Canada Decides Antigua and Barbuda No Longer Meet Visa Exempt Requirements
Canada’s Friendly History With Antigua and Barbuda
Canada has long enjoyed a good relationship with Antigua and Barbuda. This is due to a significant Caribbean diaspora in Canada, long-standing regional commercial links, and a long history of Canadian support for the region. There exists a Social Security Agreement between the two countries and an Agreement regarding the sharing of Forfeited Assets and Equivalent Funds. Citizens from both countries often visit and tour the countries because Canada exempted Antigua and Barbuda from needing visitor visas.
On June 26th, 2017, the Canadian Government revoked the exemplary visa agreement and decided that citizens from Antigua and Barbuda are now required to obtain a visa when visiting Canada. Although this change did occur, Canada intends to continue their committed partnership with Antigua and Barbuda through working together on “mutual challenges and opportunities” a significant change has occurred this week. This visa change means that Antigua and Barbuda will require the proper visas to travel or immigrate to Canada. Any Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA) issued beforehand will no longer be valid for Canada, they will need to obtain a visa to travel to Canada. Of course, Canada still highly welcomes visitors from the islands. “Most approved visa applicants will receive a multiple-entry visa, which allows travelers to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years. For each visit, travelers can stay up to six months.”
Current Antigua and Barbuda Citizens in Canada
Any citizens of Antigua and Barbuda currently working or studying in Canada are allowed to continue to stay in Canada to complete their work or study permit. However, if individual plans to travel outside of Canada while they are there on a visa, will need to re-apply for a visa to re-enter Canada.
The government stated that most visa applications are processed within 14 days. Individuals with travel plans to go to Canada before July 11th is treated on a priority basis at the visa office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, which is the closest visa office to Antigua and Barbuda. Although the change may seem like a step back for immigration, it will be extremely beneficial for both Canada and Antigua and Barbados.
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