Five secret keys for Canadian visa approval

5 secret keys for Canadian Visa approval

5 secret keys for Canadian Visa approval

Applying for a visitor visa to Canada can be a daunting task, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

The process can be confusing and time-consuming, but with some organization and preparation, you can increase your chances of being accepted. 

In this article, I will share 5 secret keys for Canadian Visa approval and some tips and tricks that I’ve learned from helping friends and clients to apply for a visitor visa to Canada. With a 100% acceptance rate, I hope these tips will help you successfully apply for your visa and get accepted as soon as possible.

Canadian visa application, passport and Canadian flag

Keys of approval:

  • 1- Strong and valid reason.
  • 2- Perfect timing.
  • 3- Accuracy & Honesty.
  • 4- Travel History.
  • 5- Detailed Itinerary.

1- Strong and valid reason

Canadian Visitor Visa

A solid and valid reason for your visit to Canada is crucial for obtaining a Canadian visitor visa.

It demonstrates to the IRCC officer that you have a clear purpose for your trip and that you have a plan for your stay in the country. 

A strong reason for your visit can include the following:

  •  Visiting family.
  •  Attending a business conference or a meeting.
  •  Sightseeing and tourism. 

On the other hand, if the reason for your visit is not considered valid, such as visiting Niagara Falls in February or skiing the Mont-Tremblant in July, your visa application may be denied. 

Additionally, providing evidence of your ties to your home country, such as a job or family, and proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses while in Canada also helps to establish that you have a clear intent to return home after your visit.

2- Perfect timing:

Niagara Falls frozen from the Canadian side in winter

Timing is critical, plan ahead and apply at a time that makes more sense for the IRCC officer.

Allow enough time for visa processing and ensure you have sufficient funds and enough transactions in your bank account.

The perfect time to apply for a Canadian visitor visa is at least 3-6 months before your planned trip. This allows enough time for visa processing and also shows that you have planned ahead and have enough funds for your trip. (Check today’s processing time here).

I recommend setting aside enough time to complete the visa application, as it can be a lengthy process. It may be helpful to gather all necessary documents and information in advance and to set aside a specific day or weekend to focus on the application. It is also a good idea to carefully review the application instructions and requirements before filling out the forms.

3-  Accuracy & Honesty.

Filling the Canadian Visa application

Accuracy and Honesty are vital when applying for a Canadian visitor visa.

When filling out your application, it’s essential to be truthful and provide specific and accurate information. 

Lying or providing false information on the visa application can result in a denied application or even a permanent ban from entering Canada.

To ensure that your application is as strong as possible, double-check all information for accuracy and completeness. 

Additionally, submit clear scans of all required documents and ensure no spelling or grammar mistakes. 

These small details can make a big difference in the decision-making process for visa officers.

In summary, always tell the truth, be specific and accurate in all information provided, and ensure that all scanned documents are high-quality, error-free, and complete. 

Remember, the IRCC officer’s main goal is to ensure that all visitors to the country are safe and pose no threat, so being honest and accurate in your application is the best way to show them that you are a responsible, trustworthy traveler.

4- Travel History

A lot of stamps on an Egyptian passport page

A solid travel history is one of the five secret keys to Canadian visa approval.

This means that if you have previously traveled to other countries, it will demonstrate to the visa officer that you are a responsible traveler and less likely to overstay in Canada. 

If this is your first time traveling and you don’t have a good travel history, your chances of approval may be low.

To increase your chances of getting your Canadian visa approved, I highly recommend building your travel history by first traveling to other countries. 

A valid US visa on your passport can be a great asset, as well as other visas such as Schengen and UK visas.

Obtaining these visas will show the IRCC officer that you have successfully complied with the requirements of other countries, which can increase your chances of getting your Canadian visa approved.

5- Detailed Itinerary:

Travel itinerary

Providing a detailed itinerary is another important aspect of a successful Canadian visitor visa application. 

A detailed itinerary demonstrates to the IRCC officer that you have a clear plan for your visit to Canada and a specific purpose for your trip.

A detailed itinerary should include information such as the travel dates, the cities or regions you will visit, and the specific activities or events you will be attending. It should also include information on accommodation and transportation arrangements.

Providing a detailed itinerary can also demonstrate to the officer that you have the financial means to support yourself during your trip, as it shows that you have made concrete arrangements for accommodation and transportation.

The itinerary should be realistic and achievable within the time frame of the visit. Also, it should be supported by relevant documents such as initial flight tickets, hotel reservations, and event tickets to provide evidence and increase your chances of visa approval.

Before You Apply: 

  • Make sure you are eligible for a visitor visa. Check your eligibility here.
  • Gather all required documents and translate them into English before you begin the application process.
  • Pay attention to the expiration date of your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date you plan to leave Canada. (The longer your passport is valid, the longer the validity of your visa will be).
  • Make sure to have records of your previous travel dates for the last five years and a complete history of your employment and education.
  • Make sure to have a valid Debit/credit card that you can use online to pay the fees. (Application fee CAD $100 + Biometrics fees CAD $85. Total = CAD $185).

Required documents for Canadian Visitor Visa:

  • A valid passport (at least 6 months validity).
  • Proof of funds (Ex. A Bank statement showing account balance and transactions for the last 6 months).
  • Letter of employment for employees or a Business registration certificate for business owners. 
  • A letter of invitation from a family member, business or event.
  • National ID.
  • A valid USA visa, if applicable.
  • Additional documents (Any other relevant documents such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, and itinerary letter).

USA visa

After You Apply:

  • After you receive the biometrics email within 24 hours, it is recommended to provide your biometrics to the nearest VFS office as soon as possible, as the processing time begins once Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives them.
  • Watch your email and wait for a decision on your application. This can take several months, so be patient.
  • After the decision, you will be asked to submit your passport to VFS within 30 days.
  • If your application is denied, don’t give up. You can reapply or appeal the decision.

Conclusion

Applying for a visitor visa to Canada can be a challenging process, but with a little bit of organization and preparation, you can increase your chances of being accepted. 

Make sure to gather all the necessary documents, fill out the application form accurately, and provide any additional information that may be relevant to your application. 

Remember to be honest and pay attention to every single detail. 

With these tips and tricks in mind, you can successfully apply for a visitor visa to Canada and get your approval as soon as possible.

If you need help applying for a Canadian visa, feel free to book a FREE 15 min consultation with me here.

Solo female traveler kayaking in a lake

Best Places For Solo Female Travel 2023

Best Places For Solo Female Travel 2023

 

A lot of people wonder what is the best places for solo female travel in 2023. To answer this frequently asked question, we interviewed a few female solo travelers to see their views on this topic.

 

Survey results are as diverse as it gets. In this article we are discussing: 

  • Vietnam
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Italy 
  • The USA

 

These destinations are among the best places for solo female travel in 2023 

Vietnam: An Asian Dream 

 Arijana - shipped away founder enjoying Vietnam

 

Vietnam was nominated by two solo female travelers: Arijana from Croatia and Mai from Egypt. The level of safety offered for solo female travelers in this country made it a favorite destination for backpackers. 

 

Although Arijana and Mai have different careers and different travel styles, they liked Vietnam for the same reason. The extraordinarily welcoming and hospitable locals make it easier for tourists to feel safe away from their homeland. 

 

Vietnam was the top choice for Arijana as it is perfect for digital nomads. Being a digital nomad herself struggling to have a balance between career and self-fulfillment. 

Mai an Egyptian solo female traveler enjoying Vietnam

Although having very different food choices, Mai and Arijana found the food to be unique, each for a different reason.

Mai says that trying the food was a little strange initially since the food there is not widely known outside of Vietnam. Think of having coffee with eggs or taking a sip of snake blood. Nevertheless, she fell in love with the variety of what Vietnamese cuisine has to offer

 

Having Vietnam on your list opens a wide range of activities to do, starting with the Ha Giang Loop: a motorbike loop that takes you around stunning scenery. And if you like nature, you should definitely spend a few nights in Sapa: a village over the level of the clouds. 

 

Arijana and Mai recommend visiting Vietnam through winter to the start of spring. To stay connected with Arijana, check her website and Instagram. For Mai, check her Instagram.

Janel Touring Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan for solo female travel

When you think about the best places for solo female travel, the country of Azerbaijan may not come to your mind. 

Azerbaijan, with its communist history as a part of the Soviet Union, has something unique to offer. Murals of proletariat workers, the hammer & the sickle, and the concrete tower blocks provide a glimpse of what Azerbaijan looked like decades ago. 

 

Janel from Canada, found Azerbaijan’s architecture to be as astonishing, if not more. It has opulent and architecturally surreal buildings, as a testament to the oil boom in the region. 

Janel olo female travel in Azerbaijan

All of this makes the country a perfect destination for history buffs, as well as architecture admirers. 

 

Azerbaijan is overwhelmingly progressive Muslim (over 95%). “As a solo female traveler, I felt safe traveling by public transit and sitting down for a beer or two at a restaurant in the old town of the capital, Baku”. 

 

Finally, Janel believes that Azerbaijan is a one-of-a-kind travel destination that is not to be missed. 

 

To stay connected with Janel, check her Instagram.

 

 

Belize: The Hidden Paradise 

Belize nature and beautiful beach by Marwa solo female traveler

Marwa, A female solo traveler from Egypt, in her early twenties, looking for the best destination to travel to, to have an excellent experience, and most importantly to feel safe in. 

 

Nature lovers who are escaping daily routine search for destinations that have unique natural landscapes; Marwa is no different. As a full-time programmer who is trying to change her routine and get out of her comfort zone, Belize was the answer 

 

Trying a new destination that is not known to everyone was a challenge she went through. However, the experience she had made it worth it. she quotes “I was always greeted with lovely smiles” to show the excellent hospitality of the locals there.  

 

Marwa’s primary purpose was to go diving and enjoy Blieze’s unique nature and marine life. She did exactly that by diving in crystal waters and camping on the beachside. 

 

After coming back, Marwa believes her choice was a complete success. To stay connected with Marwa, check her Instagram.

Adventure Seeker Sara 

Volcano in Costa Rica

From Canada again, we interviewed Sarah, a professional photographer and a travel writer that experiences all travel styles. She travels solo, with a partner, with family… or even with Santa himself. If it exists, Sara has tried it. 

 

Sara decided on her last trip not to travel solo, but this doesn’t mean that solo is not always on her table. 

 

Fans of ecotourism would absolutely love this place. Costa Rica Has it all. Featuring its endless activities, astonishing public art, beautiful beaches, and national parks, Sara could never guess another place with that kind of blend. 

 

Costa Rica’s perks do not end here. First, Locals are welcoming and friendly. Second, it is an all-year destination. Third, adventure activities like paragliding, ziplining, and ATV tours are unforgettable experiences. 

 

In Vista Los Suenos, you can have a guided Chocolate Experience, explore waterfalls, see the jungle at night, and hang out with monkeys at NeoFauna. 

 

If national parks are your thing, Manuel Antonio should be at the top of your list, with many other adventures to discover

 

To stay connected with Sara, check her Instagram.

 

 

Exploring Venice 

Exploring Venice by Safaa a solo female traveler

Safaa, a female solo traveler originally from Sudan, picked Italy. The city of Venice is what attracted her. She describes her experience as a female solo traveler to be very safe. 

 

Exploring Venice on her foot to have the full experience as a local felt nice to her. Safaa believes that one of the things that make Venice exceptional is that it is open all day long. 

 

Trying new and unique activities like the famous Venice gondola makes it special. She also describes the city vibes while having breakfast at a local cafe in saint-Marco square not to be found anywhere else.

 

To stay connected with Safaa, check her Instagram.

 

Her Heart Falling For New York 

Exploring New York city USA by Samantha

Samantha Sewell, a Canadian pageant woman, an International model, an international public speaker, and the owner of Raising Stars Preschool, votes for New York City. She finds it the most welcoming city for everyone no matter who you are or where you come from. 

 

In addition, NYC accessibility is something else. The city offers a variety of tours like visiting the statue of liberty, walking down times square, and roaming through new york’s streets that will make your heart fall in love with this city. 

 

You can attend a Broadway show and get a same-day ticket. Shows will leave you speechless. Ney York City should definitely be on your list. 

 

To stay connected with Samantha, check her Instagram.

Finally, we want to thank all the solo travelers we spoke with; it is astonishing how their desire to explore the world was stronger than their fear of traveling alone.

Check out what to pack for a one week trip as a solo female traveler here.

What to pack for a week trip in summer

What to pack for a week trip in summer

If you search for “what to pack for a week trip in summer” you will have thousands of results. Some of them are out of date, some are redundant, and others have too many items, which makes packing unreasonable and leaves you with bulky luggage. 

That’s why this guide on “what to pack for a week trip in summer” will be as practical as possible and will focus on essentials, and essentials only. 

What to pack for a week trip in summer

Whether you’re the kind of person who packs weeks before your trip or the one who gets it together right before, you have probably forgotten a thing or two that was really needed during travel. 

No matter how focused you are during packing, you end up missing something. That’s what makes a packing list or a packing guide essential, especially now, when tech products are so important and no one can simply afford to travel without them.

When you think about it, packing could be divided into the following sections:

  • 1- Clothing 
  • 2- Personal Care
  • 3- Tech products 
  • 4- Documents

What to pack for a week trip in summer Arbo wearing his backpack in Malmo Sweden and ready to travel

Below I’ll talk in detail about each section and give you exactly what to pack for a week trip in summer.

1- Clothing

A lot of people tend to undervalue the importance of the weather factor when packing for their trips. I recommend that you make some research on the weather and find out what activities you’ll be doing. 

Maybe you booked your ticket to one of the southern hemisphere countries and you forgot that July there is as cold as December here. Maybe you did not pay attention to that hiking activity that requires special hiking shoes or water shoes. 

Another important question is are you going to have access to laundry? Because if not, you will have to be covered for the length of the trip. Here is a list of clothing essentials with some suggested options.

packing clothes for a one week trip. What to pack for a week trip in summer

Clothing Essentials:

  • 5 shirts 
  • 2 pairs of jeans/chinos/joggers/ shorts 
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 athletic outfit
  • 1 Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Underwear

Clothing options (according to destination/ type of travel):

  • Rain jacket/rain boots
  • Bathing suit
  • Formal wear
  • Hat(s)

As a general note, try to pick neutral colors to make mixing and matching easier. Finally, purchasing clothes could always be your last resort in case you have to.

2- Personal Care 

Toiletry bag personal care items

Some people tend to forget about toiletry bags. The reasons why toiletry bags are a perfect solution for your travel are enormous. If organized, they allow you to always know where to find your stuff. Also, a hanging toiletry bag frees up space in a small bathroom. 

When you think about it, toiletry bags are a packing list by themselves, because you know what goes into each pocket/mesh compartment 

What is most important when packing for your personal care items is to check with your accommodations to see what amenities and toiletries they offer. You don’t wanna pack something that you will have offered in your room. 

Another thing to account for is that if they don’t offer in-room ironing, do not pack clothes that need to be ironed.

Personal Care Essentials:

  • Prescribed meds 
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/floss/ mouthwash
  • Hairbrush/ comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Mosquito repellent 
  • Your First aid kit (Band-Aids, a sleep aid, a digestive aid, vitamins, and immunity boosters)

Personal Care Options:

  • Moisturizer/Makeup 
  • Skincare 
  • Lip balm
  • Perfumes 
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer/ wet wipes

Quick tips:

Two quick pieces of advice here. First, if you are crossing international borders, take the official bottle with medical information on it for safer travel through customs. 

Second, if your medications are life-critical, pack for a few extra days to allow for changes in plans.

3- Tech products

Packing I-phone, I-pad, Smartwatch, mac & AirPods for travel.

If you are a frequent traveler, you know how frustrating it is trying to go through your adapters trying to figure out which adaptor is the right one for the next country. That’s why I recommend investing in a universal travel adaptor that has everything you need in one compact plug. 

On another note, with suitcase space/ weight always at a premium, I highly recommend multi-functioning devices. Think of a power bank that has a light torch that could be used in the tent.

Tech essentials:

  • Phone/ charger 
  • Cellphone travel case (Shockproof)
  • RFID-protected case/ wallet for your passport and bank cards

Tech Options:

  • Headphones 
  • Smartwatch 
  • Kindle 
  • iPad 
  • Travel luggage scale

4- Documents

Passport travel documents travel insurance

I recommend bringing a waterproof/ fire-resistant document folder and safely keeping a photocopy of the following in it:

  • Your Passport
  • Your Birth Certificate 
  • Your Airline Ticket
  • Your visa(s)
  • Your Travel insurance

In case you are having a road trip in the summer, here is another list of items you have to have:

  • Automotive insurance policy and the number for auto claims
  • License and registration
  • Your car’s manual
  • Contact number for Roadside Assistance
  • Roadside emergency kit

Highly recommended:

Carry your passport only with you when you need it – otherwise, it should stay locked up in your hotel room. 

If you’re going to take your passport with you, make sure it is always kept in a waterproof/fire-resistant RFID-Protected case.

Travel advice

I want to close this guide with two pieces of advice that could be of enormous help. First, when it comes to packing clothes, vacuum bags/ Compression bags make a huge difference, especially since nowadays most airlines are gradually decreasing their luggage allowance. 

They can make packing more efficient and more organized. It is the perfect option for freeing more space for those long hiking or camping trips, where every tiny space really matters. I recommend a reliable option that does not require a vacuum machine (rolling and expelling air). 

The other piece of advice is to watch for the TSA liquid rules. According to the TSA official website, you are only “allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item”. 

Conclusion

We have all seen so many confiscated items at travel checkpoints, you do not want to be the ones who throw their precious stuff away.

I hope you benefit from the above list and tips regarding what to pack for a week trip in summer.


If you’re wondering where to go next for a 7-day trip in the summer, check out our article about what to do in Oludeniz in summer here.