Canada announced that Eligible travellers from 13 more countries now qualify for visa-free travel to Canada
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Sean Fraser, the Honourable Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, unfurled a new chapter in travel connectivity, with 13 nations joining the electronic travel authorization (eTA) initiative. Air travellers from these nations, provided they have been granted a Canadian visa in the last decade or possess a legitimate United States non-immigrant visa, can now swap the standard visa procedure for an eTA application. As of today, potential explorers from the following nations can leverage this amenity:
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 newly implemented visa-less air travel is poised to streamline the journey, making it quicker, more convenient, and economically advantageous for thousands of globetrotters visiting Canada for business or pleasure, for up to six months. This move is expected to provide a significant boost to the Canadian economy by stimulating tourism, international business, and nurturing diplomatic ties, all while prioritizing the safety of Canadians.
Furthermore, this strategic decision is anticipated to offset the bulk of applications from Canada’s visa portfolio, thereby increasing the efficacy of visa application processing—a win-win situation for all visa aspirants.
Travelers possessing a valid visa can continue their travel to Canada without interruption. For those who do not qualify for an eTA or who opt to travel to Canada by means other than air—be it by car, bus, train, or boat (including cruise ships)—a visitor visa remains mandatory. Prospective visitors can explore Canada.ca/eTA to understand their eligibility for an eTA and the procedure to apply for the same.
Fast Facts The eTA, a virtual travel pass, is mandatory for the majority of visa-exempt travelers looking to visit or transit through Canada by air.
The eTA application allows Canadian authorities to conduct an initial, lightweight screening of air passengers. With an application fee of just CAN$7, most requests are approved promptly within minutes.
An eTA application requires a valid passport, credit card, email address, and internet connectivity.
Since its launch on August 1, 2015, the eTA initiative has successfully processed close to 20.9 million applications.
IRCC extended the reach of its eTA program in April 2017 to accommodate eligible Brazilians, Bulgarians, and Romanians. Later that year, the visa obligation for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens was removed entirely. Today, qualified Brazilian nationals continue to relish visa-free air travel to Canada.
In the forthcoming year, an estimated increment of 200,000 (or 20%) in visitors from these 13 countries is projected. Over the span of a decade, the elevated travel from these nations is forecasted to generate nearly $160 million in additional tourism revenue.