Manila: Eligible Filipinos can now travel to Canada visa free, it was announced late on Tuesday.
The announcement came as Canada has added the Philippines to its electronic travel authorisation (eTA) programme, which now allows citizens of the Philippines currently holding a temporary residence visa in Canada or a US non-immigrant visa to travel “visa-free” to Canada.
In a statement, the Canadian Embassy in Manila said the decision will support Canada's “Indo-Pacific” Strategy, aimed at boosting relations and invest in people-to-people ties between Canada and the Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines.
Under the new e-visa regime, the Philippines becomes one of 13 additional countries whose eligible citizens may now benefit from visa-free travel, the embassy said in a Twitter thread.
Canada has granted inhabitants of the Philippines 466,936 temporary resident visas over the past 10 years. These people could now travel without a visa, along with those who currently possess non-immigrant visas for the US.
The embassy said it costs C$7 ($5.22) to apply, and most applications are automatically approved within minutes.
“We recognise the importance of expanding and simplifying travel between our countries. Canada is pleased to announce the addition of the Philippines to the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program," the embassy here stated.
"Philippine citizens who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now apply for an eTA, instead of a visa,when travelling to Canada by air. Introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier & more affordable for thousands of known travellers from the Philippines.”
· The eTA application is used by Canadian officials to conduct light-touch, pre-travel screening of air travellers.