Canada will lift its visa requirement for citizens of the United Arab Emirates from June 5, 2018.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen made the announcement in a meeting with UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday.
The move comes following ‘a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the UAE against Canada’s visa policy criteria’, a Canadian government press release said.
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The visa-lift will happen as of 5.30am Eastern time (Toronto) on June 5 for Emiratis travelling to Canada for short stays on business, for tourism or to visit family and friends.
Hussen said: “The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries. It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities.”
UAE citizens are reminded that until June 5, they will still need a visa to travel to Canada.
After June 5, when flying into or transiting through a Canadian airport, they will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Emiratis coming to study or work temporarily in Canada will still need to apply for a study or work permit even after the visa is lifted.
Emiratis become the latest nationality to be granted visa-on-arrival status, alongside Mexicans, Bulgarians and Romanians.
What is an Electronic Travel Authorization?
An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a new requirement for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries arriving in Canada by air, whether to visit the country directly or to pass through in transit.
Do I need an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You need an eTA if you are travelling to Canada by air from a visa-exempt country. A full list of visa-exempt countries is available here.
The following are exempt from requiring an eTA:
- Those who have already obtained a valid visa to enter Canada.
- Anyone entering by land or sea.
- Armed Forces visiting Canada on official duty.
- Students who have a valid Canadian study permit dated on or after August 1, 2015.
- Flight crew, civil aviation inspectors, accident investigators.
- Temporary Foreign Workers who have a valid Canadian work permit date on or after August 1, 2015.
- French citizens who live in and are travelling from St. Pierre and Miquelon.
- Persons entering from the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, while holding valid status in Canada.
- Accredited diplomats.
- Canadian citizens and dual citizens (provided you are travelling on a Canadian passport)
- Canadian permanent residents (you need your PR card or point of entry documentation)
- US citizens (US permanent residents, or green card holders, DO require an eTA when travelling by air)
How do I get an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You can apply for an eTA through the Canadian federal government website.
Beforeyou apply, you will need:
- Valid passport
- As a US permanent resident, you can apply with:
- Valid US refugee travel document (I-571)
- Valid permit to re-enter the US (I-327)
- Credit card to pay the $7 fee
- Valid email address
To apply for an eTA click here.
When should I apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?
The Canadian government advises you to apply as soon as you know you travel itinerary.
However, an eTA can be obtain at the last minute via a smartphone. All you need is an internet connection. The email authorization often only takes a few minutes to come through.
There is no requirement to print an eTA. It is electronically linked to your passport or travel document.
How long is an Electronic Travel Authorization valid for?
An eTA can be valid for five years, or until your passport or travel document expires.
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