The Canadian flag flies on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was set to call a parliamentary election for Oct 19 on Sunday, kicking off a marathon 11-week campaign likely to focus on a stubbornly sluggish economy and his decade in power. Image Credit: REUTERS

Canada has announced it will lift its visa requirement for UAE citizens from June 5.

During a meeting with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmad Hussen made the announcement on Monday.

A Canadian government press release said the UAE met Canada’s criteria for visa exemption.

It means that as of 1.30pm UAE time on June 5, Emiratis travelling to Canada on short stays for business, as tourists or to visit family and friends will not require a visa. A short stay is usually up to six months.

UAE citizens will, however, require an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), similar to the US Esta, to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport, which they can apply for online.

Emiratis continue to require a visa until June 5.

Emiratis wishing to work or study in Canada temporarily will still need a work permit, even after June 5.