13 nations, including 5 Caribbean, now eligible for Canadian eTA program

13 nations, including 5 Caribbean, now eligible for Canadian eTA program

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Five Caribbean nations, along with eight other countries will have visa-free access to Canada. According to the latest announcement, country has made a significant change in its visa regulation into the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program.

The five Caribbean countries which have visa free access to Canada are: Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

The announcement was made by Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. He stated that travellers from additional thirteen (13) nations around the world will now be able to travel to Canada without visa, under the eTA program.

The Minister has further outlined that the travellers for all these countries must either have a Canadian visa in the past 10 years or should currently possess non-immigrant visa of the United States of America.

The Canadian minister has outlined that from June 6, 2023 (Tuesday), travellers from the following countries can apply for an eTA instead of a visa while travelling to Canada by air:

Antigua and Barbuda
Costa Rica
St Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago

Immigration Minister Fraser added that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented this decision to make the pre-travel screening process faster, easier and more affordable. He highlighted that this will also help IRCC in making the visa application process more efficiently as thousands of applications will be diverted from visa caseload for Canada.

This decision was lauded by the Heads of all the Caribbean States. Lilian Chatterjee – Canada’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia & Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, OECS Commission also shared her view point on this and regarded it as a ‘good news’ for the countries.

A media release by the High Commission of Canada in Barbados stated that introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier, and more affordable for thousands of travellers to visit Canada for up to six months for either business or leisure. It will also help grow Canada’s economy by facilitating more travel, tourism and international business, and by strengthening Canada’s relationships with these countries.

Additionally, it is clarified that the individuals who have Canadian visa can continue using it. And the ones who are not eligible for eTA can travel to the nation by applying for a visitor visa. The official statement also outlined that eTA program only covers the people travelling via air.

It is worth mentioning that there are more than 50 countries that can enter Canada without a visa, although most require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if they are arriving by air.