General Visa and Passport Information for Scientists Traveling to Canada

All applications for Canadian visas are approved by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) bureau. We advise all scientists traveling to Canada to apply for a visa as early as possible (at least six months before visa is needed).

It is advised that you check with your local Canadian consulate or embassy as soon as possible to find out what the earliest date is that you can apply for a visa and to schedule an appointment. Please click here to view the locations of Canadian embassies or consulates. Because of the number of visas being processed and the need to be thorough with the reviews, this can take as long 8 weeks. Some countries and territories must apply for a travel visa before traveling to Canada. To see if your country is on this list, please click here. If you are traveling from one of the countries on this list it is strongly advised that you begin your visa application process at least 6 months in advance of the meeting.

Some foreign attendees do not need to seek a visa to travel to Canada for a conference. In order to qualify, the attendee must be a citizen of any of the countries on the Visitor Visa Exemption list. For a list of the participating countries of the Visitor Visa Exemptions list, please click here. All of the citizens who are allowed to enter Canada without a visa are required to have a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in order to travel to Canada. If you do not have a MRP, you will have to apply for a visa.

Preparing to Travel to Canada:

To assist you in preparing to travel to Canada, please review the information at the CIC web page. Determine what aspects of traveling to Canada apply to your situation such as whether you need to apply for a visa or whether you are exempt. Complete the visa application form if needed and follow all instructions listed in the instructions. To download a Canadian Visa application form, please click here.

Preparing for your Visa Interview:

To help you prepare for your visa interview at your local Canadian consulate or embassy, you will need to gather several documents which will help facilitate your visa application.
  • Apply for visa as early as possible typical visa processing times can be found click here.
  • Provide your entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than Canada at the time of visa application.
  • If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.
  • Provide proof of scientific status.
  • Provide meeting brochure and letter of invitation.
  • Provide evidence that you are intending to return to your country of residence. This includes such things as:

Family ties in current country of residence
Property ownership
Bank account (s)
Employment contract or statement from employer showing that the position will continue after the dates of the meeting

School enrollment documentation

  • click here to contact the Conference Coordinator for more information and to request an invitation letter. For security reasons invitation letters can only be issued to authors or registered attendees of the conference.

Please note that the Intermag Conference is not able to send letters of invitation directly to any Canadian consulate or embassy via mail, fax, or email. The letter of invitation does not include your registration fee or any financial help for attending the meeting. Requirements vary by passport-issuing country and citizenship (not merely residency).

For the most current requirements and those specific to your situation, please click here to check with your local Canadian consulate or embassy or the Citizenship Immigration Canada web site.

Visa Problems:

For further help with gaining a visa to travel to Canada, you may wish to visit the Citizenship Immigration Canada website for more information. Click here to link to the CIC web site. If you are refused a visa to enter Canada, please click here for further information.

Useful Links:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site:

Information on visiting Canada:

Do you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada:

Visiting Canada - Important information for visa exempt travellers:

Where to send your application for a (TRV):

Video Tutorial on completing the Temporary Resident Visa Application Form (IMM 5257)

Visa Offices outside of Canada:

Application processing times: