With its vast landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse culture, Canada has long been a desirable destination for many looking to visit, conduct business, or reconnect with loved ones. Ensuring that access to the country is both efficient and fair for international visitors, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has consistently sought ways to streamline its services. Now, thanks to a new announcement, more people can experience the beauty of the Canadian nation with relative ease.
On June 6, 2023, The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, declared the expansion of the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program to include 13 additional countries. This means that travelers from these countries who have held a Canadian visa in the past decade, or who presently hold a valid non-immigrant United States visa, can now apply for an eTA rather than a standard visa when choosing to visit Canada via air travel.
The countries now benefitting from the program expansion are:
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Costa Rica
• St. Kitts and Nevis
• St. Lucia
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines
• Trinidad and Tobago
By introducing visa-free air travel for these countries, Canada is making it quicker, more convenient, and less expensive for thousands of international travelers to visit for business or leisure, up to a duration of six months. This move will not only facilitate increased travel and tourism, but also foster greater international business opportunities.
Additionally, this expansion of the eTA program is expected to boost Canada’s economy and strengthen its ties with the included countries, while also ensuring the continued safety of its citizens. It will simultaneously ease the burden on Canada’s visa processing system, allowing for more efficient application handling, to the benefit of all visa applicants.
Those who currently possess a valid visa can continue to use it for travel to Canada. However, travelers not eligible for an eTA, or those choosing to visit Canada by means other than air (for instance, by car, bus, train, or boat—including cruise ships), will still require a visitor visa.
Eligibility criteria and application procedures for the eTA can be found on the official government website at Canada.ca/eTA. As the Canadian borders open wider to welcome more of the global community, the country looks forward to embracing this new wave of cultural exchange.
At NPZ Law Group, our U.S. and Canadian lawyers seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call our office at 201-670-0006 (ext. 104). We look forward to being able to assist you.