Pinoys can now travel to Canada visa-free.
Starting June 7, passport holders from 13 countries, the Philippines included, are eligible to visit Canada with an electronic travel authorization (eTA) instead of a travel visa, provided that they have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa.
In a press release published on Tuesday, June 6 (Canada time) Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser said that this move allows more travelers from around the globe to visit their country "without the hurdle of visa requirements."
“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.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, meanwhile, expressed that this will help with their Indo-Pacific Strategy, with the Philippines at its "core."
“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.”
Other countries mentioned are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Costa Rica, Morocco, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
The eTA is a digital travel document that is required to travel or transit through Canada by air. It costs CA $7 (P293) and can be automatically approved within minutes. It's good to note that this electronic document is good for a period of five years.
To apply, one must have a valid passport, a credit or debit card, an email address, and answer a few questions in the online application.
Canada introduced the eTA program in 2015. Since then over 20.9 million eTAs have been issued.
According to the statement, Canada expects to receive 200,000 (or 20%) more visitors from these 13 countries in the coming year.