Say Goodbye to the Conventional Visitor Visa and Hello to Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
To enhance accessibility and promote international connections, Canada has announced the inclusion of 13 new countries in its electronic travel authorization (eTA) program. Eligible travelers from these countries can now apply for an eTA instead of a visa when visiting Canada by air. The expansion aims to streamline the entry process, making it faster, easier, and more cost-effective for visitors to explore Canada for up to six months.
List of the 13 countries
The newly added countries to the eTA program are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
By implementing visa-free air travel, Canada expects to witness an increase in tourism, travel, and international business activities, fostering stronger relationships with these nations while ensuring the safety of Canadian citizens.
What does this change benefit?
The decision to expand the eTA program will alleviate the visa application load, allowing for more efficient processing and benefiting all visa applicants. Those who already possess a valid visa can continue to use it for travel to Canada, while individuals not eligible for an eTA or traveling to Canada by means other than air will still require a visitor visa.
Not only does this expansion benefit international visitors, but it also brings advantages to the Canadian tourism industry. The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance underscored the positive impact on the visitor economy, job creation, and the promotion of Canada as a premier destination for business and leisure.
Promote Canada as a welcoming and accessible destination for global travelers.
Air Canada, one of Canada’s major airlines, will make travel authorizations more user-friendly, acknowledging its positive impact on the entire travel and tourism industry in Canada. The Vancouver Airport Authority also highlights the immediate opportunities presented by expanded access to global markets, predicting substantial benefits for the local economy and the creation of new jobs.
Quick process and affordable pricing
The eTA is a digital travel document required for most visa-exempt travelers entering or transiting through Canada by air. The application process is simple and affordable, costing only CAD $7, with most applications receiving automatic approval within minutes. With nearly 20.9 million eTAs issued since its introduction in 2015, the program has proven to be successful in facilitating travel while ensuring necessary security measures.
By embracing a more efficient and equitable immigration system, Canada anticipates a significant increase in visitors from these 13 countries in the coming years, projecting an additional $160 million in tourism revenue over the next decade. This strategic decision not only positions Canada as a welcoming destination but also showcases its breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, and warm hospitality on the global stage.
For more information on eTA eligibility and the application process, travelers can visit here.
Source: Government of Canada
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