Applying for an entry visa to Canada


This page is designed in two section, general visa information and page by page user guide to complete your application.

Please note that all applications need to be submitted as soon as possible.

General visa information


Given the short time remaining to COP15 and WG5, if you have not yet submitted your application for a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa, we URGE you to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than 10 November.  Please follow the guidelines below and the user guide attached to ensure accurate submission.

If you have already submitted your visa application but have not yet received your visa, please send your visa application number to so that the Secretariat can follow up with Immigration Canada.

Please note the following:

  • While Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will endeavour to process all complete straightforward applications, it cannot be guaranteed that those received less than 3 weeks prior the start of the event will be processed in time.
  • Failure to include the Special Event Code as indicated in the attached instructions will result in processing delays and your application may not be processed in time for the event
  • If applicable, ensure to make an appointment to register your Biometrics as soon as you receive your Biometric Instruction Letter. 
  • Please respond immediately to requests from IRCC for information, including submission of your passport for visa issuance.
  • You may register your biometrics or submit your passport at any Visa Application Centre even if it is not in your country of habitual residence. 
  • Please note that you will not be able to board your flight to Canada in the absence of a valid visa, nor will you be able to obtain a visa at the border. 

If you have not yet submitted your application, you must submit your online visa application immediately through the IRCC link:

Please consult the attached user guide on how to apply and complete your online visa application.  This information is also available on the CBD home page and on the Visa Section of the Information Note for Participants at: 

In order to identify that you are applying for a visa to attend CBD meetings, you must include the following with your application:

1. Priority Pass
2. Visa assistance letter,
3. Under “purpose of travel”, select “Other” and indicate the COP15 special event code “22BIOD” in the free text field
4. BIOMETRICS: If you are required to complete your biometrics; you will be issued an Instructions Letter to do so but only after having submitted your application.

Please note that you DO NOT need to provide a travel Itinerary with your application.

User Guide

  1. To facilitate the issuance of visas, the CBD Secretariat will, upon request, issue an invitation letter to be included with your online visa application.  Please note this letter is mandatory as part of the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application process. COP‑15 attendees who have a letter of invitation are exempt from visa and biometric processing fees as described below.
  2. Unless you are a visa-exempt visitor, you are required to apply online for your TRV. 
  3. Participants must use the following method to apply for the visa to enter Canada  


It is recommend that applicants use (up-to-date) Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers when using the IRCC portal


Connect to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) secure network through this link:



If you do not have one, please register for an account (GCKey):




After you sign in, click on “Apply to come to Canada” to start an application: 



If you do not have a personal reference code, please click on “Visitor visa, study and/or work permit” button:





Follow the online questionnaire to identify yourself and to determine eligibility to apply for visa. 




Once eligibility to apply for visa has been confirmed, please click on the “Continue” to proceed to the next process.



Step 7

When asked whether you will be paying fees with your application or whether you meet and exemption, please select “No, I am exempt from paying fees for this application”.




You will need to answer series of questions, which includes details about your travel.  Please make sure to answer all required fields. 

You will be prompted to upload proof/an explanation of how you meet this exemption when you get to the document upload page. The ‘proof’ you must upload is the Visa Assistance Letter received from the Secretariat which contains the Special Event Code assigned by Canadian authorities as well as your Priority Pass. You must still obtain a visa and provide biometrics (if applicable) but you will not be charged any fees.

Additionally, under the ‘Details of visit to Canada’ section of the Visa Application Form, applicants are must include the Special Event Code, when they are indicating the “Purpose of my visit”.  Select “OTHER”, and in the free text box, please type the EVENT NAME(S) and the Special Event Code (6-digit code on the visa letter).


If you need to provide biometrics, you will be required to report to the nearest Visa Application Centre to provide this information in person, once a visa officer provides you with a Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL). 


  1. You cannot make an appointment for biometrics until you receive a BIL. 
  2. Your visa application will not go forward without any required biometric information.
  3.  Once your application has been submitted, [C1] please send an email to with the following information:
    1. Full Name (as in passport)
    2. Country Name
    3. Visa Application number, and 
    4. Unique Identifier Client (ICU) number (if available)

 [C1]Please have them provide their application # as soon as they have it. That way we can monitor and ensure that they are issued the biometric request letter at the earliest point possible.