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Filipinos can now enter Canada without visa

June 7, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 1054 views

THE government of Canada announced the addition of the Philippines to its Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program, allowing eligible citizens from the Philippines to travel the country even without a visa.

“Canada values our relationship with the Philippines. With the well-established Filipino diaspora in Canada, along with an increasing number of students and tourists from the Philippines, we recognize the importance of expanding and simplifying travel between our countries ” a release issues by the Canadian Embassy in Manila said.

Citizens from the Philippines who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now apply for an eTA, instead of a visa, when travelling to Canada by air.

Introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier and more affordable for thousands of known travellers from the Philippines to visit Canada for up to 6 months for either business or leisure.

It will also help facilitate more travel, tourism and international business between our countries, and help strengthen people-to-people and cultural ties.

“This decision complements our existing mobility measures for the Philippines, like the country’s membership in Canada’s Transit Without Visa program, which allows eligible Filipino nationals to fly through Canada on their way to or from the US without a Canadian visa, as well as the Student Direct Stream, which offers expedited study permit processing to those who are applying to study in Canada,” the Embassys said.

It added: “This initiative will also support Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which aims to strengthen relations and invest in people-to-people ties between Canada and the Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines.”

“This exciting development means that more individuals from the Philippines can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, reunite with family and friends, and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture without the hurdle of visa requirements. This expansion not only enhances convenience for travellers; it will also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, as well as strengthen our bond with the Philippines,” Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said.

“Canada is a destination of choice for so many around the world. We’re making it easier for more people to visit Canada, whether they’re coming to do business, sightsee, or reunite with family and friends. Expanding the eTA program to include countries like the Philippines is also an important part of our Indo-Pacific Strategy, as we look to further engage in the region, build on people-to-people ties, and make travel to Canada easier, faster and safer for everyone,” Mélanie Joly, Minister of Global Affairs said.

Individuals who already have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada.

Those who are not eligible for an eTA, or who are travelling to Canada by means other than air (for example, by car, bus, train and boat—including by cruise ship), will still need a visitor visa.

Travellers can visit Canada.ca/etA to find out if they are eligible for an eTA and how to apply for one.

The eTA is a digital travel document that most visa-exempt travellers need to travel to or transit through Canada by air.

The eTA application is used by Canadian officials to conduct light-touch, pre-travel screening of air travellers. It costs CAN$7 to apply, and most applications are automatically approved within minutes.

To apply for an eTA, travellers need only a valid passport, a credit card, an email address and access to the Internet.

The Philippines is one of the 13 additional countries whose eligible citizens may now benefit from visa-free travel.

Over the last 10 years, Canada issued 466,936 temporary resident visas to citizens from the Philippines. These individuals, along with current US non-immigrant visa holders, may now be eligible for visa-free travel.

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