VISA SERVICES CANADA

"I have no borders"

900-275 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H9
Phone: (613) 231-7054

Frequently Asked Questions

Visa Services Canada Inc. is a private company dedicated to helping you get your visa. We are not the government and we do not issue visas. We assist you in the processing of your visa application.

WHAT VISA SERVICES CANADA DOES

PAYMENT

CANADIAN VISAS

DO I NEED A VISA?

VISAS FROM ABORAD

PASSPORTS

REQUIREMENTS

APPLICATIONS AND TIMES

SAFETY AND SECURITY

CHILD / MINOR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION

FURTHER ASSISTANCE

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WHAT VSC DOES

What does Visa Services Canada do?
VSC provides a service to you by helping you get the visa you require for foreign travel. VSC quality control checks your application and documents to ensure they meet the stated requirements of the embassy, so that the request will not be initially denied and your money lost. VSC deals directly with the embassies or High Commissions or consulates to get your visa application processed in the shortest time possible. VSC exchanges currencies to make payments in difficult foreign currencies on your behalf. VSC does the research and legwork with the embassies to ensure you have the information you need to apply for the correct visa.

I am not a Canadian citizen. Can I still use VSC services?
YES! Visa Services Canada will assist any Canadian citizens or legal residents of Canada in acquiring visas to travel abroad. Foreigners not resident in Canada must apply in their country of residence.

Is VSC part of the Canadian government?
No. VSC is a private corporation owned and based in Canada providing service to citizens and legal residents of Canada under Canadian law. VSC is a federally-incorporated and federally-register corporation with head offices in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

How does it work?
1. Print out the visa application form package for the country or countries to which you will travel, and fill it out completely and sign the bottom.
2. In a courier envelope, place your VSC application form, visa form, photographs, and passport, and any other necessary document, and send it to VSC.
3. Wait for your passport to be returned by secure shipping.

How fast can I get my visa?
Some visas are available the same day, and some take over two months. Most visas are available with ordinary service within two weeks. Some consulates offer, for an extra fee, special rush service.

Can I apply on-line?
For most countries your original passport and photo and signature is required. For India and Viet Nam you can apply on-line through our website.

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PAYMENT

How do I pay for this service?
VSC accepts money orders, certified cheques, company cheques, and credit card payments from customers. In order to use a non-credit card payment method, you must first contact us to confirm the current prices, then send the payment via overnight shipping. The reason for this is visa fees are constantly being changed by embassies. VSC cannot guarantee a fixed price from an embassy, as we have no control over the fluctuating price of the visa itself as set by the foreign governments. We do not accept personal cheques at any time or under any circumstance. Corporate clients may also pay via bank wire transfer, with all transfer and receiving costs of the wire transfer pre-paid by the client. VSC accepts VISA and Mastercard credit cards.

Will you charge my credit card in foreign currencies?
No. VSC charges your credit card only in Canadian dollars. It is the responsibility of VSC to exchange currency to that required by the specific embassy or High Commission or consulate in order to pay for the visa processing as required by that country. VSC will charge you the current daily rate of exchange.

Is a visa guaranteed if I use VSC?
No. It is the sole prerogative of the individual embassy to accept or decline to issue a visa to any person. No company or person can guarantee you will receive a visa.

If I do not receive a visa, do I get a refund?
No. Embassies charge the visa fee whether or not they issue a visa. The fee is for the embassy's service of deciding whether or not to issue the visa. Once VSC pays the embassy, the money cannot be recovered, and payment does not guarantee a visa will be issued.

Can I pay by personal cheque, cash, money order, or money transfer service?
No and yes. VSC usually accepts only VISA and Mastercard credit card payments due to fluctuating prices as charged by diplomatic offices. However, clients may arrange to make payment via bank wire transfer or money order or bank certified cheque within 24 hours of confirming the prices directly with the VSC office.

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CANADIAN VISAS

Can you help me get a visa to Canada?
No. We provide service to persons travelling out of Canada to foreign destinations. We cannot assist you in acquiring a visa to travel to Canada. Please see the Canada page for information on making your own request for a Canadian visa directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the federal government department responsible for visas. Canadian regulations state that professional immigration assistance is not required or recognized, and does not advance or speed your application in any way, nor does it guarantee a visa.

Can you help me immigrate to Canada?
No. Visa Services Canada is not an immigration service for Canada. VSC helps Canadian citizens and legal residents of Canada obtain visas for travel to places outside of Canada. As a prospective immigrant to Canada you do not need an immigration service, as the Canadian government does not recognize these services as being of any benefit to the applicant. Such services do not advance or speed your application in any way, nor can they guarantee a visa.

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DO I NEED A VISA?

Why do I need a visa?
Most countries require a visa in some circumstances for some or all nationalities. Some countries require a visa for entry of their territory for any purpose. Others require visas only from certain nationalities. It is up to individual governments to pass laws and make regulations governing the requirements for the issue of visas. This is most often done on a reciprocal basis, meaning that if Canada requires a visa from citizens of a certain country, then that country's government usually requires visas from Canadian citizens.

I already have a passport. Do I need a visa?
Usually, yes. Many countries require a visa to enter their territory. A passport is only the first step in gaining entry. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine visa requirements for that country.

How do I know what countries require visas?
VSC has a file on each country and the visa policies of its government. Please check the visa information page for the specific country to determine if you need a visa to enter the country.

I am the head of the household and have a visa. Can everyone in my family travel on my visa?
No. Each person needs a visa. In Canada it is now recommended that even babies have a passport issued in their own name. Some countries still allow children to be listed in passports, but this practice is increasingly uncommon.

Do my children need visas?
Yes. Most countries which require a visa from foreign travellers will also require visas issued in the name of the child. Often this is cheaper, but almost always requires special paperwork. You will have to provide original letters certifying your right to take the child out of Canada: usually the authorization of both or the other parent for this travel. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine child visa details requirements for that country.

I am a student who wants to study in a foreign country. Do I need a visa?
Yes. Almost all countries require students to acquire a student visa before entering that country for educational purposes. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine student visa requirements for each country.

I am adopting a baby in a foreign country. Do I need a visa?
Yes. Most countries require foreign travellers to acquire a basic visa before entering that country for any purpose. Some countries have special adoption visas. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine adoption or basic visa requirements for each country. Please note that a visa for Canada will be required to bring the baby into Canada. These must be acquired from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC.gc.ca).

I want to work in a foreign country. Do I need a visa?
Yes. All countries require special work permits and work visas for foreigners wishing to work in that country. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine work visa requirements for each country.

I am a journalist who wants to report from a foreign country. Do I need a visa?
Yes. Several countries issue specific journalist visas while others issue work or business travel visas to journalists. Please see the visa information page for the specific country to determine journalist visa requirements for each country. If there is no journalist visa application, then a business visa is the usual requirement.

Do I need a visa if I am just passing through an airport?
Sometimes. Many countries require a "Transit Visa" for stops in the airport, even just to change airplanes. Please check the visa information page for the specific country to determine if you will have to get a transit visa for that country.

I am going on a cruise. Do I need a visa?
Sometimes. Most cruises sold in the North American market visit countries which usually do not require visas for Canadian citizens. Residents of Canada who are not citizens should check the country page, or contact VSC for detailed information. Many cruises are now visiting more exotic destinations, and Canadian citizens may sometimes require a visa. World cruises will usually visit at least five countries requiring visas from Canadians.

I will be crossing a border by car or bus. Do I need a visa?
Sometimes. If the country to which you will travel requires a visa for entry, then this requirement applies to all forms of transportation (airplane, train, car, bus, walking).

I am a diplomat. Can VSC get me a visa?
Yes. VSC will apply for a diplomatic visa on your behalf. You will require an official letter from your embassy or High Commission or consulate or mission.

Are there any countries from which you cannot get me a visa?
Yes. A small number of countries prohibit dealings with professional visa services. These regulations are often put in place to prevent unscrupulous immigration counsellors from conning unsuspecting potential immigrants who are seeking visas to western countries. You will have to approach these embassies on your own without any assistance. To make the process easier, VSC has gathered pertinent data about the visa requirements of these countries, and made it available to you. (Austria, Belgium, Belize, Chile, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, U.S.A.)

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APPLY FROM ABROAD

I will be out of Canada. Can I apply for a visa from abroad?
Yes. You can send your applciation and documents and passport and photos to VSC by courier from almost anywhere in the world. We will process the application; get the visa; and return the passport to you by courier to anywhere in the world. Actual courier fees apply.

PASSPORTS

Do I need a passport?
Yes. Almost all travel to foreign countries involves a passport requirement. Countries which require a visa for entry will of course need your passport, as the visa is placed on a blank page in your passport.

Where do I get a passport?
Canadian passports are available upon application and fee payment to the government of Canada passport office. Application forms can be picked up at any post office and most travel agencies. for more information, visit the passport office Web site.

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REQUIREMENTS

How do I increase my chances of getting a visa?
Read the instructions carefully and fulfill all the requirements. Make sure you have included all required and necessary documents. Make sure the application forms are typed or printed legibly in dark ink. SIGN THE FORMS! Make sure your photos are new and in colour if required, and show an uncovered face. If possible, include a copy of your air ticket or travel itinerary from your travel agent. Make sure you have included letters from your company if on a business trip, or letters from the other parent if you are travelling with your child. In short, be clear and truthful and prepared. Ensure that you have a proper invitation, if applicable. Enclose your Permanent Resident status document, if not a Canadian citizen. Many countries require proof of financial support in the form of bank statements, so be prepared to provide these as well.

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APPLICATIONS AND TIMES

Can I apply on-line?
For most countries your original passport and photo and signature is required. For India and Viet Nam you can apply on-line through our website.

How long does it take to get my visa?
Some visas are available the same day, and some take up to three months. Most visas are available with ordinary service within two weeks. Special rush service is sometimes available for extra fees charged by the embassy.

How soon do I have to use my visa?
Most ordinary visas are valid for use within ninety (90) days. This means you must enter the visa country within ninety days of the issuance of that visa. If you go over that time, the visa is invalid, and a new visa must be purchased.

How long is the visa valid in the foreign country?
Most ordinary visas are valid for up to ninety (90) days. This means you may remain in the country for up to ninety days before you must, by law, leave. Some visas have a far shorter validity, and others can be extended once inside the country. Other visas, often more expensive, are valid for up to a year.

I need to got to several countries in a row. Can I get all my visas at once?
Yes. VSC will apply for each necessary visa on your behalf then return the passport once all of the work has been done. You do not have to send VSC your passport multiple times.

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SAFETY AND SECURITY

Will my passport be safe at VSC?
VSC recognizes that Canadian passports are very valuable documents which are sometimes sold on the black market for thousands of dollars. We aim to prevent theft of your important documents. VSC is a federally-register Canadian company with staff who have security clearances and police certificates. In the VSC offices your passport will be kept in a vault when not being processed.

Will my passport be safe at the Embassy or High Commission?
Embassy security is usually very tight, and there are very few reports of passport loss within an embassy. However, should a passport become lost while in the custody of an embassy, there is nothing VSC or you can do to recover the passport. In the unlikely event that a passport is stolen from VSC , the Ottawa police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will be notified, as will the Canadian passport office in the case of a Canadian passport.

Will my passport be safe with the shipper?
Thousands of passports travel by courier each and every day. Major professional shipping services, such as CanPost, Purolator, and FedEx, are the preferred method for transporting passports, and are considered safe and secure. However, should a passport become lost while in the custody of a shipping company, you should notify the police. Please notify VSC and we will attempt to trace your package from Ottawa. If this fails, the police will be notified, as will the passport office.

Will my personal information be seen by the USA?
The US Patriot Act gives various US agencies the right to spy on personal data held by US companies or held in databases which are in the USA. All of your personal data held by VSC is kept in Canada. None of your personal data held by VSC is subject to the US Patriot Act. Your data cannot be searched by the US government. Other visa companies in Canada are owned by US companies, and their Canadian data can be read by the US government. So use Visa Services Canada, a real Canadian company, and protect your personal data.

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CHILD / MINOR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION

Should I get a travel authorization for my child?
Foreign Affairs Canada suggests the following model letter which may be amended to meet the specific situation and requirements of the applicant. Simply take this text and personalize it to meet your family needs. Ensure you provide copies of the passports of both parents, and a long-form birth certificate of the child showing the names of both parents. START LETTER: To Whom It May Concern. I (We), (full name(s) of custodial and/or non-custodial parent(s)/legal guardian(s)), am (are) the (lawful custodial parent and/or non-custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s)) of (child's full name) Date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY): Place of birth: Canadian passport number: Date of issuance of Canadian passport (DD/MM/YYYY): Place of issuance of Canadian passport. (Child's full name), has my (our) consent to travel with Full name of accompanying person: Canadian or foreign passport number: Date of issuance of passport (DD/MM/YYYY): Place of issuance of passport: to visit (name of foreign country) during the period of (dates of travel: departure and return). During that period, (child's full name) will be residing with (name of person where child will be residing in foreign country) at the following address: Number/street address and apartment number: City, province/state, country: Telephone and fax numbers (work and residence). Any questions regarding this consent letter can be directed to the undersigned at: Number/street address and apartment number: City, province/state, country: Telephone and fax numbers (work and residence): Signature(s): Date: (Full name(s) and signature(s) of custodial parent, and/or non-custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s)). Signed before me, (name of witness), this (date) at (name of location). Signature: (name of witness) NOTARY SEAL of lawyer. END LETTER

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FURTHER ASSISTANCE

I need more help. What should I do now?
Please contact VSC via email, fax, or telephone.

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