Barbadians heading to Canada need to read this

The government of Canada has issued a revision to its new entry requirements for all visa-exempt travelers seeking to enter the country by air.

Effective March 15, 2016, it will become mandatory for Barbadians travelling to Canada to obtain an electronic travel authorization.

The application must be submitted online and will be available from Aug.1, 2015.

This is due to the Canadian government’s limited capacity to identify and screen foreign nationals who do not require a temporary resident visa to travel to Canada.

The application fee is Can$7 or Bds $12.

This new requirement is similar to the existing US Electronic System for Travel Authorization or Australian Electronic Travel Authority.

All persons with Barbadian passports are expected to have the paperwork prior to their departure for Canada, and this includes all holders of diplomatic and official passports travelling on official or personal business. Only holders of diplomatic and official passports who are accredited to Canada will be exempt from this requirement. Additionally, an application for a work or study permit would constitute an application.

Students in possession of the relevant student visa will be exempted.

The program, which is only applicable to visa-exempt travelers arriving by air, will only require an online application.

The vast majority of applications will be auto-granted by an electronic system, and will be valid for five years or until the passport expires, or whichever comes first.

All Barbadian travelers arriving in Canada and in possession of an eTA will still be interviewed by a Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) official, who will determine final eligibility. Persons transiting Canada are also required to have an eTA prior to travelling.

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