Canadian immigration authorities recently announced that citizens of the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda will now require visas to travel to Canada.
The Communications Branch for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada issued a statement which outlines the changes and the way forward for Antigua and Barbuda citizens seeking entry into Canada.
See the full statement below:
Canada and Antigua and Barbuda share longstanding ties that are rooted in history. Canada remains firmly committed to its partnership with Antigua and Barbuda and values working together on mutual challenges and opportunities.
After carefully monitoring the integrity of Antigua and Barbuda’s travel documents, the Government of Canada has determined that Antigua and Barbuda no longer meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption.
As of 5:30 a.m. EDT June 27, 2017, citizens from Antigua and Barbuda will need a visa to travel to Canada. At that time, any existing electronic travel authorization (eTA) issued to an Antigua and Barbuda passport holder will no longer be valid and these travellers will not be able to use their eTA to travel to Canada. The Government of Canada is sending emails to all affected eTA holders to inform them that their eTAs are no longer valid and that they will need a visa to travel to Canada.
Canada continues to welcome visitors from Antigua and Barbuda. Most approved visa applicants will receive a multiple-entry visa, which allows travellers to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years. For each visit, travellers can stay for up to six months. Travellers with questions or concerns should take note of the following.
Information for travellers outside Canada
For travellers in transit
During the first 48 hours after the imposition, or until 5:29 a.m. June 29, the Government of Canada will be working closely with airlines to help facilitate travel for those who are already in transit to Canada.
For travellers in Antigua and Barbuda with confirmed flights to Canada during the next two weeks
To help speed up visa processing, citizens who are in Antigua and Barbuda and who have already booked 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 they go in person before noon, their application will be processed that day. If they send via courier, their application will be processed within 24 hours.
Note that while these applicants will receive priority processing, they are not guaranteed a visa by their travel date and may need to make alternative travel arrangements.
For all other travellers, including those outside of Antigua and Barbuda and those with flights leaving after July 11, 2017
NB: Antiguan and Barbudan citizens can apply online for a visa as of 5:30 a.m. June 27, or submit a paper application in person or by mail to any Visa Application Centre. The Visa Application Centre in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is the closest one to Antigua and Barbuda.
Most applications (about 80 percent) are processed within 14 days.
Note that having pre-booked travel plans or a previously valid eTA does not guarantee that a traveller will be issued a visa.