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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

By November 2019, there will be at least 149 Canadian Visa Application Centres locations in 99 countries, allowing more than 96 percent of applicants to apply for a Canadian visa in their country of residence.

As of November 23, 2023, there were 163 Visa Application Centres in 95 countries.

These commitments from Canada’s department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) come with the announcement that VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd. is the of the winning supplier for the Visa Application Centre contract. A subsidiary of VFS Cayman Limited, VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, currently serving 58 client governments.

Canada uses a network of Visa Application Centres around the world. Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals submit their applications and, if required, provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) to come to Canada. By ensuring that applications are complete, VACs help avoid unnecessary delays or refusal due to incomplete applications.

Since 2000, VACs have helped provide administrative support to visa applicants before, during, and after their application is assessed at a Canadian visa office.

Visa Application Centres are managed by third-party service providers authorized to provide specific services to visa applicants under the terms of a formal contract with IRCC.

Under the terms of the new contract, the extended VAC network in Asia will open on November 2, 2018. Similarly, on November 2, 2019, the extended VAC network in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East will begin opening.

“We are very pleased to announce the winning supplier of the Visa Application Centre contract,” said Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen.

“More than ever, people around the world are interested in applying to come to visit, work, or study in Canada. Canada competes with other countries for students, workers and visitors, who inject billions of dollars into Canada’s economy. VAC services, with competitive fees, help facilitate people’s travel, and ensure Canada remains an attractive destination.”

Whether or not an individual needs a visa to come to Canada, for example as a visitor, worker, or student, depends on his or her country of citizenship. Individuals from visa-required countries need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), whereas individuals from visa-exempt countries typically need an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before coming to Canada by air travel.

How to find your local Visa Application Centre

For a complete list of Visa Application Centres, IRCC have created a handy tool that you can use to find your local Visa Application Centre. Simply use the filter items field to find a VAC in your country. If there is no VAC in your country, it may be that you have to travel to a neighboring country.

If you need assistance coming to Canada, see our short list of recommended regulated immigration consultants.

About the author

Hugo O'Doherty profile picture

Hugo O'Doherty

Canadian Immigration & Integration Specialist
Hugo O’Doherty has over a decade of experience and research in Canadian immigration, establishing him as a recognized authority on immigrant integration and adaptation. His personal and professional experiences with immigration have made him an expert on the practical aspects of successfully moving to and settling in Canada.
Read more about Hugo O'Doherty
Citation "Canada to expand network of Visa Application Centres." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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