Travelers from Morocco who have had a visa for Canada in the past ten years, or who hold a valid US visa, are now eligible to submit an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of an application. standard visa to travel to Canada by air. From this Tuesday, June 6, this measure has indeed been extended to the kingdom, as well as twelve other countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Philippines, Saint-Kitts-et-Nevis, Saint -Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay. Beneficiaries can enjoy a stay of up to six months, allowing tourists, business or leisure travelers to dispense with the cost and lengthy conventional visa procedures.
Announced by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, this measure is also intended as a means of contributing to “the growth of the Canadian economy by promoting travel, tourism and international trade , as well as strengthening Canada’s relationship with these countries, while ensuring the safety of Canadians,” according to a press release. “This decision will also prevent the addition of thousands of applications to the volume to be processed, which will make it possible to process visa applications more efficiently and will ultimately benefit all applicants,” added the same source. More than a convenience for travellers, this expansion “will also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, while strengthening ties with these 13 countries,” said Fraser, who comes from the Liberal Party.
For her part, Canada’s Minister of Global Affairs, Mélanie Joly, stressed that this approach was based on the principle of “making it easier to visit [le pays]“, especially since this expansion will contribute to” efforts to engage more in the region, strengthen interpersonal ties and make travel in Canada easier, faster and safer for all “. Regarding travelers not eligible for eTA or traveling to Canada other than by air, they will still have to present a visitor’s visa. In this sense, the Canada.ca/eTA site provides more information on the eTA.
Replenish the coffers through more open tourism
Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism, also points out that the extension of this authorization is “an important step” to help the tourism industry “reach new heights”. “By simplifying the entry process for international travelers, we are sending a strong message that Canada is open for business, adventure and unforgettable experiences. This strategic move supports our visitor economy by energizing our local communities and creating countless job opportunities,” he added. As such, the official indicated that it was not only a question of “attracting visitors”, but also of “showcasing the breathtaking landscapes, the diverse cultures and the warm hospitality which define the Canada”.
The AVE thus becomes a digital travel document from which Moroccan travelers exempt from the traditional visa requirement can benefit, for a cost of $7. Canada also ensures that most of these requests are “automatically approved within minutes”. For this purpose, “travellers only need a valid passport, a credit card, an email address and Internet access”, it is pointed out. Since this program took effect in August 2011, nearly 20.9 million eTAs have been issued. Since April 2017, nationals of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania are eligible.
By next year and in the context of this enlargement, Canada says it expects to receive “200,000 (or 20%) more visitors from these 13 countries”. Over the next ten years, Canadian authorities estimate that the increase in the number of travelers should bring in “nearly $160 million in additional tourism revenue”.