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Visas Required for Canadian Landed Immigrants

  • February 28, 2003

After March 17, 2003, all Canadian Landed Immigrants (with some exceptions) will be required to present a passport and visa in order to enter the United States. The US Embassy in Canada will handle visa applications for Canadian Landed Immigrants wishing to enter the United States. In conjunction with this new requirement, the embassy has issued an announcement explaining which landed immigrants will be affected as well as the documentation requirements and visa appointment procedures for each consulate. Affected employees need to be aware of the change in order to avoid unnecessary travel details.

The information is reprinted below and can also be obtained on the Embassy's Website.

Public Announcement Concerning Visa Requirements for Permanent Resident Aliens of the Commonwealth and Ireland (Landed Immigrants) Residing in Canada

Beginning March 17, 2003, except as noted below, all landed immigrants in Canada seeking to enter the United States as non-immigrants must possess a valid passport and non-immigrant visa in order to enter. Please note that there is no change to the Visa Waiver Program in place for the countries in bold italics below or for any other countries participating in that program. The new requirement will apply to citizens of the following countries who were formerly exempt from visa requirements:

Antigua & Barbuda



South Africa




Sri Lanka



New Zealand












Papua New Guinea

Trinidad & Tobago







St. Kitts & Nevis




St. Lucia

United Kingdom
(its colonies, territories,
and dependencies)



St. Vincent &
the Grenadines








Sierra Leone








Solomon Islands


Please note: (1) Hong Kong nationals holding either British National Overseas or Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports will require visas. (2) The countries in bold italics participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of those countries are not required to possess visas if they are traveling for business or tourism and their stay will be less than 90 days. Non-Commonwealth landed immigrants who are citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program are unaffected by this regulation change.

Effective immediately, U.S. consular sections in Canada will accept non-immigrant visa applications from landed immigrants residing in Canada who are citizens of the Commonwealth countries listed above and Ireland. Information about applying for non-immigrant visas, and all necessary application forms, can be found at the following Internet address: To find the application forms, go to the "Visas" section on that page, and click on "Visa Forms."

Commonwealth landed immigrants applying for non-immigrant visas should submit the following:

  • evidence of landed immigrant status;
  • a form DS-156, fully completed and signed. Separate forms must be submitted for each applicant, even if applicants share a single passport;
  • an application fee in the amount of $100.00 U.S. per applicant, payable in U.S. cash if applying in person or to the U.S. Treasury in the form of a money order or certified check if applying by mail (**see Toronto section below for special fee instructions for that consulate and item 5 for mail-in criteria);
  • a passport valid for travel to the U.S. The passport must have an expiration date at least 6 months beyond the intended duration of the visit;
  • 1 current (less than 6 months old) photo of the applicant, 50mm x 50mm (2 inches x 2 inches), full face, without head covering, against a white background;
  • in addition to the form DS-156, all male applicants between the ages of 16-45 must submit a completed and signed form DS-157, with street addresses and telephone numbers where required; " applicants for student (F or M) or exchange visitor (J) visas must also complete a form DS-158;
  • any appropriate supporting documents, such as proof of employment or studies, home ownership or other commitments in Canada, and evidence of any prior travel to the U.S.;
  • applicants for student visas (F-1) must submit Form I-20, applicants for exchange visitor visas (J-1) must submit Form DS-2019 (Form IAP-66, if issued and dated prior to August 31, 2002, is acceptable) and applicants for H and L visas should submit Form I-797 and the supporting I-129;

(Note: All Forms I-20 and DS-2019 issued by the sponsoring institution or exchange program on or after January 30, 2003, must be issued from within the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS-generated forms are easily identifiable by the bar code on the right-hand side of the document. Unlike most prior versions of Forms I-20 and DS-2019, these are one-page forms.); Further information about the application procedure, supporting documents, etc. can be obtained at by going to the "Visas" section on that page, and clicking on "Visa Services for Foreign Citizens." Please do not call the Embassy or consulates with questions.)

Commonwealth landed immigrants in the Halifax, Quebec City and Calgary districts may apply on a walk-in basis and should consult for the public hours. Commonwealth landed immigrants applying in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver should book appointments for a visa interview. To book an appointment and obtain further information by e-mail, use this web address: (cost: CD 10.00). If you do not have access to the Internet or if you need an appointment on an urgent basis, you may also call the following numbers in Canada: 1-900-451-2778 (cost: CDN2.00/minute) or 1-888-840-0032 (cost: CDN1.50/minute with a credit card). Due to the heavy volume of calls, booking via Internet for routine travel needs is the most cost efficient. Travel plans should not be finalized until the visa has been issued, as some applications may take up to 60 days after receipt to process to completion.

The following persons ONLY may apply for their visas by mail if they prefer (or diplomatic courier where available) to the addresses listed below (see item 3 for required fees, payment method and recommended documentation):

  • Applicants for A, G and NATO visas;
  • Bearers of diplomatic and official passports;
  • Applicants 16 years of age or younger;
  • Applicants 60 years of age or older.

Completed applications are to be submitted to the consular section with jurisdiction in the applicant's place of residence. Consular section areas of jurisdiction, and mailing addresses where mail is permitted, are as follows:

Consular Section, American Embassy Ottawa: Eastern Ontario (Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Renfrew, Russell, and Stormont) Western Quebec (Gatineau, Hull, Labelle, Papineau, Pontiac, Tamiscamingue, Baffin Island, District of Franklin).

Mailing address: Consular Section, American Embassy, P.O. Box 866, Station B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5T1 (regular or express mail)

Courier Deliveries: Consular Section, American Embassy, 327 Rideau Street, Suite 349, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1G7 (FedEx only)

American Consulate Toronto: Ontario (except for areas east of Kingston) Mailing address: 360 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5G 1S4

**Individuals applying for visas in Toronto must first deposit the $100.00 U.S. application fee at any branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) in Ontario. A special pre-coded 4-part deposit slip (one per applicant) can be downloaded at It can also be obtained by calling 1-900-451-2778, as part of the appointment process at, or in person at 360 University, Toronto.

American Consulate Quebec: Northeastern Quebec (including Abitibi-West, Abitibi-East, St. Maurice, Trois Rivieres, Nicolet, Wolfe, and Frontenac), Nunavut

Mailing address: 2 Place Terrasse Dufferin, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4T9

American Consulate Halifax: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island

Mailing address: Suite 904, 1969 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7

American Consulate Vancouver: British Columbia and Yukon Territory

Mailing address: 1095 W. Pender St., 21st Floor, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 2M6

American Consulate Calgary: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories

Mailing address: 615 Macleod Trail SE, Suite 1000, Calgary, Alberta T2G 4T8.

American Consulate Montreal: Southwestern Quebec (except for those areas immediately east of Ottawa)

Mailing address: NIV Unit - CLI Program, P.O. Box 65, Postal Station Desjardins, Montreal, Quebec H5B 1G1

The Jackson Lewis Immigration Practice Group is available to answer questions regarding this issue and to provide services to employers regarding all immigration matters.

©2003 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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