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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Canada grants visa-free entry to 13 countries

Canada has granted visa-free entry to 13 countries.

This was made known via a Press statement by the immigration office on its website.

According to the statement, travellers from the affected countries who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now apply for  electronic travel authorization (eTA) instead of a visa when travelling to Canada by air.

The Press release states:

Canada is a destination of choice for people looking to visit, do business or reunite with family and friends. That’s why we are committed to improving our immigration programs and services by making them more efficient and equitable for people around the world.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the addition of 13 countries to the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program. Travellers from these countries who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now apply for an eTA instead of a visa when travelling to Canada by air.

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Effective Tuesday June 6, 2023, eligible travellers from these countries can benefit from the program:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Costa Rica
  • Morocco
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Seychelles
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay

The government states that introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier, and more affordable for thousands of travellers to visit Canada for up to six months for either business or leisure.

“It will also help grow Canada’s economy by facilitating more travel, tourism and international business, and by strengthening Canada’s relationships with these countries while keeping Canadians safe.

“This decision will also divert thousands of applications from Canada’s visa caseload, allowing us to process visa applications more efficiently, which will benefit all visa applicants,” government states.

It adds that individuals who already have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada.

“Those who are not eligible for an eTA, or who are travelling to Canada by means other than air (for example, by car, bus, train and boat—including by cruise ship), will still need a visitor visa,” the release added.

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