Canada continues to be an attractive destination for people around the globe, and recent developments have made it even more accessible to international travellers. The Canadian government has expanded its electronic travel authorization (eTA) program to include an additional 13 countries. This exciting change allows eligible individuals from these nations to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada, making it faster, easier, and more affordable for them to visit Canada for business or leisure purposes.
The countries recently added to the program include 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. To qualify for an eTA, and thus visa-free travel to Canada, travellers from these countries must have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa.
While this move promises to enhance convenience for travellers, it also brings a number of economic benefits to Canada. The influx of visitors is expected to stimulate travel, tourism, and international business, thereby contributing to the growth of the Canadian economy. Moreover, visa-free travel to Canada is set to strengthen Canada's global bonds with these 13 countries.
This expansion will streamline the visa application process, diverting thousands of applications from Canada's visa caseload. This will benefit all visa applicants by allowing for more efficient processing of visa applications.
The eTA, a digital travel document required by most visa-exempt travellers, is applied for online and typically approved within minutes. The application process is simple, requiring only a valid passport, a credit card, an email address, and internet access. The eTA program has seen significant success since its inception in 2015, with almost 20.9 million eTAs issued so far.
It's important to note that travellers who are not eligible for an eTA, or those travelling to Canada by means other than air, will still need a visitor visa. Individuals who already have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada.
Navigating immigration processes can be complex, but at Mesidor Canadian Immigration Services, we're committed to helping you understand your options. We invite you to connect with us for guidance on your immigration journey to Canada.