Within the Temporary Resident Visas, there is also a specific visa given to Canadian citizens who do not momentarily possess a Canadian passport. This visa is called the Facilitation Visa and the article will go through its relevant details on the requirements and ways to apply for it.
What is the Facilitation Visa?
As its name suggests, the Facilitation Visa helps or facilitates the travelling of a Canadian citizen with a dual citizenship to go to Canada. There are many cases when a person has two citizenships, a Canadian one and one from a foreign country.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this person does not have a Canadian passport that they can travel freely, but they need to go to Canada on a short-term notice. Because of this short-term notice, they cannot start the procedures of getting the Canadian passport, so they need the Facilitation Visa.
The Facilitation Visa allows these Canadian citizens to enter Canada with a foreign passport and be regarded as citizens. They can stay there for only the period that they need to complete their emergency visit and then they have to leave the country. It is advisable that they start the procedures to get a Canadian passport so that they do not need a Facilitation Visa in the future.
The Government of Canada will not issue a Facilitation Visa just because it is more convenient for the applicant. There must be a solid and verifiable reason to get this visa and the applicant must prove that if they do not get this visa, it will cause them undue hardship that is not through some fault of their own. So, the applicant must also have been in a situation that they could not get a Canadian passport because of circumstances that they could not control.
Additionally, if you have dual citizenship with a Canadian citizenship but the other foreign country does not allow a second citizenship, then the Government of Canada will not issue a Facilitation Visa. The officials at the Canadian Consulate are advised not to issue this visa if the applicant is trying to hide their Canadian citizenship because the other country does not allow dual citizenship.
What are the requirements for the Facilitation Visa?
To get the Facilitation Visa, the applicants must meet several criteria that they have to prove through various documents. If you are thinking of applying for this visa, then you must meet these requirements:
- You must have proof that you have a Canadian citizenship through a birth certificate or other manners;
- You must be in one of the following circumstances and need to travel urgently to Canada:
- Your documents have been lost or stolen and you are in distress;
- You have a dual citizenship and are going to Canada for the first time;
- You have a dual citizenship and did not get a Canadian passport before leaving Canada;
- You were a child born in Canada to foreign parents who have returned to their country and did not want to claim your Canadian citizenship that you have acquired automatically when you were born;
- You are or were a child who went through an adoption process in a foreign country and that country only allows you to leave through their national passport;
- You are under 18 years old and you are coming to live with Canadian parents for humanitarian or compassionate reasons, but you have a foreign passport or travel document. You must have evidence that one of the parents in Canada is a Canadian citizen.
- You must prove that you do not have a Canadian passport because of reasons beyond your control.
You must meet these requirements in order to qualify for the Facilitation Visa. If you cannot prove that you fulfill the criteria, the Canadian Consulate will reject your application. The alternative is to then apply for a different type of Canada Visa.
How to apply for the Facilitation Visa?
The Facilitation Visa application process is different from other Temporary Resident Visa applications. If you fulfill the requirements above, then you may submit a direct visa application to the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in the foreign country where you have your second citizenship.
You must submit the following forms for the Facilitation Visa application for Canada:
- Form IMM 5257, Application for Temporary Resident;
- Form IMM 5707, Family Information Form;
Other forms that you might have to fill out if they are applicable for you are:
- Form IMM 5409, Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union;
- Form IMM 5476, Use of a Representative;
- Form IMM 5475, Authority to release personal information to a designated individual;
In addition to these forms, you must also submit the following supporting documents:
- Your valid government issued passport from the country where you have your second citizenship;
- Proof that you have are a Canadian citizen such as:
- Your Canadian Certificate of Citizenship;
- Birth Certificate from a Canadian province or territory is acceptable unless you were in these situations at the time of your birth:
- One of your parents was a diplomat or a consular officer of a foreign government;
- One of your parents was an employee or representative of a foreign government;
- One of your parents was an officer or an employee of a specialized agency of the United Nations;
- One of your parents was an officer or an employee of an international organization with diplomatic privileges or immunities;
- None of your parents were Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada;
- Naturalization Certificate issued before January 1st, 1947;
- Registration of birth abroad certificate issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977;
- Certificates of retention issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977;
- Proof that you could get a Canadian passport for reasons beyond your control;
- Proof that you need to go to Canada due to an emergency;
- Your bank or other financial statements to prove you have enough funds for the trip to Canada;
- A Declaration Letter from you to the Government of Canada where you explain why they should give you a visa;
- Two (2) photos that meet the Canada Photo Requirements;
- Medical examination forms if the Consular Officer finds it necessary;
- Your employment or education status through a resume or diplomas, as well as a letter from your employer stating that you have contractual obligations to fulfill and you must return to your home country.
With these documents, you must also pay the application fees. When you submit these documents, the official at the Canadian Embassy might ask you a few questions about the purpose of your visit to Canada and your official duties. They might also ask you to submit biometric information if they find it necessary.
The Consulate might take a few days to process the application depending on their workload or they will immediately respond to your visa application. They will either grant you the visa and stamp it on your passport, or they will deny it and let you know about the reasons for the denial.
What are the Facilitation Visa fees?
To be able to apply for the Facilitation Visa, you must pay the following fees:
- Visa application fee of CAD$100;
- Biometrics fee of $85;
Besides these, if your application is approved you must pay the passport processing fee of around CAD$45.
How long is the Facilitation Visa processing time?
Since the Facilitation Visa is given to people who have emergencies and need to go to Canada, the processing time is quite short. It could take a few days for you to get a response from the Consulate on whether you got the visa or not, or they might let you know immediately once your interview is over.
How long is the Facilitation Visa valid?
The general idea is that the Canadian Consulate grants the Temporary Resident Visas for a few months or a few years, but the person cannot stay in Canada for more than 6 months. However, the Facilitation Visa is different and that is why it has a much shorter validity.
When you apply for this visa, you must state how long you need to stay in Canada due to your emergency. The Canadian Consulate will take this time into account and will issue your visa only for those dates. They cannot issue a visa for longer than what you need to complete your emergency.
Can I bring my dependents with me to Canada with a Facilitation Visa?
Since the Facilitation Visa is issued only to Canadian citizens who do not have a passport and it is for emergencies, then it is quite difficult to have your dependents accompany you to Canada.
The reason why this might be allowed is if they are important to the emergency that you have in Canada. Otherwise it is much better to have them apply for a visa that is more suitable, such as a Canada Visitor Visa. If they have Canadian passports, then they will not need the visa at all. Dependents in this case are your spouse or common law partner and minor children.