Visa for Calgary, Alberta

Updated: Jan 10, 2024 | Tags: Canada Visa, Canada eTA

Visa for Calgary, Alberta - Canada

This article provides information on getting a visa or an eTA for Calgary. A valid visa for Calgary, or eTA, will be required prior your departure to Canada.

Visa and eTA overview

Tourists will require either a visa or an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to visit Canada. Many tourists will just need the eTA, but you will need to obtain the visitor visa to visit Calgary if you are a national of a country that is visa-required.

The eTA is filled out online. You will need to fill this out honestly with your own personal details. To complete the online form, you will need to have your passport to hand, as details such as your passport number are required. It is important to get your passport number correct, as it is still possible to be approved for an eTA with an invalid number, but you would later be unable to board your flight.

Once you have completed the eTA application, you will need to pay a small fee. You will then receive an email confirming receipt of your application, later followed by an approval. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the eTA form questions prior to applying.

A visitor visa for Calgary can be applied for online or on paper. Once obtained, the visitor visa will be stamped into your passport to prove you meet the requirements of travel into Canada.

To obtain a visitor visa for Calgary, you will need to meet certain requirements. These include having valid travel documentation, having enough money for your entire stay, and having no criminal convictions. You will also need to convince an immigration officer that you have good reason to return home and will be leaving Canada at the end of your stay.

Some visitors may need to attend a medical examination and/or show a letter of invitation from a resident within Canda.

Most visitor visas are processed within a few weeks, but this varies depending on the visa office. Once your application has been processed, your passport and other documents will be returned.

Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

The Canadian eTA is an electronic travel authorization that is intended to simplify the process of entering Canada for common travel purposes such as tourism, business or transit. Individuals wishing to visit Canada for under six months, for the purposes of tourism, business, transit, or receiving medical treatment may be eligible. A Canadian eTA is issued for up to five years' from the date of approval, or until the date of passport expiry, whichever comes first.

The Canadian eTA enables passport holders of dozens of countries to apply online for travel authorization without the need of a visa for Calgary.

There are a wide variety of uses for a Canadian eTA, from attending family weddings to speaking at a business conference. However, there are limitations to using an eTA. If used in an unauthorized manner, an approved eTA can be revoked from an applicant. It is thus important to make sure eTA applicants understand the full scope of permitted travel uses of an eTA.

Approved business use

Although a Canadian eTA is typically thought of as a tourist travel authorization, it can also be used for business purposes.

With an eTA, travelers can visit Canada to meet with business associates, settle an estate or negotiate a business contract. Although it is not a work visa, a Canadian eTA can be used to conduct business meetings in Canada. If you plan to travel to Calgary for a business meeting using an eTA, you may be asked to provide additional documentation during your eTA application or at the Canadian border. You will likely be required to prove that your main source of income is received outside of Canada, and that your employer is also based outside of Canada.

You can also attend a business conference in Canada with a Canadian eTA. If you use your eTA for this purpose, you may be asked by Canadian immigration personnel to prove that you are not employed nor seeking employment in Canada.

Approved tourism use

Most people get an eTA for tourism purposes. Permitted tourism purposes include activities such as sight-seeing, and visiting with friends or family.

Approved transit use

A Canadian eTA can also be used for transit purposes, whereby a traveler is switching airplanes on Canadian territory while en-route to a non-Canadian destination.

Unauthorized use

Although there are many approved uses for a Canadian eTA, there are also some things you cannot legally do with an eTA.

You are not allowed to work in Canada with an eTA. Although you can use an eTA for some business purposes, you cannot hold or obtain employment in Canada using an eTA. Thus, you must apply for a work visa if you wish to be employed in Canada. This is true whether you want to move your career to Calgary or hope for temporary employment. You cannot accept payment for any work in Canada without a proper Canadian work visa.

You also cannot study in Canada using an eTA. You must get a Canadian student visa if you want to attend school in Canada.

Requirements affecting eTA eligibility

  1. You can only use an eTA for entering Canada via aircraft.
  2. You must not have any prior refusals to enter Canada and no prior deportation history in Canada. If so, you will likely be denied an eTA.
  3. You must have an electronic passport.
  4. You must not have any highly infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, at the time of your visit or at the time of your eTA application.
  5. You must not have been previously convicted of any crimes causing serious harm or damage to people or property.

Canada eTA application process

To apply for an eTA, you will need your passport and employment details. You should allow between 15-20 minutes per application. Applications are usually processed and approved within minutes for most applicants. However, due to enhanced and automated security screening, your application may be flagged and require a manual review. During a manual review, you will be requested to provide additional information or documentation to process your eTA application. Failure to provide this information or documentation in a timely manner during the manual review will result in a denied eTA application.

Types of Canadian visas and permits

Canadian eTAs are only for individuals from visa-exempt countries and permanent residents of the United States. If you are not from a visa-exempt country, are not a U.S. citizen, and are not a permanent resident of the United States, then you will need a visa for Calgary.

Tourist visa

A Canadian tourist visa is known as a Temporary Resident Visa, or TRV for short. Like an eTA, you can apply for this online. You can also apply using a paper-based application. The application requires more information and entails longer processing timelines than an eTA application.

Work permit

If you plan to work in Canada, either temporarily or indefinitely, you will need a work permit in addition to your eTA or TRV. Before you can apply for a work permit, you must usually have a job offer from a Canadian employer, although it is sometimes possible to waive this requirement depending on profession or the type of work an individual is able to do in Canada.

You can apply for a work permit either online or on paper. When you apply, you will need to certify that you will only work for the specific employer who has offered you a job, and that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment.

Study permit

Study permits are similar to work permits. To apply for a study permit, you must also have a TRV or eTA. All students need a study permit, with very few exceptions. Unless you will attend preschool, plan to apply for a study permit.

You can apply for a student visa online or on paper. You must agree that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies (unless you subsequently get a work permit), and you must show that you have adequate financial support to live in Canada.

Canadian visa application process

To apply for a Canadian visa, there are set number of steps which need to be followed. You can either apply online or apply on paper. For either type of application, you will be prompted to select the country where you are applying from as well as provide some information on your eligibility for your desired travel purposes.

Online application (eligibility restrictions)

The online application includes an instruction guide which is to be used to prepare the documents and forms needed to submit your Canada visa application. However, only eligible applicants can apply for a Canadian visa online. You can apply using the following link:

Paper-based application

To apply for a Canadian visa using the paper-based application, you will need to first download and print the application package, which includes all the relevant forms you will need to fill out. Once completed, you will need to pay a fee to process your visa application. Once paid, you can then submit your visa application for processing. To get started on your paper-based Canadian visa application, visit the following link:

Calgary travel information

Calgary is Alberta, Canada's modern gem. It is a city mid-transformation from its down-to-earth farming roots to its newfound cool sophistication, and it's balancing the two with unusual aplomb. Are you considering a trip to Calgary?

The incredible diversity within Calgary means there are incredible offerings for every traveller. Public transportation is plentiful and cheap, relative to local incomes, and there's a free fare zone on the C-Train in the downtown area.

Calgary's best-known attraction is the yearly Calgary Stampede. It attracts cowboys from across the globe, and it is an excellent excuse to party.

The best area for nightlife is Kensington, which is in the north-west area of the city. It's packed full of a delicious variety of clubs, bars, and restaurants.

Calgary is close to the Rockies, so it's the perfect place to take a day-trip to explore the mountains. There are numerous guided tours available, or you can simply rent a car and make your own way. The mountains around Calgary have a lot of opportunities for hiking, skiing, and camping.

One of the most interesting sights available in Calgary is the Family of Man Sculptures: a set of ten behemoth aluminium cast creations, each weighing up to 1,500 pounds and as tall as 21 feet.

An excellent place to sample Calgary's flourishing sophisticated scene is the Eau Claire Market. It's pleasantly family-friendly, but offers a diverse range of posh stores and restaurants, plus an upscale food court, all in settled neatly below Calgary's fetching skyscrapers.


Calgary is a lively, almost boastful city, which reveres its Western roots but is fast growing into its newfound trendiness. The transformation is fascinating to behold, and it makes Calgary one of the most interesting cities in Canada. Once a farming city on the cusp of being left behind, its growth in recent years proves this is a city with so much still to offer. To avoid any negative surprises, make sure to apply for an eTA or visa for Calgary at least four weeks before your departure.