I am a US citizen. My wife is a mainland Chinese national. We will go to the USA soon. She will travel on a 10 year multiple entry visa to the USA. Does anyone know:

  1. Can she get a visa to Canada while visiting the USA?
  2. How long does it take to get such a visa?
  3. Are we better off getting in in China before we leave?

My wife contacted a couple of agencies in the USA and they quoted USD 700 and 4 weeks to get it.

  • Is your destination in the US near a Canadian consulate? Is there a Canadian consulate near your home in China?
    – phoog
    Jun 12, 2016 at 14:12
  • There is a Canadian consulate (San Francisco) near where we will be in the US. There is no Canadian consulate near where we are in China. Jun 13, 2016 at 15:16
  • 1
    If I were you I'd apply directly at the consulate, provided that the consulate accepts applications from nonresidents (Schengen consulates don't, while American consulates do. I don't know what Canada's policy is.) If $700 is reasonable for you, though, you could do that too.
    – phoog
    Jun 13, 2016 at 15:22
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    Removed the part about agencies recommendation, which is off-topic.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 18, 2016 at 16:10
  • 1
    Can you clarify what type of visa your wife will have? Jun 22, 2016 at 8:21

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes, she can. (Friends on an H-1B got single entry Canadian visa.) She will have to show proof of status in the US. You have to create an account here, upload all the required documents (tax returns, proof of status, itinerary, etc), pay a fee and wait for a decision. After decision is reached, she will be able to mail in her passport.

Take into account that if your main income is in China, you will likely need some of the documents translated to English/French to apply for a visa.

  1. The processing time varies. For them it was ~60 days in 2013 (From the start of collecting the documents to receiving the passport with a visa). You will be without your passport for the second part of the application process.

  2. Depends on the processing time by the place where you apply. The decision is made centrally in Canada, but the visa is placed into your passport locally. They say, 13 days for the NYC, 14 days for China. Unless there is a very significant speed-up, IMO, this does not count either the time to mail the application, or the actual decision making time.

Total expenses were:

  1. visa fee
  2. express mail to the visa processing center
  3. express mail prepaid envelope
  4. time/money spend collecting all the necessary documents

For them, way less than $700


  • I don't think that this answer is correct in comparing the situation of an H1-B holder(United States Resident) and B1(Tourist). As a rule of thumb, consulates will only issue visas to residents, there may be exceptions on humanitarian grounds or in cases of an emergency.
    – nikhil
    Aug 22, 2017 at 1:54
  • @nikhil define residency, and/or provide a quote, please
    – mzu
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:21

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