Are you a Canadian planning to visit London to see Big Ben, the Tower of London and the British Museum? Many Canadians travel to Britain each year to see the sights and, interestingly, almost half of them come from the Ontario province. There are a wealth of cultural attractions on offer to tourists.
If you are planning a visit here, you will need to read up on if you require travel authorisation or not. Byevisa is here to tell you everything you need to know to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. As well as visiting London, you could also explore the rest of the UK including the Scottish Highlands.
If you’re travelling directly to here from a Canadian airport, you will most likely fly into either London Heathrow or Gatwick.
- 1 Do I Need a Visa to Visit the UK From Canada?
- 2 UK Visa Requirements for Canadians
- 3 UK Work Visa Canada
- 4 How to Apply for a UK Visa From Canada
- 5 UK Visa Application Centres in Canada
- 6 UK Visa Processing Time for Canadians
- 7 UK Visa Fees from Canada
- 8 More Details About the UK Visa for Canadians
- 9 Further Questions Regarding Travelling to the UK
Do I Need a Visa to Visit the UK From Canada?
You will want to know long before you touch down at Heathrow or Gatwick whether you require travel authorisation or not.
You will be pleased to know that if you are a Canadian visiting Britain for less than 6 months, you do not require a visa to enter the United Kingdom. You can stay in the British Isles for up to 6 months. However, you can’t just waltz through border control. You will need to bring the same documents that you’d need to apply for a visa to show immigration officials.
UK Visa Requirements for Canadians
Although you won’t have to show a visa if you are a Canadian citizen planning to stay in Britain for less than 6 months, there is some documentation you will have to present in order to cross the border.
A valid Canadian passport is essential. Your passport must be valid for the full length of your stay. As of 2019, Canadians can make use of ePassport gates when entering the United Kingdom. This cuts down your queueing time as a Canadian.
It is also useful to be able to present the following documents should you be asked:
- Holiday booking confirmation.
- Financial documents showing that you have sufficient funds available to cover your stay.
- Letters from inviting organisations (where applicable).
UK Work Visa Canada
Want to work in the UK? Canadians seeking employment here require a work visa to give you the right to work and stay here for an extended period.
There are 3 main types that grant Canadians permission to work in the UK:
- Youth Mobility Scheme (for people aged 18 to 30).
- Ancestry (for Commonwealth Citizens who have a grandparent in Britain).
- General Work Visa – based on a points system.
For some business and academic visits, travel authorisation is not required.
If you are looking to work in the UK for a shorter period of time, you can apply for a temporary worker visa. This is suitable for roles in jobs such as:
- Domestic work in a private household
- Voluntary roles
- Skilled work such as engineering, dentistry, or Law.
And many more.
The type of temporary visa you will need to apply for depends on the job role. An extensive list can be found on the British government website.
How to Apply for a UK Visa From Canada
Looking to come to the British Isles for longer than 6 months? You will need to look into your options in advance of your trip.
Once you have researched your visa, you apply online through gov.uk and pay the associated fees.
To process your visa, you will need to make an appointment at an application centre.
Visiting from the EU not the Great White North? Read up on the UK ETA here.
UK Visa Application Centres in Canada
There are a number of application centres in Canada that you can visit to attend your appointment.
Manulife Place, 10180-101 St, Suite 3400
Edmonton AB T5J 3S4
343 Preston Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa ON K1S 1N4
601, 208 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON M5S 3B4
Vancouver Oceanic Plaza, 1066 West Hastings Street, Suite 2000
Vancouver BC V6E 3X2
You will need to bring the following items to your appointment:
- A print out of your appointment confirmation letter.
- A valid passport or travel document (with at least 1 page blank on both sides).
- A printout of your checklist from your completed application on the UK government site.
If you have not already uploaded your supporting documents online, you will need to bring those too. Have them organised to ensure a swift processing time.
If you are not a Canadian national but are applying for your UK visa from Canada, (for example, if you are an Indian living in Canada), you will also need to bring evidence of your permission to be in Canada.
At the centre, you will need to submit your biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph). A digital finger scanner will collect images of all your 10 digits, and you will also have a digital photo taken.
Exempt from giving biometrics? If you’re over 79 years of age, this applies to you. You will, however, need to provide a recent photograph.
UK Visa Processing Time for Canadians
Wondering how long you will have to wait to get a decision about your work visa? You should get a decision within 3 weeks of attending your appointment at the application centre if you want to work in Britain.
Please bear in mind that 5 working days are considered 1 week.
This gives you time to set the wheels in motion to prepare other things for your long-term stay in the United Kingdom.
In some cases, there may be an option to apply for a priority or even super priority service to get a quicker outcome on your visa decision. Speak to your nearest application centre to see if this is the case.
UK Visa Fees from Canada
As travel here as a tourist from Canada for a period of less than 6 months is visa-free, there is no cost incurred to travel apart from the price of your plane ticket.
If you are applying for a work visa, however, you will have to pay a fee to process your application. The price of this varies depending on the type of authorisation.
More Details About the UK Visa for Canadians
We hope you now have all the information you need to prepare for your British adventure. However, if you have further queries, read on to discover the answers to some commonly asked questions.
What Are the UK Visa Photo Requirements from Canada?
For those Canadian citizens visiting Britain as a non-tourist, a photo may be required as part of your application.
Here are the standard photo requirements as outlined by the British government:
- Neutral light grey or plain cream background.
- Size: 45mm x 35 mm.
- Must be taken within the last month.
UK Visa From Canada for Indian
Are you an Indian national living in Canada wanting to travel to England?
Indian citizens travelling on holiday to the United Kingdom can apply in advance for an eVisa. You can find out some important information about how to apply for this document here.
How Many Canadians Visit the UK Each Year?
More than 870,000 Canadians visit the country each year. 42% of these visits are for holiday purposes and 40% are to visit family or friends.
How Many Canadians Live in Britain?
Around 90,000 Canadians currently live here and many more are choosing to relocate here each year. There is an active Canadian expat group community.
Further Questions Regarding Travelling to the UK
We hope you now have all the facts you need to determine whether you do or don’t require travel authorisation to visit the United Kingdom as a Canadian, depending on the length of your proposed stay. With a common language, culture, tradition and heritage to Canada, you are likely to feel right at home here!
If there are things you’d still like to know about visiting Britain, take a look at our dedicated page about visiting the United Kingdom here.