For a Cuban national is extremely difficult to visit Canada as a tourist . It is a fact that very few Cubans living in the island have the opportunity to travel the world as authentic tourists. As a general rule, Cubans travel abroad to seek asylum at the first border they find, to trade, or to visit family or friends. Applying for a tourist visa from Cuba as the first option to enter Canada is a high risk that, if denied, can jeopardize future visa applications, not only to Canada, but to other countries as well.
The process is generally described as follows:
- The file with the required documents is prepared
- The Canadian authorities review the application in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations (IRPA, IRPR, and guidelines)
- Once the application is approved, the visa is stamped in the passport
- Upon arrival in the country, the visitor is admitted at the port of entry (POE), giving they are admissible to enter Canada, and the date of departure is stamped on the passport
- The traveler complies with the obligation to leave the Canadian territory at the end of his/her authorized period of stay
It is advisable to prepare an organized file, with a presentation/introduction or index sheet and/or an explanation letter to describe each document that is included in the visa application, in the same order in which they will be attached. Each request offers the possibility of including this type of additional letter, it is called "Client Information", and it is optional, but at Teepeeca we always recommend using it. This will facilitate the work of the immigration officer in charge of reviewing the file since he/she will be able to better understand the applicant's situation, and consequently, the process is speeded up. Well-organized requests generally see shorter processing times. Although there is a group of documents that are mandatory for everyone, such as the IMM forms, other documents may vary from person to person depending on each applicant´s situation, even within the same country. Some may need a letter of invitation, as we explain in the Teepeeca video, others must provide evidence of their ties to the family member who invites them, and in general, all must present evidence of economic solvency and a letter indicating the reasons/purposes of travel.
Some forms requested for a visitor visa are the following:
- Application for Visitor Visa- Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257)
- Family Information (IMM 5647 or IMM 5707)
- Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union IMM 5409, if required
- Application for Visitor Visa- Temporary Resident Visa from Outside Canada (IMM 5257B)
- Other country-specific forms, if required
- Document Checklist (IMM 5484)
- Use of a Representative, if required (IMM5476)
All these documents are generic, that is, they are suitable for anyone who wants to visit Canada and needs a visa. However, it is the applicant's responsibility to provide sufficient evidence to help the immigration officer understand the applicant's situation and make the correct decision based on the documentation available.
Teepeeca recommends using the certified translation services of FL Translations, which is our translation agency, based in Calgary, Canada. FL Translations has extensive experience in translating legal documents for immigration purposes and has an excellent portfolio of certified translators in Canada, in more than 50 languages.