Travel to Canada
Information for Non-Immigrants
Believe it or not, many people forget that Canada is a foreign country and not just another U.S. state. If you are planning a trip to Canada, check to see if you need a visa before you start packing your suitcase. Visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
If you are required to obtain a visitor's visa to enter Canada, you will need to make your application to the Canadian Consulate General in New York: http://canada-ny.org.
In-person applications are accepted from 8-10 am Monday-Friday and are usually processed on the same day. Applications made by mail are normally processed within 10 working days of receipt. Please follow these instructions carefully. Note: A personal interview may be required of some applicants.
Submitting Your Application By Mail
Applications should be submitted to:
Canadian Consulate General
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020-1175
Tel. (212) 596-1700
- A completed visitor visa application form (IMM 5257). All questions must be answered and the form signed.
- Your original valid passport or travel document with at least one completely blank page, other than the last page. (Note: A Canadian visitor visa is not valid beyond the expiration date of the passport.)
- Processing fee in the form of a certified check or money order. Personal checks, traveler's checks and credit cards are not acceptable. Fees are subject to change depending on current exchange rates. Call the consulate or visit their website to verify the dollar amount. Make fee payable to: Consulate General of Canada, New York . Current fees are available at http://canada-ny.org/
- Processing fees are non-refundable. If your application is refused or if you apply for a multiple entry visa and only a single entry visa is given, no part of the processing fee will be returned.
- Valid original I-94 (US Arrival/Departure Card) and copies of all previous I-94s you have held during your current US stay.
- You must also present all of the following which apply to you:
- F-1 Students: Valid, original I-20, endorsed by the OISS for the current school year, and all previously issued I-20s.
- F-1 students on Optional Practical Training: Photocopy of EAD card
- J-1 Exchange Visitors (all categories): Valid,
original DS-2019, endorsed for the current academic year by your
Responsible Officer (OISS staff or individual/agency indicated in Box# 7
DS-2019), and all previously issued DS-2019 forms.
- Individuals who have changed or extended their status: valid, original form I-797 (approval notice) and all previous I-797 forms.
- Individuals traveling to Canada to obtain a new US visa: your appointment letter from the US Consulate.
- Any document which relates to the purpose of your visit: e.g. a letter from your employer, and invitation from business/personal contacts in Canada, proof of registration for a conference, legible copy of a return ticket, tour agenda, etc.
- Letter certifying your student status (available from the OISS), or certification of employment status (available from your department).
- Copy of student or faculty/staff ID card
- Two passport-size photographs
- Pre-paid self-addressed return envelope. To ensure the security of your documents either certified/registered mail or US Post Office express mail is recommended. The Consulate does not accept courier services (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) to return documents.
For current information and instructions, please refer to the visitor visa section on the Canadian Consulate's website.
Special Processing Requirements
Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria: Applications from citizens of these countries may take up to 15 working days to process.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Burundi, China (PROC), Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, Zaire: Applications from citizens of these countries may be subject to a waiting period of up to 10-15 working days.
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