MANILA, Philippines — Canada has added the Philippines to its electronic travel authorization (eTA) program, effectively allowing Filipinos who held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or those who currently hold a US non-immigrant visa, to travel to the country visa free.
Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser made the announcement on Wednesday.
He added this expansion is effective immediately.
“This exciting development means that more individuals from around the world can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, reunite with family and friends, and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture without the hurdle of visa requirements,” said Fraser.
Apart from the Philippines, other countries included in the program are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Costa Rica, Morocco, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
“This expansion not only enhances convenience for travelers. It will also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, as well as strengthen global bonds with these 13 countries,” said Fraser.
To apply for an eTA, travelers need a valid passport, a credit card, an email address, as well as access to the internet.
Meanwhile, those who are not eligible for an eTA will still need a visitor visa before traveling to the country.
Canada says it expects 200,000 visitors from these 13 countries in 2024, garnering about $160 million in revenue within a decade.
In a separate statement, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed Fraser’s announcement, tagging it as an “important milestone and a striking indication” of the country’s friendship with Canada.
“The Philippines considers Canada as a close partner due to its well-established people-to-people ties and looks forward to charting a new era of engagement under this new policy,” said DFA.