OTTAWA, Canada – The Canadian government has announced an expansion of its visa-free travel policy to include thirteen additional countries across Asia, Africa, Central and South America, notably excluding Nigeria.
The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, disclosed the new visa-free travel policy on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, which includes Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts-Nevis, Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Morocco, Seychelles, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, and the Philippines.
The African nations of Morocco and Seychelles have been included in the expanded list. However, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, was not added to the list.
The new policy is an expansion of the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) programme, making it easier for “known travellers” from the named countries to visit Canada for tourism or business.
Fraser noted that the expansion enhances convenience for travellers and is expected to increase travel, tourism, and economic benefits. It will also strengthen global bonds with these 13 countries.
“Known travellers from these countries can save a lot of money as a result of the visa exemptions,” he said.
Currently, a visitor visa costs $100 per person and $500 for a family of five or more. However, an eTA only costs seven dollars per person and is valid for as long as five years.
The Canadian government hopes that introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier, and more affordable for thousands of travellers to visit Canada for up to six months, either for business or leisure purposes.