Canada introducing visa-free travel to 13 countries

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  • Canada is expanding the list of countries whose residents are eligible to visit
    this country without a travel visa.

    Passport holders from 13 countries will now be able to travel to Canada by
    air without requiring a Temporary Residence Visa. However, this applies
    only to 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.

    Eligible travellers include passport holders from travelling by air from
    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, and Uruguay can now do so for up to six
    months without a visa, according to a release by Immigration, Refugees and
    Citizenship Canada.

    Sean Fraser,
    Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, visited
    Winnipeg today for an announcement regarding visafree travel.

    Fraser says
    Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been
    working to make the pretravel screening process easier, faster, and more
    affordable. He says this
    decision will divert thousands of applications from
    Canadas visa caseload, allowing IRCC
    to process visa applications more
    efficiently.

    The 13 countries have been added to the list of more than 50 other places
    from which travellers are visaexempt and electronic travel authorization
    (eTA)eligible, as long as they have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10
    years or currently hold a valid United States nonimmigrant visa.

    The eTA is a $7 prescreening entry requirement linked to a traveller’s
    passport for a period of five years, and allows people to enter Canada as
    frequently as they want for short stays. The eTA applications are also
    automatically approved within minutes, a
    according to the government release.

    Minister Fraser has said TRV applications were impacted by the recent
    strike by the Public Service Alliance of Canada
    . The 12day strike lasted
    from April 19 until May 1 and Fraser told reporters that there were
    100,000 applications not processed during that period that otherwise
    would have been. He also said that he expects IRCC will be able to catch
    up to prepandemic processing standards within the coming weeks, or a
    few months.


    According to the release, Canada can expect about 20 per cent more visitors
    from the 13 countries, which could bring in nearly $160 million in tourism
    revenue within the next decade. (IRCC

     

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