Beginning 5th June this year, UAE nationals can visit Canada without entry visas. The announcement came during a meeting between HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, together with Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
The decision has been hailed by Sheikh Abdulla, as he mentioned that such a move further affirms the distinguished ties between the two nations.
The UAE is a key strategic partner, and lifting the visa requirement will further strengthen the strong bond between the two countries. It will also help in promoting tourism, cultural and academic exchanges, improve new businesses, trade and investment opportunities, Ahmed Hussain said.
The decision is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the UAE over Canada’s visa policy criteria. The evaluation revealed that UAE meets Canada’s criteria for visa exemption. Therefore, from 5.30am ET, on 5th June 2018, UAE nationals travelling to Canada will no longer require visa for short stays (upto six months) for business to visit family and friends or for tourism purpose.
But, Emirati nationals, similar to other visa-exempt travellers will require an Electronic Travel Authorization to fly to or transit through a Canadian Airport. The Electronic Travel Authorization permits Canadian officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada.
Emiratis can apply online for an eTA after 5.30am ET on 5th June. Meanwhile, they can continue to apply online for a visitor visa, or use the services of one of the visa application centres, including the VAC in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
About 40,000 Canadians live and work in the UAE, and about 150 Canadian companies operate across the UAE.