ICC 2012


Here is a brief summary of the VISA regulations for persons travelling to Canada to attend conferences. Note that the latest and official information on travel to Canada is maintained by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

EU and EEA (European Economic Area) nationals do not require a visa. In general all other foreign travelers require a visa for stays in Canada. An overview of countries indicating whether its citizens need to apply for visas is listed
here.  For visa exempt travellers, find out more here.


Do not delay in making your VISA arrangements, if needed, for entry into Canada. Processing times by Citizenship and Immigration Canada may take a few months.  VISA arrangements are the responsibility of the participants.



Do delegates attending an event or meeting need a letter of invitation to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)?

Yes, delegates may need to include a letter of invitation with their TRV application and should check their local visa office for more information. The letter of invitation establishes the purpose of the trip to Canada and provides information on the applicant’s plans in Canada. If someone is travelling to Canada for a convention, event, or conference, regardless of whether they are required to have a TRV or not, a letter of invitation assists agents at Ports of Entry to determine whether the person is a legitimate visitor and intends to attend a conference.

The letter of invitation helps the visa officer assess the resources required by the applicant during their trip to Canada. For this reason, the letter of invitation issued by the conference organizer should indicate if financial assistance is being provided (i.e., airline ticket, accommodations, etc.) to an individual to facilitate their participation in the event.


Should an entry VISA be needed, CIC strongly encourages applications sometimes be made eight (8) weeks prior to departure.  This will ensure your receipt of a VISA in time for your trip.  Please note that processing times vary from mission to mission.  You can check the typical processing times for the mission responsible for handling your visa request; however, the posted time is not guaranteed.

For processing your VISA application, the CIC mission will need your completed CIC VISA application form (see web links #1, #5, and #6), and all supporting documents, including the letter of invitation.  IEEE ComSoc will issue this letter to you, or the mission you specify to us, by e-mail or post-mail ($25USD) once you have completed the registration process and your payment has been received.

Should a VISA request not be issued for whatever reason, ICC2012 will refund the registration fees paid per the conditions stated in the registration form.



Technical Paper Authors can generate their Visa Assistance Letters from ComSoc through EDAS.

·       Log into EDAS site, and find your paper.

·       Toward the bottom of the page, you will find in the properties column the words "visa letter", and beside it, an image of an envelope outlined in yellow.

·       Click on this envelope, and you will be able to confirm or change your address information reflected in the letter.

·       Then the system will generate the letter for your use.

If you have any problems, please click the help tab in the EDAS system.

All Other Participants (i.e., speakers, committee members), including authors needing a printed copy letter should follow the instructions listed at the COMSOC VISA Assistance Web site.  


**Please note there will be a $25USD mailing fee for hard copy request.

**Please note that we will not respond to requests submitted after 30 May 2012.


Bridget Erlikh (b.erlikh@comsoc.org)




1.     Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site:



2.     Information on visiting Canada:



3.     Do you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada:



4.     Visiting Canada - Important information for visa exempt travellers:



5.     Where to send your application for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV):



6.     Video Tutorial on completing the Temporary Resident Visa Application Form (IMM 5257)



7.     Visa Offices outside of Canada:



8.     Application processing times:



9.     Canada Border Services Agency:





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