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CANADA – Changes to Entry Requirements and Dependent Eligibility

19 May

Canada has recently announced several changes to entry requirements for certain nationalities and changes to sponsorship rules for dependents.

Visa Requirements Amended for Citizens of Romania, Bulgaria, and Brazil

Beginning on May 1, 2017, citizens of Romania, Bulgaria, and Brazil may travel to Canada by air without a visa for tourism and permissible business visitor activities, by simply completing a Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in advance of travel, if they:

  • Have held a Canadian visitor visa at any time in the ten (10) years before their travel; or,
  • Hold at the time of their travel a valid U.S. visitor visa.

Otherwise, visitors from these countries will still need to obtain a visitor visa to travel to Canada, referred to as a Canadian Temporary Residence Visa (TRV), at least until December 1, 2017 for Romania and Bulgarian nationals.

Later this year on December 1, 2017, nationals of Romania and Bulgaria, but not Brazil, will be able to travel to Canada by air using an eTA without consideration of the above.

Applications for an eTA may be filed here. Canadian eTAs are typically issued valid for five (5) years, or until the expiration of the applicant’s passport, whichever comes first. eTAs are not required for visitors entering Canada by land borders or sea ports.

Revision of Age Threshold for Dependent Children

As of October 24, 2017, unmarried dependent children up to the age of 22 are eligible for sponsorship by parents for immigration purposes. Previously only children under 19 years old qualified as dependents. The under 19 rule will continue to apply to any permanent residence application before October 24, 2017. Families with dependent children aged 19 – 21 years old are encouraged to carefully review their specific cases with a Foster immigration attorney to assess whether their permanent residence applications should be delayed.

Elimination of Conditional Permanent Residence for Spouses and Partners

Effective April 28, 2017, the Canadian government will no longer require dependent spouses or common law partners sponsored for immigrant visas to undergo a two-year period of conditional permanent residence status, after which conditions may be removed by application. This prior regulation applied to spouses and partners who had not been together for at least two years at the time of their Permanent Residence filing. This change effectively eliminates conditional permanent residence in Canada, and all such spouses and common law partners sponsored and approved will be granted full permanent residency.

Foster will continue to track changes to the entry requirements and dependent eligibility. Future updates will be made available via our website at www.fosterglobal.com or Immigration Updates©.