Visa for Toronto, Ontario

Updated: Jan 09, 2024 | Tags: Canada eTA, Canada Visa

Visa for Toronto, Ontario - Canada

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

Visa and eTA overview

To ensure your travel plans run smoothly, make sure you're familiar with entry requirements which require you to have an easily obtainable Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visa for Toronto. This applies to visa exempt nationals even if just in transit. United States citizens, Canadian citizens, those with a valid Canadian visa, duel Citizens and permanent residents are exempt from the scheme. The good news is the eTA is usually approved within minutes and you can apply online. Additionally, your eTA is valid for 5 years or as long as your passport is valid, whichever date comes first.

With an eTA you can visit Canada as often as you like and enjoy short stays, usually up to 6 months at a time. There are over 50 countries that are part of the Canadian eTA program. Travel purposes allowed under the Canada eTA include tourism, business visits, medical and transit purposes. Travelers that are not eligible for eTA, are denied an eTA or those wishing to visit Canada for other reasons than those permitted under the eTA are required to obtain the right visa for Toronto that matches the purpose of their stay.

Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

The Canadian eTA is an electronic travel authorization that is intended to simplify the process of entering Canada for typical 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 Toronto.

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 Toronto 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 Toronto 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.

If you are eligible for an eTA, get started on your application by visiting the Canada eTA requirements.

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 Toronto.

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:

Toronto travel information

From breath-taking waterfalls and national parks to grand man-made towers and spectacular sea life attractions, Ontario offers a wealth of activities for visitors of every taste. Home to Canada's largest city, Toronto, and its capital Ottawa, Ontario contains a treasure trove of gems just waiting to be discovered by the adventurous traveler. 

Magnificent waterfalls

No trip to Canada would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Niagara Falls. The largest of the 3 falls that make up Niagara is the famous Horseshoe Falls. This stunning testimony to nature's power cascades a staggering 57 metres and creates a dynamic and impenetrable curtain of water that spans Canada and America. Easy to find, the falls are located at the city of the same name, Niagara Falls. Fantastic views await as you walk the main tourist strip to the edge of the gorge where you can either take photos to your heart's content, or just stare wide mouthed at this magnificent display of natural power.

Parliament Hill

From nature's handiwork to mans', Parliament Hill presents a rather regal view with its turrets and towers. The most prominent being the Peace Tower which climbs 90 metres into the air with the stately Senate and Houses of Parliament either side. The whole structure overlooks the serene Ottawa River making the setting a pleasant place to relax and soak up the historic ambiance.

Natural Parks

Canada is synonymous with its natural parks which boast some of the most beautiful in the world. Whether you're looking for water based fun such as canoeing or land based hiking with stunning views as you go, Ontario's national parks are sure not to disappoint. The Georgian Bay Islands National Park and the Fathom Five National Marine Park are perfect for watery adventures whether diving beneath or boating, while Algonquin, Killarney Provincial Parks, French River and the Bruce Peninsula National Park offer magnificent forests and lakes throughout.

Marine life

If you want to get up close to walruses, sea lions, dolphins, even killer whales, MarineLand is a definite must on your itinerary. A hit with families, you may also enjoy watching the beluga whales at the Arctic Cove. As an added mix the park also contains some white knuckle rides including the aptly named Sky Screamer, a 137 meter shoot and drop ride for those who want to add some adrenaline based fun to the whole experience.


For art lovers, the Art Gallery of Ontario is a must see with its emphasis on African and Oceanic art. You may also enjoy works from the Renaissance and Baroque eras as well as watching contemporary artists at work in the gallery workshops and maybe even perusing the extensive library. Some of the world's most famous exhibitions have been hosted here and no doubt will continue to do so.

CN Tower

Visible from all over the city the CN Tower really comes into its own at night when it lights up gigantic beacon style. To get the full experience though you will likely want to get to the top. Take the elevator straight to the observation deck and restaurant where you'll be treated to views of the city and Lake Ontario and possibly, if it's particularly clear, the plumy vapours of the mighty Niagara Falls. A different viewing experience awaits at night as you watch the city sparkle with a million multicoloured lights. One of Canada's most iconic sights, the CN Tower is a must see on your Canadian adventure.


Ontario really does have something for everyone. Whether coming for nature's handiwork, man-made wonders or a mix of both, you're sure of a memorable time when you visit the beautiful city which is Ontario.