Canada Diplomatic And Official Visa

Within the category of temporary residence visas, there is a specific visa that was created for diplomats and officials from foreign countries.

The Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa was created for the Canadian government to allow diplomats and officials from other countries to visit Canada in order to fulfill the official responsibilities within Canada. People who apply for this visa must be diplomats and officials of a country that require a visa to enter Canada and also have diplomatic passports.

However, a visa is not required to enter Canada if the officials: 

  • Possess an old passport which has a diplomatic consular or official acceptance which was issued by the Chief of Protocol of Global Affairs of Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada.
  • Are accredited by the United Nations or by some world-recognized organization of which Canada is a member.

If you have any of these two points, you only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada for other purposes. Also, those who have this visa do not need to pass through immigration control, they will only have to go through security control. However, the time you can stay within the country is the time that you have stipulated in your itinerary.

  • You are not allowed to work or study in Canada if you have a diplomatic and official visa. 
  • Likewise, you cannot apply for citizenship nor enjoy the benefits of medical coverage.

You can only perform your official duties. In case you want to visit Canada for tourism, then you must request a different visa. It is essential to know that even if you have a diplomatic passport, this does not allow you to qualify immediately for a diplomatic visa; you must have official matters to fulfill in the country.

Requirements of the Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa

The first requirement is that you must be an official of a foreign government. Diplomatic visa qualified positions include:

  • Head of State or a member of an organization with duties of Heads of State. 
  • Head of Government or a minister of a Government Cabinet from a foreign country.
    Someone starting a temporary diplomatic mission in Canada
  • You are a career consular officer traveling to or from your consular post, or you are beginning a brief task in Canada.
  • A delegate of an international organization listed in the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines which includes delegates attending conferences of these international organization, not including clerical staff.
  • A senior official such as a Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General, or similar positions of an international organization listed in the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines.
  • A senior officer at a P-4 level and above of the Secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
  • A foreign diplomatic courier..
  • A particular case authorized from the Headquarters of the Diplomatic Corps Services (XDC).
  • Member of the family or household of a diplomatic agent or a senior officer of the Secretariat of ICAO.

Official Visa Qualified Positions

  • Member of the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission or international organization, a consular staff of consular posts, or service staff of a diplomatic mission or consular post in Canada
  • You hold a diplomatic or official passport, and you have been invited by the Government of Canada or a provincial/territorial government to attend a meeting in Canada
  • If you are an official or expert on a mission who is acting on behalf of an international organization listed on the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines or you are a contractual employee such as a translator hired by the United Nations or the International Civil Aviation Organization for one of their organized assemblies
  • You are a private servant of a member of a diplomatic mission or consular post with a valid Household Domestic Worker Employment Agreement form which has been submitted by your employer who is a member of a diplomatic mission, consular post, or GAC Protocol.
  • If you are a member of the family of any of the officials.

If you do not fulfill these requirements, then you will have to apply for other types of Visa like a Courtesy Visa. Officials and Diplomatic from the U.S. government needs different kinds of conditions, like: 

  • Work permits under the R204 rule

But, there are some categories of U.S government employees who do not qualify at all for a Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa, such as:

  • Officers of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Officers of U.S Customs
  • Employees of the International Joint Commission
  • Inspectors of the Federal Grain Inspection Service of the U.S Department of Agriculture or other U.S government officials who have a U.S official passport and have an assigned temporary posting in Canada.

Applying for the Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa

The application process for diplomatic visa is very different from that of other visas; once you fulfill the requirements, you may submit a direct visa application to the Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your country. 

You must submit the following forms:

  • Form IMM 5257, Application for Temporary Resident;
  • Form IMM 5707, Family Information Form;

Other forms that you might have to fill out if they are applicable:

  • Form IMM 5409, Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union;
  • Form IMM 5476, Use of a Representative;
  • Form IMM 5475, Authority to release personal information to a designated individual;

In addition to these forms, you must also submit the following supporting documents:

  • A valid governmental or official passport
  • Bank or other financial statements to prove you have enough funds for the trip to Canada
  • One of the following statements:
    • A written requires from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the state to which the head of mission or post is accredited, or for which the diplomatic mission or consular post has jurisdiction in visa matters
    • A written request from a diplomatic mission or consular post of your government
    • A written request from an international organization listed in the Temporary Worker Guidelines
    • A letter from the Secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for which the diplomat or official will work with, signed by or on behalf of the Secretary-General
  • A Declaration Letter from you to the Government of Canada where you explain why they should give you a visa
  • Two (2) photos that meet the Canada Photo Requirements
  • Your employment or education status through a resume or diplomas, as well as a letter from your employer stating that you have contractual obligations to fulfill and you must return to your home country.

After you submit these documents, you must also pay the fees. The official at the Canadian Embassy might ask you a few questions about the purpose of your visit to Canada and your official duties. Diplomats are not usually asked to go through a medical examination or submit the biometric information.

The processing time might take a few days or weeks, depending on the workload. 

The Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa fees

To apply for the Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa, you will only have to pay for the application. The application fee is CAD 100. Since you are exempt from biometrics, you do not have to pay the fee, and you are also exempt from the passport processing fee.

How long is the Canada Diplomatic and Official Visa valid?

This visa is usually given for a period that the person has official duties in Canada. However, in general, the Diplomatic and Official Visa is valid for 3 months once you enter Canada.

Can I bring my dependents to Canada with a Diplomatic and Official Visa?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your dependents with you to the country to accompany you o the trip. You can bring your spouse or common-law partner and your children who are under 22 years old. Also, some service staff is also allowed to accompany you if they belong to any of these categories:

  • Private Servants of diplomats or officials
  • Live-in Caregivers of the diplomats or officials or their family members