MANILA, Philippines – Canada has included the Philippines in its Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program, effectively allowing Filipinos who have held a Canadian visa within the past 10 years or currently hold a US nonimmigrant visa to travel to the country visa-free.
Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser made the announcement Wednesday.
The expansion is effective immediately, he added.
“This exciting development means that more people from around the world can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, reunite with family and friends, and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture,” Fraser said. without the hurdle of visa requirements.”
In addition to the Philippines, the program includes Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Costa Rica, Morocco, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Te Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
“This expansion will not only enhance convenience for travelers. It will also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, and strengthen global connections with these 13 countries.”
To apply for an eTA, travelers need a valid passport, credit card, email address and internet access.
Meanwhile, those who are not eligible for an eTA will still need a visitor visa before traveling to the country.
Canada says it expects 200,000 tourists from the 13 countries by 2024, raking in about C$160 million over a decade.
In a separate statement, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed Fraser’s statement, calling it an “important milestone and a remarkable sign” of the friendship between the Philippines and Canada.
“Because of Canada’s good people-to-people ties with the Philippines, the Philippines views Canada as a close partner and looks forward to ushering in a new era of engagement under this new policy,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said.
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