Canada Imposes New Visa Requirements on Several Formerly Exempt Countries

New visa requirementsAccording to a press release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the government of Canada has now (12 a.m. September 12, 2012) imposed visitor visa requirements for citizens of the following countries:

St. Lucia
St. Vincent

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, “We continue to welcome genuine visitors to Canada. These changes are necessary to protect the integrity of Canada’s fair and generous immigration system by helping us reduce an unacceptably high number of immigration violations.”

Why Are the New Visa Requirements Necessary?

According to the press release, travel documents from these countries are considered unreliable because criminals are able to legally change their names and get new passports. These people are considered safety risks to Canada, and would travel to Canada using these different passports.

There has also been a very high number of asylum claims from some of these countries within the last five years.

“These changes are necessary because the countries concerned have an immigration violation rate of over thirty per cent, well above the level we deem acceptable for countries benefiting from a visa exemption,” continued Kenney.

Are You From a Country Now Requiring a Visa to Come to Canada?

Those who want to come to Canada from these countries will now need a visitor visa to visit Canada. The application must prove to Canadian visa officers that the applicant intends to leave Canada as their visitor’s visa expires and can support themselves while in Canada. They must also be able to demonstrate that they are in good health, do not possess a criminal record and are not a risk to Canadians.

Do you need help with your Canadian visitor visa application? Contact us today or book your consultation online. You are closer than you think!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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