OTTAWA: Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced today during a meeting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that the Government is lifting the visa requirement for UAE citizens on June 5, 2018.
This decision is based on a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the UAE against Canada’s visa policy criteria. The evaluation found that the UAE meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption.
Emirati citizens will no longer need a visa as of 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on June 5, 2018, to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for business, to visit family and friends or for tourism.
However, Emirati citizens, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport. The eTA allows Canadian officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada. Emiratis will be able to apply online for an eTA after 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on June 5.
In the meantime, they can continue to apply online for a visitor visa, or use the services of one of the visa application centres (VACs), including the VAC in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
“The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries. It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Canada has close people-to-people and business ties with the UAE. About 40,000 Canadians live and work in the United Arab Emirates. Some 150 Canadian companies have an operational presence in the country.
Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, need a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada.
Permanent residents (PR) of Canada need a valid PR card or PR travel document to travel to Canada. As well, former residents of Canada could still have PR status. These travellers will need to resolve their status before they can fly to Canada.
Emiratis coming to study or work temporarily in Canada will still need to apply for a study or work permit even after the visa is lifted on June 5, 2018.