January 29, 2014
Canada Proposes New Tourism Fee
Posted By: Diandra Farquharson
Millions of Canadian visitors may soon be charged a fee to travel to Canada. The new screening process will apply to Foreign Nationals who are currently exempted from acquiring a visa to travel to Canada. This will now require tourist from Britain, France and many other countries (excluding citizens of the United States) to successfully apply for what is to be called an electronic travel authorization before arriving by air.
It is expected that approximately 3.5 million electronic travel authorization applications will be received annually starting in April 2015. Visitors will apply through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website by entering biographic details, passport and background information. The applications would be approved within minutes of applying, with approved applications valid for a period of up to five years.
This idea is being implemented to detect possible security threats to North America. The electronic system would verify all the necessary information against immigration and enforcement databases, conducting a risk assessment on the applicant.
Upon success, the electronic travel authorization program could be open to visitors from counties such as Mexico who currently pay a large sum of money for a travel visa, which has hurt Canada’s tourism in the past.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is accepting feedback through the month of January.