Facilitating legitimate trade and travel to Canada

Canada is a destination of choice, whether people wish to visit, to study, or immigrate permanently. As part of our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, the Government will continue to take steps to ensure Canada remains a destination of choice for travel.

In particular, the Government is making it easier to do business, invest or study in Canada, visit family and friends, enjoy an adventure or attend a major event, such as the Pan Am Games. For example, visa-required visitors are now automatically considered for a 10-year multiple-entry visa. This visa allows travellers to visit Canada multiple times, for up to 10 years, without having to re-apply each time. Nearly 100% of visitor visas issued by IRCC are now multiple-entry visas.

Canada is also modernizing the way visitors apply for a visa, through initiatives such as online applications and a global network of convenient visa application centres (VACs). Today, Canada has 131 VACs in 94 countries. We are also putting in place a number of visa facilitation programs in key markets so tourists and businesspeople can get their visas within days of applying, and often requiring less paperwork.

For instance, the CAN+ program expedites visa processing for experienced travellers from a number of countries, including China, Mexico, and India, with visas issued within a few days and a high approval rate. These applicants, who normally have to demonstrate that they have previously travelled to Canada or the U.S. in the last 10 years, often do not need to provide proof of financial support.

Canada also offers “Express” programs in a number of countries, including China, Mexico, and India that help business people, tourist groups and students come to Canada faster. For example, the Business Express Program (BEP) expedites business travel from China, India, Mexico, and was recently rolled out in Bulgaria and Romania. Under BEP, visas are issued within days and there is a near-perfect approval rate for those registered in the program. The Travel Express program in Mexico offers a fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.

Canada values the contributions of international students and has strengthened the rules to make sure that when students come to Canada, they study at a quality educational institution.  We also provide opportunities for international students to work, both while they study and after graduation.

All of these efforts are paying off: last year, Canada set a record, issuing more than 1.1 million visas, reaffirming that Canada continues to be an attractive destination for tourism and business.

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