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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Emiratis to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada 

The change will be effective from June 5

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, meets with Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade of Canada at the Canadian Foreign Ministry in Ottawa. Wam
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, meets with Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade of Canada at the Canadian Foreign Ministry in Ottawa. Wam

Emiratis will soon be able to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.

The change, which will be effective from June 5, will allow Emiratis to travel to Canada for stays of up to six months for business or tourism.

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced the move during a meeting with the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed on Monday.

Mr Hussen said the change was made after “comprehensive and rigorous” evaluation of the visa policy criteria.

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“The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries,” he said.

“It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities.”

However, Emiratis will still need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport – as is the same for all other visa-exempt travellers.

“The eTA allows Canadian officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada.”

Emiratis can apply online for an eTA after 1.30 pm on June 5, when the change comes into force.

In the meantime, they can continue to apply online for a visitor visa, or use the services of one of the country’s visa application centres, including the centres in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

In January, it was announced that Emiratis can now also enjoy visa-free travel to Ireland.

This year’s Henley Passport Index reported the document is now ranked the 32nd most powerful in the world, up six places on last year with visa-free access to 134 countries.

With the addition of Canada, another destination can be added to the list.