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Canada Unveils up to Six-Month Visa-Free Travel for Qualified Filipinos

Canada has taken a major step towards promoting global mobility and bolstering international relations. On June 6, 2023, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced the expansion of the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program to include 13 additional countries.

Travellers from these countries, who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa, can now apply for an eTA instead of a traditional visa for air travel to Canada. The amendment is effective immediately, enabling eligible travellers from the enlisted countries to take advantage of the program.

What is eTA

The eTA is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. It allows eligible individuals to travel to Canada without a visa, thereby simplifying the travel process. This electronic document is linked directly to the traveller’s passport and is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires.

With this expansion, travellers from the newly added countries, who either have been issued a Canadian visa in the past decade or currently possess a valid United States non-immigrant visa, can forgo the traditional visa application. Instead, they can simply apply for an eTA when planning to journey to Canada by air. The new regulations come into effect immediately, thus providing eligible individuals from these nations instant access to the benefits of the eTA program.

The 13 countries now part of Canada’s eTA program include:

  • 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
  • Uruguay

This significant development in Canada’s immigration policy will enhance the travel experience for many individuals worldwide, fostering stronger international relations. The addition of these countries to the eTA program signifies Canada’s ongoing commitment to embracing diversity and fostering global connectivity.

The move has been met with enthusiasm by several members of the Parliament, underscoring the potential benefits to Canadian society and economy.

Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North, emphasized the economic and social merits of this decision, “Increased tourism means bringing more families and friends together, boosting local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and various industries that thrive on visitors from abroad. By making travel to Canada more accessible, we are enhancing opportunities for collaboration, trade, and investment, thus invigorating our economy and creating jobs for our fellow Manitobans and Canadians.”

This addition to the eTA program is a progressive move that reinforces Canada’s commitment to global inclusivity. It promises to benefit the nation’s economy, stimulate cultural exchanges, and foster international ties, all while making travel to Canada a more seamless and accessible process. With this forward-thinking approach, Canada is setting a precedent for a future where borders are less of a barrier and global connections are encouraged.


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