Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a wildlife lover or a convinced cosmopolite looking for cutting-edge culture, Canada is suitable for all. The world’s second largest country gathers an astonishing diversity of landscapes, where vast prairies that rise abruptly to glacier-topped mountains coexist with rugged coastlines surrounded by immense forests and emerald lakes. From Arctic waters and gelid tundras, Canada is a haven of nature and contrast. Incredibly, this wilderness is also home to lively futuristic cities, quirky towns and remote indigenous settlements that seem to be frozen in time.
Canadians are as varied as their landscapes-from the francophone quebecers, to the British descendants and the expanding Asian community- Canada defines itself as one of the most multicultural countries in the world, with progressive views on immigration, refugees and lgbt equality. Its vibrant cities, inspiring natural spaces and an accepting and open minded society make Canada one of the preferred destinations in the world.
But if there is a place that condenses the Canadian charm, that is Toronto. Surrounded by lake Ontario, Toronto is a cultural capital of innovation. From the Distillery district - a jigsaw of industrial warehouses filled with galleries, fashion designers and artisanal meals- to the dynamic and colorful Chinatown, this city is a matchless combination of flavours.
Young and active, Toronto hosts some of the most recognized events in the world. The prestigious Toronto International film appeals to over 400.000 people in the world each year, with a fresh and creative conception of cinema. Art galleries throng in its streets, inviting the pedestrians to rediscover art. Toronto is, therefore, a city for culture lovers, where each corner holds a private aesthetic pleasure.
Traveling to Canada is quite straightforward, as citizens of dozens of countries - including most European nations, Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea- do not need a visa to enter Canada for stays up to 180 days. Citizens of other nationalities, such as China, South Africa and India must apply for a temporary resident visa.
If you plan to stay in the country for longer, you should considering applying for a Single entry visa or a Multiple entry visa, depending on the length of your visit. While Single Entry Visas are valid for a period of six months from the date of your arrival in Canada, Multiple Entry Visas- which allow you to enter Canada multiple times from any other country- lasts up to 10 years provided that no single stay exceeds six months. It is important to emphasize that you do not need a multiple entry visa for repeated entries into Canada from the USA, unless you have visited a third country.
The price of a Canadian visa ranges from US$75 to US$150 depending on the length of your stay and your nationality.. You can find more information about the application process of Canadian visas at Canada's Immigration and Citizenship website.
All visitors must have a valid passport and go through the Canadian border control, where an officer will ask you a few questions regarding the purpose of your visit. Do consult the Canadian Customs Regulations at the Border Service Website.
Yixi (Sophia) Li is the co-author of this article. She is a licensed immigration consultant (RCIC) who has been working with an immigration law firm since 2016. She is also a licensed paralegal in Ontario and a notary public. She has a Masters of Law. In 2018, she founded Mainstay Immigration Law Firm and Yixi Li Legal Firm.