Canada announced on Tuesday the addition of 13 countries, including Morocco, to its Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program.
Starting this Tuesday, eligible travelers from these countries who have had a Canadian visa within the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid U.S. visa issued for non-immigration purposes can apply for an eTA instead of apply for a visa if they are traveling to Canada by air.
In addition to Morocco, the new list of countries eligible for this program includes Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, the Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay, .
The announcement was made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser.
Visa-free air travel to Canada for up to six months will allow thousands of business and leisure travelers to visit the country quickly, easily and affordably , underlines the ministry in charge of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in a press release.
This measure will also contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy by promoting travel, tourism and international trade, as well as by strengthening Canada’s relations with these countries while ensuring the safety of Canadians, adds the department.
This decision will also avoid the addition of thousands of applications to the volume of files to be processed, which will make it possible to process visa applications more efficiently and will ultimately benefit all applicants, underlines the ministry, adding that people who already hold a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada.
Travelers who are not eligible for the eTA, or who travel to Canada other than by air (e.g. by car, bus, train or boat, including cruise ships), will still need to present an visitor visa.
“With this addition, more people 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 visa-free.” , said Fraser.
“This expansion is not only convenient for travellers, it will also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, while strengthening ties with these 13 countries,” added the Minister.
The eTA is a digital travel document that most visa-exempt travelers must have to come to Canada by air or stopover.
Canadian authorities use the eTA application to perform a summary screening of air travelers before their departure.