Applying for a Canadian Visa

Do I need a visa to go to Canada?

Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website: Countries and Territories Requiring Visas, to see if you need a visa.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you need a visa to visit Canada, it is strongly suggested that you apply as early as possible. No matter which application process you choose (below), the Consulate General of Canada in New York can take up to 2-3 months to process tourist visas.

What type of visa do I need to visit Canada?

Canadian visitor visas are called Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs); this is the type of visa you will need to visit Canada for tourism.

There are two types of TRVs:


A single-entry TRV allows you to travel between the United States and Canada for six months after you first use the visa, but before its written expiration date.  If you wish to enter from a country other than the US you may only use this visa once. 


A mulitple-entry TRV allows you to enter Canada many times, from any country for the duration of the visa (usually twelve (12) months).

The choice of visitor visa is entirely your own. From practice, we know that multiple-entry visas are valid for a longer period of time and they not misunderstood by U.S. Border Patrol.

How much does it cost?

Please visit the following link for TRV fee list: 

Please pay only the exact amount listed on the fee list.

How do I apply?

1)Apply On-line.

You must have to have a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express ONLY) to apply on-line. DEBIT cards are not acceptable. You must also have access to a scanner or camera to create eletronic copies of your documents for submission. This method is the fastest and more convenient of the options. You send scans of your documents and you do not have to send original documents until Canadian Immigration and Customs Service asks for them. The process may take from 1-2 months to complete. On-line application are given priority and are processed first.

We have created a Guide for you to help you through the on-line process:

SUNY Plattsburgh Canadian Visa On-line Application Procedures Spring 2014

Please note that starting September 2013 citizens of some countries will have to give fingerprints and photographs in person in New York City when applying for a visitor's visa.

Find out if you need to give biometrics

If you are applying for a multiple-entry visa using the on-line application process, CIC will send you a biometrics instruction sheet when they receive your application. You will need to read the letter in your MyCIC account, print a copy, and bring it along with your passport to the VAC in New York City to give your biometrics in person. If you are applying for a multi-entry visa, you only have to give biometrics once, when you first apply.

2) Through the VAC (Visa Application Centre) in New York City.

Please be aware that this service is not free. You will need to pay a service fee along with other fees in addition to the application fee. This service does may give you several benefits like extended hours of service, on-line tracking of your application, and assurance that your application is complete and all the documentation is included.

If you would like to learn more, please visit this link to the VAC in New York City:

3) Hard Copy directly to the Consulate General of Canada in New York City. 

You will have to take your documents and deliver them in person to the Consulate General of Canada in New York City and it could take 2-3 months for processing. The Consulate General of Canada does not recommend this route as it is slower and given less priority.

We list below the required documents for hard copy submission:

1)  Application for Temporary Resident Visa Form IMM5257

  • Check out this example of a completed application: Form IMM 5257 (Example)
  • Make sure that you Validate your application by clicking the "Validate" button on the PDF
  • You should have at least five (5) pages after clicking the "Validate button"

2) Family Information Form IMM5645

3) Two passport photos. Signed, dated and taken in the past 6 months. You should write your name and birthdate on the back of the photos in pencil.

4) Money order in U.S. currency drawn on a U.S. bank for the exact amount.

5) Valid passport at least 6 months from the date of travel to Canada

6) Original F-1 or J-1 Visa

7) Original I-20 or DS-2019

8)  GEO Enrollment Verification Letter

9) Bank statement showing at least $500 for single-entry or $1000 for multiple-entry

10) Document Checklist

If you decide to go the hard copy submission route, we encourage that you visit this link:

Once you have collected all of the required  documents you should schedule an appointment with the International Student Advisor to have your application reviewed.  At this appointment the International Student Advisor will produce an Enrollment Verification Letter.

Please note that the Consulate General of Canda does not return passports in person. They will be mailed back to you.

The Consulate General of Canada is located at the following address in New York City:

Immigration Section
Consulate General of Canada in New York
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York
United States of America

Please see this link for window hours and other important instructions:



Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you have any questions about international admission or financial aid at SUNY-Plattsburgh, please contact:

Global Education Office
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Kehoe Administration Building, Room 210
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, New York 12901 USA

Phone: (518) 564-3287
Fax: (518) 564-3292