On June 27, 2017, the Government of Canada announced that holders of an Antigua and Barbuda passport will now require a visa to enter Canada. The announcement also noted that all electronic travel authorizations (eTA) that had been previously issued to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are null and void for traveling to Canada.
The decision came after the government’s assessment of travel documents from citizens of the dual island who had entered Canada. Upon review from Canada’s immigration authorities, it was determined that Antigua and Barbuda was no longer eligible for visa-free entry to the country. While passport holders of Antigua and Barbuda remain welcome to visit Canada, they must now obtain a visa prior to entry.
For individuals seeking entry to Canada, visa applicants can obtain a multi-entry visa which allows visitors to enter and re-enter Canada at will for a period of 10 years. Visa holders are granted the right to stay temporarily for no more than 6 months at a time.
If a multi-entry visa is not obtained, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda planning to travel outside of Canada with the intention of returning must apply for a visa to re-enter the country.
The Bahamas and Barbados are the only CARICOM states that continue to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.
Visa Applications Submitted Prior to July 11, 2017 by Antigua and Barbuda Citizens
At present, Canada’s immigration authorities are working with the Visa Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago (Visa Offices closest to Antigua and Barbuda) to give priority processing of visa applications for Antigua and Barbuda citizens who have booked flights to Canada prior to or on July 11, 2017. Individuals who meet these criteria are eligible to submit their complete visa application, including proof of ticket purchase before or on July 11, 2017. In addition, applicants must also submit all travel documents and required visa fees to a designated Visa Office to receive priority processing within 24 hours.
However, it is important to note that all applicants who receive priority processing are not guaranteed approval of a visa prior to traveling to Canada and may need to arrange an alternative plan for travel.
Visa Applications Submitted After July 11, 2017 by Antigua and Barbuda Citizens
For Antigua and Barbuda citizens who have arranged travel to Canada after July 11, 2017, they can apply for a visa to enter Canada at the closest Visa Application Centre either online or in person at the designated Visa Offices in the Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago.
Non-priority visa application processing generally requires two weeks.
Entry to Canada for Dual Citizens and Valid U.S. Green Card Holders
Dual citizens who are also holders of a valid Canadian passport may travel to Canada without screening by immigration authorities. If an individual is a dual citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and a country whose passport allows visa-free entry to Canada, he or she can apply for an eTA to enter Canada using his or her second passport.
Similarly, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who possess a valid U.S. Green Card (permanent resident) are required to apply for an eTA for transit through or traveling to Canada. For Antigua and Barbuda citizens who hold a valid U.S. Green Card and have already acquired an eTA before the Government of Canada’s change in visa policy, they must re-apply for an eTA to enter Canada as all existing eTA documents are now void.
What Holders of Antigua and Barbuda Passport Need to Know about Getting a Canadian Visa
The Canadian authorities have posted a public notice informing residents of the ‘need to know’ details:
1: Passport must be valid for more than six months;
2: Two passport-sized photographs are required (photos should be on a white background, accompanied by the applicant’s name and date of birth on the back of each);
3: Original birth certificate or copy (note: children under 19 years of age must have written consent from both parents to travel to Canada; the father’s name on the birth certificate is not required);
4: Marriage certificate if applicable;
5: Invitation letter and copy of passport from host;
6: Bank statement;
7: Employment letter or school letter where applicable;
8: If self-employed: provide evidence of the given business, which would include a letter on an official letterhead of the business stating the type of business, the length of operations and earnings, and an affidavit with the same information is also required;
9: Retirees should submit documents for their spouses, along with a marriage certificate if applicable;
10: Housewives should submit documents from their spouses, employment letter, and bank statement;
11: Applicants pay a fee of:
Single Entry: CAD $100
Multiple Entry: CAD $100If you have any questions or concerns regarding Canada’s recent change in visa policy regarding citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, contact our office today so our team of immigration specialists can assist you.