Canada expands visa free travel to 5 Caribbean countries and 8 others

Canada expands visa free travel to 5 Caribbean countries and 8 others
Canada expands visa free travel to 5 Caribbean countries and 8 others

Canada has announced the expansion of its visa-free travel regime to 13 nations, including five Caribbean countries that are members of CARICOM. As per reports, eligible candidates only require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) instead of a prior visa to enter Canada by air.

The list also includes Caribbean nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, among several other countries from around the globe.

Notably, the new regime only applies to travellers who had a Canadian visa in last ten years or hold a valid US non-immigrant visa. 

The announcement was made by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship – Sean Fraser on Tuesday.

He said eligible candidates must apply online for an eTA through (www.eta-apply.ca). Minister emphasized that the response is usually received on the same day. 

Explaining the process, he said that to apply for an eTA, travellers from these Caribbean as well other countries only need a valid passport, a credit card, an email address and Internet access. 

However, first-time applicants or persons who do not have a US or Canadian Visa are still required to apply for a visa to enter Canada.

The changes take immediate effect starting from the date of announcement (6 June 2023), qualifying eligible travellers from the following countries:

· 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

Introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier & more convinient for thousands of travellers from these 13 countries to visit Canada for up to 6 months for business or leisure. It will also help promote more travel, tourism and international trade between the countries and help strengthen people-to-people as well as cultural ties.

While announcing the development, Canadian Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser Tweeted, “Good news! Eligible travellers from 13 new countries can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, reunite with family and friends, and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture visa-free.”

He highlighted that the Government is making it easier for more people to do business, sightsee or reunite with their family and friends in Canada.

Canadian High Commissioner to the Barbados Lilian Chatterjee also welcomed the decision and said that it is a good news for the Caribbean countries.

 

The Caribbean countries have welcomed this decision with open hands and are praising the Canadian government for clearing the way for easier movement of people to their country.

Premier of Nevis Mark Brantley also welcomed the decision and added its great news on the partial restoration of visa-free travel to Canada.

“I applaud the work of HE Shirley Skerritt and HE Sherry Tross and the hardworking team at Capital and in Ottawa for their incredible work. I must also commend the work of our new Foreign Minister Dr Denzil Douglas and the new government for getting the job done and for bringing important relief to the people of St Kitts and Nevis.

The decision will also allow the Canadian government to process applications more efficiently as it will divert thousands of applications from Canada’s visa caseload. This will benefit all visa applicants from around the world and will lessen the burden on Canada.