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Canada Enforces Visa Requirement on Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda

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As of June 27, 2017, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda will need a visa to visit Canada. From that date, any existing electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) issued to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda will become null and void, and affected individuals who had previously been issued an eTA will no longer be able to use that eTA for the purposes of travel to Canada.

The government of Canada has determined that the small Caribbean nation, which has a population of less than 100,000, no longer meets the criteria for a visa exemption.

While the government’s official press release did not elaborate on this point, recent media reports have highlighted that the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program allows international investors and their families to obtain citizenship, and therefore a passport, for either a contribution of $200,000 USD, or a real estate investment of $400,000 USD, or an investment into a business of $1,500,000.

Applicants to this program could apply without having any previous ties to Antigua and Barbuda.

‘Canada continues to welcome visitors from Antigua and Barbuda, while protecting the integrity of our immigration system and ensuring the safety of Canadians,’ stated the government in a press release.

Approved visa applicants typically receive a multiple-entry visa, allowing them to visit Canada as many times as they wish, for a period up to 10 years. For each visit, visa holders may stay for up to six months.

The government states that most visa applications (about 80 percent) are processed within 14 days. Individuals with travel arrangements to come to Canada before July 11 will be treated on a priority basis at the visa office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the closest visa office to Antigua and Barbuda. Alternatively, applicants may also apply for a visa online as of June 27.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda currently working or studying in Canada can continue to stay in Canada for as long as they are authorized to do so on their work or study permit. Study and work permits, as well as visitor records, remain valid. However, such persons who plan to travel outside Canada and then re-enter will need to apply for a visa to return to Canada.

In the lifetime of the current Liberal government, a number of countries have actually moved from being visa-required to visa-exempt (at least for some citizens, depending on their previous travel history to Canada and country of citizenship). Such instances include Brazil, Romania, Bulgaria, and Mexico.

International investors and entrepreneurs looking to immigrate to Canada through a business immigration program may compare the various programs on offer throughout Canada.
To determine what you need to do to visit Canada, use the Visiting Canada Tool.

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Comments

12 thoughts on “Canada Enforces Visa Requirement on Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda

  1. Jocelyn

    My friend had his flight booked before this was implemented. He is Antiguan born and wanted to come to Canada for vacation to see the Niagara Falls and the CN tower. A student in Antigua, he had to scramble to obtain a visa after he had already booked his trip and had someone to stay with. Now Canada has denied his visa and he has lost the money on his flight and everything. He is not a result of the Citizen by Investment Program and was born in Antigua – and now this new law has hurt him deeply. Canada – why did you not provide a leniency period? Why did you give eTa holders a 6 month leniency period to catch on, but decided and enforced this law within 24 hours when hundreds of people already had flights booked and things planned in Canada? I don’t believe this was gone about in the correct way.

  2. Anne Wadge

    My 75-year-old friend, who was born in Antigua and has lived there her entire life (with the exception of the 4 years when she studied at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica) visits me annually. She has an eTA, and several months ago booked a trip to Canada for September. Suddenly and wholly unexpectedly we have learned that she must apply for another visa before she can visit Canada. Why should she be treated in the same way as ‘Antiguan citizens of convenience’ (participants in the Citizenship by Investment program)? Certainly she cannot afford to travel to Trinidad to apply for this additional visa.
    Interestingly, I just returned from my local Service Canada office where I enquired about the new visa requirements — they had no information about this recent change and informed me that my friend’s eTA would be adequate!

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