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Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Prolong a Visa in Ontario

U.S. citizens holding valid U.S. passports are in many cases permitted to travel Canadian soil for up to 180 days without a visa. U.S. citizens intending to stay longer than 180 days or work or study in Canada must secure a Canadian visa prior to arrival. There are many reasons you might want to extend your Canadian visa and continue your travels in Ontario and other Canadian territories. If this occurs, begin your visa extension application at least 30 days prior to your current visa’s expiration date. The extension process is the same for all Canadian locations, including Ontario and its surrounding cities.

Items you will need
  • Canada Form IMM 1249: Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada
  • Canada Form IMM 5558: Visitor Document Checklist
  • Canada Form IMM 5476: Use of a Representation (optional)
  • Canada Form IMM 5409: Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union (optional)
  • Receipt Form IMM 5401
  • U.S. passport
  • Supporting documents
  • Application fee
Step 1

Revisit the Canadian visa requirements and your documentation to determine if you are eligible for a visa extension. Check your passport to ensure it is not set to expire during your extended stay. Secure any documentation that shows you have enough money to support your extended visit, such as bank statements or family/friend invitations to stay. Complete a medical examination at one of Ontario’s local medical facilities to certify that you are in good health.

Step 2
Complete the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1249: Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada, as well as the Visitor Document Checklist, Form IMM 5558. Additionally, complete Form IMM 5476: Use of a Representation, if you have hired a representative to assist you with your visa extension application, and fill out Form IMM 5409: Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union, if you are extending your stay because you have married a Canadian resident or have plans to do so during the extended visit.

Step 3
Gather your supporting documents to submit with the completed applications. Include clear photocopies of your valid passport, bank statement or other proof of financial support, valid return ticket and photocopy of your marriage certificate, if applicable.
Step 4
Secure a letter of invitation from your grandchild or child if you are extending a grandparent visa. Also obtain a document that shows that your Canadian family meets the Low Income Cut-Off requirements, such as proof of employment or Notice of Assessment.

Step 5
Go to a local Ontario financial institution to pay your visa application fee or visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to pay the fee online. Secure the payment receipt, known as Receipt Form IMM 5401, from the institution. Request a mailed copy of the receipt if you pay online, as this receipt includes the unique serial number that confirms your payment.

Step 6
Gather your completed forms, supporting documents and payment receipt, and mail the information to the address listed at the bottom of Visitor Document Checklist. Take note of the listed addresses, as grandparent visa extension applications are issued to an address that is slightly different from the standard visa extension address.

Step 7
Complete the visa extension application online to expedite processing. Scan your supporting documents into your system so you can upload them during the application process. Initiate the application on the Apply for an Extension as a Visitor page of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website by first completing the Visitor Self-Assessment Tool to verify your visa extension eligibility.

Step 8
Register for a Citizenship and Immigration Canada MyCIC account. Answer all questions accurately, as this information is used to pre-fill areas in the visa extension application. Select the Extend a Visa option and complete the application questions as indicated. Upload the supporting documents when prompted. Verify your entries for accuracy before submitting the application. Make your application payment online with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Save a copy of your completed application by selecting the “Save to File” option.