Canadian Visa Application Guide and How to Apply as an African

Canada is a beautiful country located in North America, bordered by the United States to the South and the Arctic Ocean to the North. The country is known for its diverse natural landscapes, wildlife, strong economy, hospitable citizens and good security system. This is why many people desire to travel to the country and explore the cities. However before you can travel to Canada, you would need to obtain a visa as an African. If you are an African looking for information on how to apply for a Canadian Visa, then this article is for you. In this post, we would be showing you the application process for getting a Canadian Visa as an African and other relevant information.

But before we continue, let’s discuss what a Canadian Visa is.

What is a Canadian Visa?

A Canadian visa is a document issued by the Canadian government that allows a foreign national, an African in this case to enter Canada for a specific purpose, such as tourism, study, work, etc. It is a stamp or sticker on your passport that gives you the legal right to enter Canada and stay there either temporarily or permanently. However, The border officials must still decide if you are qualified to access the country even if you have a visa. The truthfulness of your application will determine whether they give you a positive response; if not, despite having a visa, you will be sent back to your home country in Africa.

Types of Canadian Visas

As earlier noted, there are various types of Canadian visas and the one you would get depends on what you want to do in Canada. Hence, the type of visas are:

A. The Canadian Temporary Resident Visa

This is also known as a Canadian visitor visa and it permits entry into Canada for a short while (typically up to 6 months) which is usually specified by the Canadian Consulate or the Border Services Officers (BSO). You would need to submit an online or paper application through the Canadian Embassy or visa application centrein your nation to obtain this visa. There are two kinds of temporary visas: single entry and multiple entry. Single-entry visas only enable you to enter Canada once; once you leave the country, further entry is prohibited. On the other hand, as long as your multiple-entry visa is still in effect, you are free to enter and exit Canada as often as you like.

Types of Canadian Temporary Resident Visas

1. Canadian Tourist Visa

As the name implies, this type of visa permits Africans to enter Canada for a temporary period for tourism, leisure, or visiting friends and family.

2. Canadian Super Visa

This visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to travel to Canada for up to two years at a time without having to reapply for their immigration status. It is a multiple-entry visa with a ten-year maximum validity period that enables eligible family members to visit Canada for extended periods of time than is permitted by a typical visitor visa.

3. Diplomatic and Official Visa

These visas are issued to individuals who are travelling to Canada for official purposes, such as diplomats, and government officials, among others.

4. Courtesy Visa

Although this is similar to the previous, it is for those who were not granted a diplomatic or official visa but were still admitted due to their status.

5. Canada Business Visa

Foreign nationals may enter Canada with a Canadian business visa in order to perform business-related activities, including attending conferences, meetings, or contract negotiations. 

6. Canadian Student Visa

Those who have been offered admission to a Canadian university and wish to continue their studies there are granted this visa. It should be noted that while extended stays would necessitate student visas, shorter stays would only necessitate a TRV visa.

7. Temporary Work Visa

This visa is for people who have obtained a job offer to work in Canada for up to 6 months.

B. Permanent Residence Visa

With this visa, people can live and work in Canada. The various categories of permanent resident visas consist of:

1. Immigrant Investor Program

This is for you if you want to make investments in the Canadian market. The Canadian government would return the minimuminvestment amount of CAD 400,000, without interest, in five years, provided that you have a net worth of CAD 800,000.

2. Startup Visa Program

This applies to anyone interested in improving the Canadian industry. If this describes you, you must determine to own and manage one-third of the Canadian business and have a net worth of at least CAD 300,000 to be eligible for this visa.

3. Self-Employed Persons Visa

This visa is for you if you want to launch your own company in Canada. You must be able to demonstrate your expertise in the areas you are interested in, as well as show how you plan to finance the company.

4. Family Sponsorship Program

This permits spouses and dependents of Canadian permanent residents or Canadian citizens to permanently migrate to Canada. 

5. Express Entry Program Visas

This covers the three types of visas that relate to the Canadian economy which are the Canadian Skilled Worker Visa, Canadian Skilled Trades Visa and Canadian Experience Class Visa.

6. Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)

Under the Provincial Nominee Program, workers who are semi- or low-skilled but have the potential to have a positive effect on the Canadian economy are qualified for this visa.

Requirements for Obtaining a Canadian Visaas an African

1. A Valid International Passport

If you want to apply for a Canadian visa you would need a valid international passport. It is expedient that you have a passport that is valid all through your desired stay in Canada. You may also be asked to submit photocopies of the data page of your international passport which contains your full name, date of birth etc.

2. Visa Fee Receipt

You must pay the required visa fees before applying for a Canadian visa in your country. This is because you would need to attach the receipts to your application. Noteworthy, you must pay your biometric fees and application fees completely. Also, the amount that should be paid varies and depends on the kind of visa you wish to get.

3. Passport Photographs

If you choose to send your application offline, you must provide two passport-sized photos that meet the requirements. You need to get a digital copy of the picture for an online application, and it shouldn’t be larger than 4MB. Other requirements include not covering your head unless your religion forbids it, keeping a neutral facial expression, and having a plain background. The image must also be recent and not more than six months ago.

4. Proof of Financial Ability

Before you can get a Canadian visa, you would have to show your financial stability. You would need to prove that you would have sufficient funds to pay both your expenses and the expenses of anyone travelling with you. Your bank statements, a letter from your employer outlining your annual salary, documentation of the host’s or a family member’s income, your desire to be supported financially to pay for your expenses during your stay, etc. could all serve as proof.

5. Evidence that you would Return to your African Country after the Expiration of your Visa

To persuade the officials that you would be returning to your home country as soon as your visa expired, you might need to attach evidence. This could be done by providing evidence of work, property ownership in your African nation, family members in your country, etc.

6. Identity and Civil Status Documents

A legitimate ID document must be attached so that you can be recognized. Your voter’s card, driver’s license, marriage certificate, birth certificate, or other official document is suitable.

7. Proof of Good Character

Canada embraces law-abiding citizens who do not pose a threat to the nation because it has zero tolerance for criminal activity. You would have to prove that you are a person of integrity and you lack criminal history. A Police Character Certificate from your native country in Africa may be presented to prove your character.

8. Proof of Good Health

You would need to obtain a medical certificate from an authorized hospital in order to show that you are healthy. Copies of your medical records must be included with your application.

How to Apply for a Canadian Visa as an African

The application process differs depending on the visa type you are applying for. However, to apply for any visa generally, you need tofollow the instructions below:

1. Determine your Eligibility

To save time, the Canadian government has made it straightforwardto find out if you qualify for a visa. They have developed a number of evaluations that base a candidate’s eligibility on their answers to an online questionnaire. You will be asked to provide information based on the type of visa you desire. After that, the system will inform you if you are eligible to register or not. Additionally, it will give you the guidelines and recommendations you need to follow in order to meet all the criteria. Once the evaluation is complete, you will be given your results.

2. Create an Online Account

Instructions may be sent to the email address you gave once it is decided whether you are eligible for the visa. Although physical applications are also accepted, online ones are more common. You must create an online account before you can apply for the visaonline. There are two methods to open this online account:

• Using your online banking credentials.

• Creating a Canadian government login (GCKey).

3. Get your Documents Ready

You can start your visa application as soon as you make an account and log in. Use the reference number provided to you to apply for the appropriate visa. The documents needed to apply for a visa would appear as soon as you entered the reference number. Before submitting your application, double-check the papers for accuracy.

4. Pay the Required Visa Fees

Once your papers have been successfully submitted, the system will take you right to the payment page. Afterwards, you would need to pay the necessary fees based on the type of visa. You would then send your application after completing this. Noteworthy, you only need to take those documents to the Canadian Embassy in yourAfrican country if you apply in person. If you register online, however, it will take approximately 5 working days for you to see the application on your account.

5. Wait for your Visa Processing 

Based on the type of visa you qualify for, the Canadian Embassy will then need two or more weeks to process your application. They might also schedule an appointment with you, request more documents from you, or request biometric data. Even if you submitted your application online, you will still need to visit the Embassy if the Embassy requests your biometrics and arranges an interview. Remember that the Embassy will send notifications to your account, so you should frequently check it.

6. Present your International Passport and Fees

Submit your passport and processing fees to the Embassy after receiving a notification that your visa application was approved. Depending on the type of visa, there are different processing fees that must be paid. Your passport and processing fees will be delivered to the embassy officials, who will stamp your passport with the visa and mail it back to you. If you are told of their decision after the visa interview, you will need to pay the processing fees there and get the passport right away.


As an African, you may feel that the Canadian visa application process is a daunting one. We however hope that this post has made the application process easier. Note instructively that you must submit all the relevant documents properly so your application would not be rejected and your visa ultimately denied.

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