Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | November 24, 2010

The Elusive Doormat

Are you planning on visiting Canada ?

Whether the Canadian welcome mat remains at the door or whether it is rudely yanked from under the feet of a prospective visitor, depends upon where the visitor calls home.

Each year Canada opens its doors to millions of visitors who, as holders of the “temporary resident visa”, come to travel, work or study here.

The temporary resident visa was created to make it clear that there is a distinction between the basis upon which a foreign national seeks entry into Canada, (that is either as a permanent resident or a temporary resident), and the activity that the foreign national intends to undertake while in Canada temporarily.

Foreign nationals are allowed into Canada as temporary residents by privilege. An Immigration Officer will not issue a temporary resident visa unless he or she is satisfied that the applicant will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay. Foreign nationals must satisfy both the Officer abroad and at the Port of Entry, that they have the ability and willingness to leave Canada at the end of the temporary period authorized, regardless of whether they will be or have applied for permanent residence.

Under the current immigration policy, there are 46 countries, whose citizens are given a visa-exempt status to enter Canada. So if the person is a citizen of the United States, the European Union or a handful of Caribbean countries, a simple plane ticket to Canada or a drive to the border is all that is required to put that person in front of a Port of Entry IMmigration Officer who cursorily asks details of citizenship, destination in Canada, and the length of time required to be in Canada. No previous examination in their home country is required for such visa exempt citizens before they come to Canada.

Statistics reveal that over 80% of the forty-four million overnight visitors recorded per year, cite their origin as the United States and the majority of the remainder come from these visa-exempt countries.

Courtesy: David Aujla, Canadian IMmigration Lawyer


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