here's an overview of the application process for Canada Temporary Resident (TRV) Visitor Visa:

1) Gather documents
2) Complete your application
3) Pay the fees
4) Submit your application
5) Wait for decision
6) If approved, submit passport to Canada Embassy


These are the documents you need to gather to complete your visa application.

1) APPLICATION (1) & OTHER (2) FORMS NEEDED (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/)

1.A) Application for Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) Made Outside of Canada (IMM5257) 
1.B) Family Information (IMM5645E)
1.C) Schedule 1 Application for Temporary Residence (IMM5257B_1)

Notes to remember:
*Forms provided by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) are protected/signed which you need to download and open it only through a legit PDF reading application like Adobe Acrobat. These forms can't be viewed through browsers.
*For online application, these forms SHOULD only be filled up electronically, DO NOT print just to sign the document when asked for signature.
*SIGNATURE asked in the forms? All you just need to do is just type your fullname, that's it. But some might noticed that nothing will show in the field or simply you can't key-in your name in that field. Don't panic as you're not alone and if that's the case, leave it like that. In signature section, just key-in other fields you are allowed to do so like the Date field in correct format. Need not to worry, as I can confirm that my application went through successfully without any notice from the Embassy, even though this is not filled.
*For easy checking of the forms, you can utilize the VALIDATE FORM option found on top for both  IMM5257 and IMM5257B_1.


These are the documents that will support your visa application.

2.A) Travel History Documents (Required)

This can include the following (not all mentioned below are required, whichever is applicable in your case will do):
- Previous Passports and/or Visas used within the last 10 years to travel outside the country
- Entry and Exit stamps
- Study and/or work permits that indicate your duration outside the country
- Expired or valid visas
- Boarding passes

You can refer to this document as a reference format how I submitted these documents in one file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0q_-XSaL_sERGR5WTB4V1RmLVE

2.B) Valid Passport (Required)

You must provide a copy of your passport with at least 1 year validity at the time of your application:
- The page that shows your birth date and country of origin
- Any pages with stamps or visas

You can refer to this document as a reference format how I submitted a photo copy of my passport and any pages with stamps/visa: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0q_-XSaL_sEX1ZJb21yajhKUE0

2.C) Proof of Means of Financial Support (Required)

Provide as many of these documents as you can to prove that you can support your travel in Canada:
- Bank certificate (with ADB) and statements for the past four (4) months
- Certificate of Employment (CoE)
- Pay slips
- Proof of assets or business
- Tax reports, declaration or statements (BIR 2316)
- Letter from the person or institution providing you with money

Some tips from Traveler's Couch:
- If you have credit cards, include these with statement of account.
- Take note that financial status can be reviewed based on the number of intended days of stay.
- It is also not advised to show off too much financials (ex: hundreds of millions in bank statements, etc) as this might be seen negatively by the consul, like capability to stay permanently with such high amount of money.

2.D) Digital Photo (Required)

The frame size of the photo must be in colour, standard passport size photo (at least 35mm x 45 mm). The file may be submitted in JPEG or JPEG2000 format. File size should not exceed 4 MB.

2.E) Purpose of Travel - Other (Required)

Examples of what you can provide as proof that you are only coming to Canada for temporary visit:
- Flight ticket departing Canada
- Travel itinerary (where to go or visit during your stay)
- Hotel booking

Some tips from Traveler's Couch:
- It is highly advisable for you to provide a confirmed flight ticket reservation. But how can we book a flight when our visa is still pending? You can request to create one from any travel agency for a minimal fee, instead of paying the ticket instead. To save more, you can just asked a friend who works in a travel agency to create one for free.
- Here's a the travel itinerary I submitted during my application:
- You can book hotels with 'Pay later' options without showing that this unpaid reservation yet. I used Agoda for hotel bookings with such option, and you can cancel it anytime prior the travel date booked.

You can refer to this document as a reference format how I submitted these documents in one file: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0q_-XSaL_sEVkJSVExtNG54Z2M

2.F) Letter of Explanation (Optional)

This may be optional BUT this is can be VITAL if you want to request for a MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA. This is a letter addressed to the Consulate General, to explain everything about your trip in paragraphs with no word limit, no specified format to follow as well, all in free-form. So this is your chance to prove to them why you need their approval and also a chance to get that multiple entry visa grant. Here's the letter I submitted (modified 'Canada Visa Application - Letter of Explanation' for public viewing): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0q_-XSaL_sEZG1sRlRVMFFmR0k


1) Check Eligibility for Visitor Visa - http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/getting-started.asp

2) After answering questions and confirmed eligible to visit Canada, you will be given a "Personal Reference Code". Take note of this code, as you will need this for your application and should proceed with the online application within one month (this code expires in 30 days after being generated).

3) A "Personal Checklist" will also be provided (recommend to print this as your reference), which has the details for the following: application guide, requirements or documents needed, forms to fill-up, visa fee/s and online account creation to submit or keep track of your application.

4) Once all supporting documents are gathered, scan a copy of those and save in PDF format (less than 4MB size per PDF). Forms (IMM documents) provided are to filled up electronically directly in the provided PDF, there is no need to print-fillup-scan.

5) Create an account for your application through this link (choose Sign Up): https://onlineservices-servicesenligne-cic.fjgc-gccf.gc.ca/mycic/gccf?lang=eng&idp=gckey&svc=/mycic/start

6) Once you are signed in, select "Visitor visa, study and/or work permit" to continue then enter your "Personal Reference Code" as mentioned in #2.

7) Once you've entered your personal reference code, you will then be guided to complete your application through the following: a) Upload your documents,  b) Review your application, c) Pay with credit card and d) Submit your application.

8) You can save application and continue at any time by logging in to your account. Take note that you have 60 days to submit your application.

9) After you have completed uploading the documents and electronically signed your application (just key-in your name), you will need to pay for the visa fees through credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to complete the payment. Remember that you'll pay SAME FEE regardless if it's Single or Multiple Entry visa application.

10) After successfully paying, you will receive a payment confirmation page (print a copy of it for your reference) and your application can be submitted. Shortly after you submit, you will also receive message in your accounts.

11) It will take 5-10 business days for them to process the application & give a decision. There will be some updates through email or in your account inbox (application messages) with if there are any verifications needed or changes in your application (notice they have received your application, on review, biometrics or submit photos if needed, etc).

12) Once a decision has been made, they will send a message in your account. If denied, they will provide reason of denial.

13. If approved, they will send a letter in PDF format (IMM document) which requests you to submit your passport & a copy of that letter to nearest Canadian Visa Application Center (VAC, either Manila or Cebu). Details for passport submission are provided in the letter, like shown below (click to enlarge).

PHOTO: Canada Tourist Visa Application - Letter for Passport Submission

14) There will be fees to pay upon submission of passport in VAC, it depends if you want your passport delivered back to your preferred address (Cebu VAC has Php905.95 fee for delivery via 2GO Courier) or pick-up in VAC once done (not so sure how much would cost for this option, this must be cheaper than door delivery). The VAC personnel will provide an OR with tracking number of your passport submission, which can be tracked via 2GO site once ready for return delivery.

15) It will take 3-5 business days for visa stamping and another 2-3 days for return delivery (depending on the address, much quicker for city addresses). An alert or notice will be posted in your account once passport has been received in Canada Embassy and dispatched for return delivery.

16) Once delivered successfully, the parcel includes your passport and a document containing information about your temporary resident visa.

Canada Temporary Resident (Tourist) Visa details are also posted in your your online account as shown below:


Traveler's Couch wish you all the luck for your Canada Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, Tourist) Application. For questions, inquiries or feedback, please don't hesitate to message on below comment section or hit the 'Contact' page on the upper site menu.

About the Author

Engr. Moon Ray Lo is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. He is currently working as an Oracle EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), B2B and eCommerce Systems Analyst. He likes blogging, landscape photography, travel and graphics design. [ For inquiries, suggestions and concerns, CLICK HERE to Contact Engr. Moon Ray Lo ]

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