Today, Sean Fraser, the minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, made a declaration regarding visa-free travel while in Winnipeg.
13 nations’ passport owners will now be capable of flying to Canada without the use of a visa for temporary residence. This is only valid for visitors from these nations who have either recently held a Canadian visa or who now have a valid United States non-immigrant visa. Travelers with the following passports are eligible:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Costa Rica
Fraser claims that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been attempting to simplify, expedite, and lower the cost of the pretravel screening procedure. According to him, this choice will allow IRCC to process visa applications more quickly by diverting thousands of applications from Canada’s docket.
In 2017, a comparable pilot program was launched in Brazil. According to the minister, the program was successful in increasing Brazilian visitors by 40% and decreasing the burden at the IRCC office in Sao Paulo by 60%, freeing up IRCC employees to work on more complicated applications.
Canada visa-free travel
More than 50 nations can travel to Canada visa-free, albeit most of them need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if they fly in.
Unless they are moving to Canada for business or school, United States citizens do not need a visa or an eTA to enter the country.
Foreign nationals must apply for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV), often known as a guest visa if they are not exempt from needing one.
An individual with a TRV is able to travel to Canada for six months (however this may be different for other foreign nationals).
The holder of a TRV may be asked to provide proof that their visit to Canada is transitory (such as travel or family visits) at their port of entry. Arriving in Canada with a TRV does not grant the holder authorization to work or study there.
There is currently a backlog of TRV applications that IRCC is tackling. According to the IRCC’s most recent backlog data, 50% of TRV applications are not being handled within the required 14-day period. According to Minister Fraser, the recent Public Service Alliance of Canada strike had an effect on TRV applications. Fraser informed reporters that 100,000 applications that would have been handled during the 12-day strike were instead not processed from April 19 to May 1.