Today, Minister of IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) Sean Fraser announced addition of 13 new nations to the list of eligible countries for visa-free travel to Canada.
As per one of the expectations posted by INC – Immigration News Canada, IRCC adds 13 nations to the list of visa-free countries.
New countries eligible for visa-free travel to Canada: Panama, Caribbean island states of Antigua and Barbados, St. Kits and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Argentina, Morocco, Seychelles, Thailand, and Philippines.
Effective today, travellers from these countries who have held a Canadian visa within the past 10 years or who currently possess a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now apply for an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) instead of a visa while coming to Canada.
You can watch the announcement here 👇
The announcement was made at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport – Departure Terminal, 2000 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 1C2.
Immigration minister was joined by Kevin Lamoureux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Rechie Valdez, MP for Mississauga—Streetsville, Ontario.
After media availability, IRCC Minister Sean Fraser will be attending a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders and community members at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM).
As per official press release, on the following day (June 7, 2023), Minister Fraser will also be welcoming 20 new Canadian citizens at a special ceremony hosted by VIA Rail.
INC News Expectations Prior to the announcement
There was no confirmation from IRCC or immigration department regarding what the new announcement was supposed to be.
However, INC – Immigration News Canada posted the possibility that immigration minister announces addition of new visa-free country or countries for Canada or Canadian citizens, but there was no official update to confirm it.
With immigration minister’s schedule to have a roundtable with community members at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) indicates that there was an expectation that there could be some good news coming for filipinos community, but it was just based on the speculation.
Full list of Visa-Free countries for Canada
- British citizen
- British National (Overseas)
- British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
- British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in one of the British overseas territories of:Anguilla
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
- Pitcairn Island
- Saint Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- British Subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom
- Brunei Darussalam
- Caribbean island states of
- Antigua and Barbados
- St. Kits and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR.
- Israel, must have a national Israeli passport
- Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Taiwan, must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number
- United Arab Emirates
- Vatican City State, must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican.
What are the new countries eligible for Visa-Free (eTA) travel?
New countries eligible for visa-free travel to Canada: Panama, the Caribbean island states of Antigua and Barbados, St. Kits and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Argentina, Morocco, Seychelles, Thailand, and Philippines.
What is electronic travel authorization or eTA for Canada?
An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is required for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to Canada. An eTA is connected to a traveler’s passport electronically.
It is valid for up to five years or until the expiration of the passport, whichever comes first. If you obtain a new passport, you must obtain a new eTA.
How much is the cost of eTA for Canada?
$7 Canadian dollars is cost of an eTA per individual.