Applying Canada visitor visa from USA

Canada visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa issued for short term stay in Canada. On visitor visa you are allowed to stay for six-months from the day of entry.

As per CIC there are 2 types of visitor visas issued : Single and Multiple entry, however there is no option to select these options in form and I am not sure in which case single entry visas are issued.

Here are the steps for applying the visa


  • Copy of Passport and Visa (Original as well but later)
  • Pay stubs – 3 Months
  • Bank statement – 3 months
  • Marriage certificate( if required)
  • Booking details( flight and hotel)

There are 2 ways one can apply, starting from here

Apply On paper :-

  • Application bundle can be downloaded from here after selecting the country of residence and type of visa. IMM5645E,IMM5257E etc. are forms u will get from it.
  • Forms are editable PDF, duly fill it and click validate button on top of page to validate the form. Form will generate the bar-code after successful validation.

  • Application must validated to generate bar-code also make sure it comes properly in printout.
  • Family information form for all family members( including US citizen children).
  • Statutory declaration of common-law union are the 2 other form required
  • Fee payment in $CAN can be done from following link

  • After payment print the receipt and put it on top of application while posting along with the checklist and 2 photos of all applicants.
  • Send the application to following address for west coast applicants.

Visa Application Centre – Los Angeles

2120 E Grand Avenue Suite 108A

El Segundo, CA, 90245, U.S.A.

  • After submission within 1-2 days you get email to submit the original passport(it says incomplete package). Along with passport user is asked to pay the VAC fee(VAC Service charge).
  • VAC service charge can’t be paid online. Cashier’s check, demand draft or money order favoring “CSRA Consular Services Inc”. Personal checks are not accepted. VAC Service charge is in $CAN per applicant.
  • So now 2 packages would be dispatched DD for VAC Service charge will go to lockbox address (for west coast applicants)

P.O. Box 841908 (CSRA Consular Services Inc)

Dallas, TX 75284-9557

  • Copy of DD along with passport and return mailing label will go to Visa Application Centre – Los Angeles address mentioned above. Return mailing label can be purchased from USPS or UPS.

For applying online :-

  • Check your eligibility for online application( Nationality, DOB, country of residence etc)
  • At the end of questionnaire you will be provided with a reference code. Make a good note of it.
  • Even after being eligible for online application we could not use it because for login it requires a GC key which can be generated from login accounts of certain banks( like. Scotiabank etc.) which we don’t have. So at the end we choose to pass the online application and downloaded the application bundle.
  • I am not sure about the process after login as we could not proceed with that. In case you are looking for online process this post is not for you.

Some pointers :-

  • We used USPS tracking numbers to track both onward and return mails. For any queries call VAC customer care number

Working Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

Phone Number: (646) 741- 0130

Email Address:

  • We applied from west coast location, I am sure but process remains same from east coast with following addresses of VAC and Lockbox but it’s always good to validate.

Visa Application Centre – New York

290 Madison Ave,2nd fl.

(41st Street & 40th Street)

New York, NY 10017


Mail your VAC payments for Visa Application Centre in New York to:

P.O. Box 419557 (CSRA Consular Services Inc)

Boston, MA 02241-9557

  • Biometrics is waved off for the Indian passport holders, if it is not the case for you pl check and validate from CIC website.
  • As per my experience visa process is pretty straightforward and fast, but it may differ case to case so its better to start visa process 3 months in advance from the date of travel.
  • Maximum validity of multiple entry visa is 10 years or the validity of passport(main applicant’s passport) whichever is earlier.
  • Visa will start from the date of travel you will mention in form.
  • Traveling to Canada, check here for bucket list ideas

Statistics :-

Time taken to figure out how to apply 2 Weekends
Time taken to fill and post application package 1 Week
Initial response from VAC to submit passports 2 Days
End to end processing time after submitting passports. 3 Weeks

2 thoughts on “Applying Canada visitor visa from USA

  1. Hi there, I would like to know if there is a possibility for me to get The tourist Visa of Canada.
    I have no invitation letter from anyone from the Canada. I have travelled UK last year(July 2018) and
    Also visited Europe(Nov 2017). I need a suggestion should I apply without having invitation letter or I have to wait until I arrange invitation letter somehow. If I should apply without having invitation letter then how much funds I should keep on my personal and current account. I’m having an IT company here in india. Thanks for the help in advance.


    1. Hi Tushar – we applied for Canada visitor visa from USA with Indian passport and did’t have invite letter either. Not sure if its a compulsory document if you apply from India.
      Regarding funds: you should demonstrate enough funds to take care of your entire duration of stay in Canada and any medical emergency. It should also suffice your strong ties with home country.
      Again details are from my personal experience not an expert advice.


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