New Canadian immigration requirements for visa exempt travelers


A new tool is being put into place to ensure that inadmissible travelers from countries that do not require visas to enter Canada are prevented from boarding planes to enter Canada.  The U.S and Canada agreed last year to a new security deal that requires foreign nationals, from visa-exempt countries to fill out a form online so that Canadian immigration officials can assess their inadmissibility before they land in Canada.

The idea is to identify individuals who have been red flagged in advance and to speed up the screening process when individuals land in Canada and pass through Canadian immigration and customs.  The Canadian government is seeking to identify individuals on no-fly lists, criminals and failed refugee claimants and prevent them from travelling to Canada. It will also reduce the amount spent on processing inadmissible individuals in Canada. This type of system is already in place in Australia and the U.S, although Canadians are exempted from filling out the form when travelling to the U.S just as Americans will be exempted from filling out the form when travelling to Canada.

The Canadian immigration minister’s office states that individuals will be able to find out almost immediately whether or not they are eligible to travel.  Although it has not been formally announced, there is likely to be a fee associated with this process and by 2015 this process is expected to be fully implemented.

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