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Canadian Immigration Services 

Canada to Lift Visa Requirement on the United Arab Emirates


Canada to Lift Visa Requirement on the United Arab Emirates

Jade Calver

Travel Requirements for Citizens of the United Arab Emirates

The government of Canada previously held strict requirements for citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wishing to visit, work, or study in Canada. Emiratis were required to obtain a visa to travel to Canada via any method of transportation (plane, car, bus, train, etc.), for any purpose (tourism, work, study, etc.), and any length of time. This was a cumbersome process for those wishing to travel and stay in Canada for short periods of time.

Lifting the Visa Requirement on the United Arab Emirates

On May 28th, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) posted a news release to the Immigration News Room. According to this news release, the honourable Ahmed Hussen announced that the Government is lifting the visa requirement for UAE citizens on June 5th, 2018. According to Canada’s visa policy criteria, the UAE meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption. As of 5:30 am EST on June 5th, 2018, citizens of the UAE can travel to Canada without a visa for short stays (up to six months) to visit family and friends, for business, or tourism.

The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries. It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities.
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Entry Requirements

Similar to other visa exempt countries, UAE citizens must apply for Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly or transit through a Canadian airport. The eTA allows Canadian government officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

An eTA is a requirement for all visitors who wish to travel to Canada from a visa-exempt country. An eTA is linked (electronically) to a traveller’s passport and it remains valid for up to five years, or until the passport expires. Prospective travellers can apply for an eTA online for a fee of $7 CAD. You will need your passport, a credit or debit card, and an email address in order to complete the form. Most requests for an eTA will be processed within minutes, but some can take several days. We recommend that you allow a few days for processing before you book your flight.

For more information, read the news release provided by the government of Canada. This briefing contrasts the previous requirements to the new requirements effective as of June 5th, 2018.

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