Obtaining a Visa
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- Obtaining a Visa – Letter of Invitation
- Submission of Visa Applications
- Borders & Customs
- Entry into Canada
- Meeting and Convention Attendees
- Bringing Children into Canada
- Returning to the United States
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
eTA is a new requirement for travelers who were previously able to travel to Canada without prior authorization. Please note, the eTA deadline has changed and will not go into effect until September 29, 2016. We invite you to consult the CIC website regularly for information updates.
Obtaining a Visa – Letter of Invitation
After identifying that a visa is needed, foreign travelers should contact Visit Canada to determine the requirements to enter Toronto, Canada. Letters of invitation will be available upon registration for AAIC. Registration opens in February 2016 and once registered, attendees will immediately receive their Visa letter via email. The deadline for you to receive your Visa Invitations letter is Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Sign up today to receive the latest registration and AAIC news via email.
Submission of Visa Applications
Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that delegates visit the website of the visa office responsible for processing their visa applications. Information is available on the website on how to submit a visa application and the documentation required.
Delegates are encouraged to submit their visa applications well in advance of the date of the event at a Visa Application Center or on-line E-applications (e-Apps).
Visa Application Centers (VACs)
VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants. VACs provide a number of services including help applicants fill out forms, answer questions and ensure that applications are complete, thereby reducing unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications. Applicants that are required to provide Biometrics Information as part of the visa application process can do so at a VAC. Additional information on the biometrics requirements is available at the CIC website. VACs send applications to Visa Offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner. VACs do not process visa applications and play no role in the decision-making process.
This system allows delegate to submit applications online.
Delegates that need a visa but require their passport for other travel purposes are strongly encouraged to submit their visa applications on-line (e-Apps). Delegates that choose to apply on-line will not have to submit their passport until a decision has been taken on their applications. If required, the visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passports to finalize the visa process.
Visa Applications Processing Time
Processing time for visa applications vary depending on the office and the time of the year. Participants should be encouraged to apply early for their visas, and to submit complete applications including all supporting documents. Please visit the CIC website for information on the time it takes to process visa applications at the various visa offices.
Borders & Customs
Canada has one of the most advanced customs organizations in the world and their borders and the processes they have in place to manage them are critical to their ability to provide Canadians and visitors to Canada with the security and opportunity they expect. Visitors entering Canada must clear Canada Customs border security upon entry.
Entry into Canada
When an attendee enters Canada, a Canada Border Services Agency officer may ask to see their passport and a valid visa, if one is necessary. For information about documentation required and border procedures please visit the Canada Border Service Agency website.
Meeting and Convention Attendees
Attendees may be asked for proof that they are attending a meeting or convention and it may be useful to have a copy of the meeting agenda and/or registration on hand. This may also be useful when returning to the U.S. should a similar question be asked.
Bringing Children into Canada
Children 15 years of age and under are now required to show proof of citizenship (a certified copy of their birth certificate is acceptable). They are not required to show photo ID. If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children when arriving at the border. Customs officers are looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you.
Returning to the United States
Save on AAIC Registration with Group Rates
Bring your whole team to AAIC 2016. Discounted group rates are available for 10 or more colleagues or five or more students from the same lab group.