Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it now has 12 Visa Application Centres open in China to support the rising demand for temporary resident visa services there.
According to IRCC, more than 500,000 visa applications have been received from China so far this year, which represents a 15 per cent increase over 2016.
Seven new Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Nanjing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Shenyang and Wuhan have now been added to the network, which already includes centres in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
IRCC says Chinese residents are Canada’s fastest-growing tourism market and its third-largest after the United States and the United Kingdom.
Chinese visitors contributed more than $1.4 billion to Canada’s economy in 2016.
The recent addition of daily non-stop Air Canada flights from Shanghai to Montreal and a direct Air Canada / Air China flight from Beijing to Montreal three times a week have helped foster a jump in Chinese tourism to the city, with other major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, also having direct flights to and from locations in China.
IRCC says the expanded VAC network will now make it “easier than ever for Chinese residents to apply for a visa.”
VACs are managed privately and are only authorized to provide visa applicants with specific services such as answering applicant questions in local languages and ensuring applications are complete.
VACs cannot provide advice to applicants about their visas, and all decisions regarding their applications are made by IRCC officials.
“At IRCC, we are committed to improving client service for applicants and being more efficient,” said Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, Ahmed Hussen. “These improvements will better serve Chinese applicants as we continue to create stronger business and personal ties between our two countries and welcome immigrants to the Canadian family.”
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