Winnipeg: Canada has announced expansion in its electronic travel authorization (eTA) program. 

On Tuesday, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser said 13 countries have been added to eTA program. 

He said, “Travellers from these countries 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.”

Canada is a destination of choice for people looking to visit, do business or reunite with family and friends. That’s why we are committed to improving our immigration programs and services by making them more efficient and equitable for people around the world.

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 and Uruguay have been added to the eTA program. 

The federal government said this decision will also divert thousands of applications from Canada’s visa caseload, allowing officers to process visa applications more efficiently.

“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 — car, bus, train and boat, including by cruise ship— will still need a visitor visa,” the government added.   

“This exciting development means that more individuals from around the world 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 global bonds with these 13 countries,” said Sean Fraser.

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