Canada Announces to Add 13 Additional Countries to Its Visa Waiver Program

The latest reports reveal that Canada has recently made an announcement of the expansion of the Canadian visa waiver program that allows eligible travelers from 13 additional countries to come and visit Canada visa-free. If you are from one of these 13 countries, you are all set to make waves to visit the country with no need for a visa. Let’s find out the details now.

Details Regarding the Canadian Visa Waiver Program

The Canadian Government has issued visa-free travel to 13 newly eligible countries, which include:

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

If you are a national of the above-mentioned countries, you will no longer need to get a temporary residence visa to visit Canada by air. But these people will have to get an approved electronic Canada eTA Visa Waiver to fly into Canada.

Reasons Behind the Expansion of the List of Visa-Free Countries

Well, Canada is committed to improving its immigration programs and services, which is why it has revised its visa policy to include additional visa-exempt nationalities.

Sean Fraser (Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship) says that this move is highly expected to enhance convenience for travelers and provide a boost to travel, tourism, and economic benefits. He further mentions that this expansion will also strengthen global ties with the thirteen countries included in the program.

According to Randy Boissonnault, the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, this beneficial development happens to be a major step towards helping the tourism fraternity jump to new heights. Meanwhile, Mélanie Joly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also emphasizes saying that this expansion is a vital part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which is set to further engage with the region, build on people-to-people ties, and make travel to Canada with ease, safety and quick for everyone. On the part of the Canadian government, it estimates that this expansion is expected to bring in almost $160 million in additional revenue for tourism and 20% more visitors from these countries within a decade timeframe.

What are Travel Requirements for Newly Visa-Exempt Countries

If you are a newly visa-free traveler planning to visit Canada by air, you can now apply for an eTA provided that:

  • You got a Canadian visa in the last 10 years
  • You presently have a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa

As far as eTA is concerned, it is actually a digital travel document that is required for most visa-exempt travelers to enter or transit through Canada by air. With eTA, your journey becomes fast, easy, and more affordable than the visa procedure.

Officials of Canada use the eTA application to conduct pre-travel screening. The majority of the applications are approved automatically within minutes.

How to Apply for an eTA

If you like to apply for an eTA, you’ll need:

  • A valid passport
  • An email address
  • A credit card
  • Your access to the internet

Please note that if you have a valid visa already, you can continue to use it to travel to Canada. However, if you are not eligible for an eTA or you are traveling to Canada by means other than air travel (such as bus, car, train, or boat), you will still be in need of a visitor visa.

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