Visa and Entry Requirements

Do I need a Visa?

Prior to traveling to Canada for GIC2017, please review Citizenship and Immigration Canada's List of Countries Requiring a Visa for Entry to clarify your visa requirements. We recommend that, if required, you apply for a visa as soon as your attendance is confirmed, as visa requests can often take months to process.

Submission of Applications:

Delegates are encouraged to submit their visa applications well in advance of the date of the event at a Visa Application Centre or online E-applications (e-Apps).  Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that delegates visit the website of the visa office responsible for processing their visa applications. Information is available on the website on how to submit a visa application and the documentation required.


This system allows clients to submit applications online. Delegates that need a visa but require their passport for other travel purposes are strongly encouraged to submit their visa applications online (e-Apps). Delegates that choose to apply online will not have to submit their passport until a decision has been taken on their applications. If required, the visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passports to finalize the visa process.  

Visa Application Centres (VACs):

VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants.  VACs provide a number of services including helping applicants fill out forms, answering questions and ensuring that applications are complete, thereby reducing unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications. Applicants that are required to provide biometrics information as part of the visa application process can do so at a VAC. Additional information on the biometrics requirements is available at the IRCC website. VACs send applications to Visa Offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner. VACs do not process visa applications and play no role in the decision-making process

Visa Applications Processing Times:

Processing time for visa applications vary depending on the office and the time of the year. Visit the IRCC website for information on the time it takes to process visa applications at the various visa offices. 

Travel Authorization for All Travelers (Besides US/Canada)

Starting 15 March, 2016, citizens from countries other than the United States who do not need a visa to enter Canada will need to obtain an ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION (eTA) before flying to or transiting through Canada.

The eTA process is similar to that of the United States ESTA: travelers apply individually online here. Each individual must pay CAD $7 by Visa, Mastercard or American Express, and their eTA is valid for 5 years. Travel agents can apply for their clients, but they cannot charge a fee for this service.

For more information about this new requirement, visit the eTA page for videos and fact sheets in multiple languages.

Invitation Letters

We are pleased to provide letters of invitation to assist in your visa applications for travel to Canada. To be issued an invitation letter, the participant must be registered, and have paid in full for the Conference.

To register, click the registration link. Letters of invitation will not be issued to individuals who may be accompanying you to the conference, only registered attendees.

Please note that although the letter will be an official invitation, applicants are responsible for all costs of attending GIC2017. Application for a visa must be made by the person to whom this letter is addressed, and directly to the appropriate Canadian Embassy/High Commission. We will not apply for a visa on your behalf. For details, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website

You will have the opportunity to request a visa Letter during the registration process.


**Fraudulent sites have been targeting foreign nationals with fake eTA application. Please use the links provided and read through the application details in full to avoid any visa application issues. All visa applications should go through the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada's official website at:

Helpful Links

Citizenship and Immigration Canada website:           

Information on visiting Canada:                          

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

Visiting Canada – Important information for visa exempt travelers:

Where to send your application for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV):

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

Visa Offices outside of Canada:

Application processing times:

Canada Border Services Agency: