Despite ties deeply rooted in history, after thoroughly observing the integrity of Antigua and Barbuda’s travel documents, the Canadian Government has determined the small Caribbean nation no longer meets the criteria for visa free travel.
As of June 27, 2017 (5:30 a.m. EDT) citizens of Antigua and Barbuda will require a visa to travel to Canada. At this time, all previously sanctioned electronic travel authorization (eTA) issued to Antigua and Barbuda passport holders will no longer be recognized as a valid form of entry into Canada. The Canadian government is notifying all impacted Antiguan and Barbadian eTA holders through email that their eTAs are no longer valid. These individuals will need to apply for a visa to travel to Canada for the indefinite future.
While Canada is still openly welcoming Antiguan and Barbadian citizens, individuals traveling to Canada will need to apply for a travel visa. A fairly simple process, most approved visa applicants will receive a multiple-entry visa. The multiple-entry visa allows travelers to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years. These visas also allow travelers to stay for up to six months for each visit. Canadian visa applications are typically processed within 14 days. However, if you are traveling before July 11th, 2017, you may be eligible for priority processing.
Information for Travellers
Travelers in transit: During the first 48 hours after the Canadian travel laws take effect (i.e. until 5:29 a.m. June 29), the Canadian government will be working closely with airlines to help expedite travel for those who are already in transit to Canada.
Traveling before July 11th, 2017: According to the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, “Citizens who are in Antigua and Barbuda that have already reserved a flight to Canada, departing on or before July 11, can send their complete visa application, along with proof that they purchased their flight before June 27, the appropriate fees and supporting documents, directly to the Visa Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago, for priority processing.” If an applicant arrives in person to the Visa Office before noon, their application will receive same day processing. If applicants send their application through a courier, their application will be processed within 24 hours. While these applications will receive priority processing, applicants are not guaranteed a visa by their upcoming travel dates. If an application is not approved, applicants will need to make alternative travel arrangements.
Traveling after July 11th, 2017: As of June 27th, 2017, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda can apply online for their Visa starting at 5:30 a.m., EDT. Applicants may also submit a paper application by mail or in person to any Visa Application Centre. The closest Visa Application Centers to Antigua and Barbuda are located in the Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago.
Canadian Immigration Programs
For those individuals wishing to require dual citizenship, the Canadian Government has several opportunities for Canadian immigration.
- Skilled Worker Immigration: Canada is actively seeking qualified and experienced foreign skilled workers and professionals. Selected applicants of the Skilled Worker Immigration programs obtain a Canadian Immigration Visa (permanent resident visa), which also allows the applicant to immigrate to Canada with their family.
- Express Entry Immigration: Canada’s Express Entry is the new selection method for Canadian immigration, designed to choose skilled workers for immigration to Canada. A fairly simple process, potential applicants submit an online profile to the Express Entry Pool and employers and provincial governments across Canada select the best candidates. Selected candidates are invited by the Federal government to apply for Canadian permanent residency.
- Family Class Sponsorship: Any Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada over the age of 18 can sponsor certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada. Canadian citizens over the age of 18 who can provide financial support for their charge until the age of 25 may qualify.
- Investor Immigration: There are no age, language or education restrictions/requirements to apply to the Canadian Investor Immigration. Limited to 570 applicants per year, applicants must meet the following criteria: 1) Applicants must have a minimum personal net worth of 4,429,016 AED (1,600,000 CAD), 2) applicants must be a shareholder of a private company for the last two years or have been one for at least two out of the last five years, and 3) applicants must pay a one-time nonrefundable contribution of 664,352 AED (240,000 CAD) (including all Government broker fees) or deposit 2,214,508 AED (800,000 CAD) for 5.5 years.
While the recent travel requirements may come as a shock to some Antiguan and Barbadian citizens, these changes are not entirely unexpected. Canada has removed visa free access to all other countries within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Until this recent change, Antigua and Barbuda were the only countries within the OECS to still receive visa free access into Canada.
If you are looking for more information or need assistance for your immigration plans to Canada, the professionals at Bluemina are here to assist you. We are here to address your questions and concerns.