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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda Now Require a Visa to Travel to Canada

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda Now Require a Visa to Travel to Canada

New Requirement for Temporary Resident Visa

The Canadian government has come to the conclusion that citizens from the small Caribbean nation, Antigua and Barbuda, no longer meet the criteria for a visa exemption. As a result, any current electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)’s that have been issued will unfortunately become void and the individuals affected will no longer be able to utilize their eTA to enter Canada and must obtain a visa. This new change has come into effect as of June 27, 2017. Although the Canadian government has not released any specific reason for this new enforcement, there has been much speculation. Furthermore, in this article, I will address the changes for these countries in particular and why these changes were introduced.

Why the Visa Requirement has been enforced

As previously mentioned, the Canadian government has not made any official announcement as to why this country is becoming a visa-required country; however, the media has reported many interesting points in this regard. For instance, the media has reported that the country’s Citizenship by Investment programs permits international investors and their respective families to proceed in obtaining citizenship in the country. Therefore, they are issued a passport, for either a contribution of $200,000 USD, a real estate investment of $400,000 USD, and/or an investment into a business of $1,500,000 USD. As a result, applicants that participate in the Citizenship by Investment program are allowed to apply without having any previous ties or connections to the country itself.

For this reason, Canada may have further investigated to see if Antigua and Barbuda still qualified for the visa exemption. Canada will continue to allow citizens of Antigua and Barbuda to visit Canada, all while protecting the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and ensuring that all Canadians are safe.

How Do I Obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to Travel to Canada

In order to successfully obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada, you must abide by the eligibility requirements outlined by the government of Canada. The requirements are relatively simple; however, it is very important to fulfill all of the set out requirements in order to receive a TRV.

The requirements for a TRV are:

  • Must have a valid travel document, such as a passport

  • Must be in good health

  • Must ensure that you have no criminal or immigration-related convictions or offences

  • Intend on leaving Canada at the end of your stay

  • Ensure you have sufficient financial support and funds for the duration of your stay

Keep in mind, including all of the aforementioned requirements, you may be requested to provide further documentation. For instance, Immigration may request you conduct a medical examination or that you provide a letter of invitation from the person you are visiting in Canada.

Additionally, the difference between an eTA and a visa are quite substantial. An eTA can be approved within minutes which made it very beneficial and efficient for individuals travelling to Canada. However, with the new visa requirement, the approval can take much longer. The application process is also much different as for an eTA you only need to provide a valid passport or travel identification, whereas for a visa, you will need to provide much more documentation.

When applying for a visitor visa, it is always very important to notice exactly what is required of you in order to receive a successful outcome. You will need to accurately fill out the required forms and provide the appropriate documentation that is asked of you and either apply in paper form sent by mail or online. This decision is made based on whatever application form you are comfortable submitting. It is highly suggested to contact an Immigration professional, such as Akrami & Associates, before applying for a visitor visa (TRV) as they can be very overwhelming for individuals who have never applied for one before.

How will this Visa Requirement effect Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda

The Canadian government has stated that most visa applications, approximately 80 percent of them, are processed within a two week period. Therefore, individuals who intend to travel to Canada before July 11 will be given priority at the visa office in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the closest visa office to Antigua and Barbuda, which makes it easier for their Citizens. Alternatively, if an individual wishes to apply online instead of in paper form submitted by mail, they may do so as of June 27, 2017.

Keep in mind, approved visa applications are usually issued as a multiple-entry visa which allows these individuals to visit Canada as many times as they would like, so long as it is within six months. The travel period that they are permitted to travel to Canada is for up to ten years. Of course, this entirely depends on the reason for why you are travelling to Canada. For instance, if you are coming to Canada temporarily for business, then the authorized travel period might be for less. It is always beneficial to check the issuance and expiration of your TRV.

For Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who are currently studying or working within Canada may continue to stay in Canada. They may stay until their study permit or work permit expires. Once this happens, and they would like to re-enter Canada, they must either apply for another study or work permit, or a visitor visa. Therefore, in other words, study, work and visitor permits remain valid while the individual is in Canada and the document is still valid. On the other hand, for individuals who plan to travel outside of Canada and wish to re-enter, they must apply for a visa to return to Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you wish to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa and you are an Antigua and Barbuda citizen, we can help you with this process. If you are from another country and are not sure whether the country is visa-exempt or visa-required, we suggest you look on the government website to find out. Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with how Immigration applications work. Moreover, any Immigration application can become overwhelming if done alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit an application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients receive Temporary Resident Visas in order to travel to Canada. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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