Citizens of the United Arab Emirates No Longer Need to Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada
Earlier this month, the Canadian government made a decision to lift the temporary resident visa requirement for citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The change officially came into effect on June 5, 2018, classifying Emirati citizens as visa-exempt travellers.
As a result, citizens of the UAE that wish to visit Canada for short periods of time (up to six months) will no longer need to submit an application for a temporary resident visa and be approved by a visa officer prior to their travels. Like other visa-exempt travellers, they will instead need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if flying to Canada.
For more information on eTAs and Canada’s temporary residency requirements, contact an immigration lawyer today.
An eTA allows Canadian authorities to screen travellers for potential inadmissibility and applies to foreign nationals flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport. Those who travel to Canada by land or sea do not need an eTA but still need to have a valid passport or travel document.
These new changes will not affect UAE citizens who already have a valid temporary resident visa for Canada. Holders of valid Canadian visas can continue to travel with that visa until its expiry and will not have to apply for an eTA throughout that time.
The changes also do not apply to Emiratis who wish to study or work in Canada. Prospective students or temporary foreign workers from the UAE will still need to apply for study permits or work permits if they plan to pursue studies or temporary employment in Canada. Successful applicants will automatically receive their eTA after obtaining authorization to study or work in Canada.
The implementation of these new changes reflects the growing relationship between Canada and the UAE. Over 40,000 Canadian are currently employed in the UAE and many Canadian companies do business with Emirati partners and stakeholders. The decision to lift the temporary resident visa requirement for UAE will likely strengthen this existing relationship to further stimulate business and investment, as well as to increase international awareness of Canada as a tourist, education and business destination.