WITH the important summer tourism season just passed, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Tuesday announced that 2014 is a record year for visas issued in the world’s key markets for legitimate travel and trade.
Canada granted more visas in the first nine months of 2014 than ever before to people from China (272,608), India (117,927), Mexico (59,863) and Brazil (55,730) all of which contributes to creating economic growth and opportunities in Canada.
These record-setting numbers are another indication that the government’s efforts to facilitate legitimate trade and travel are working. With CAN+ and various “Express” programs, it is now easier and faster for visitors, business people and students from high-growth countries to come to Canada.
The overwhelming majority (over 90 percent) of visitors to Canada are now opting for the ease and convenience of multiple-entry visas (MEVs). MEVs allow qualified visitors to enter Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years. Last month alone, Canada issued close to 89,000 MEVs to individuals coming to visit Canada.
* In 2014, the number of visitor visas issued to Chinese citizens has increased by 225 percent since 2006.
* From January through August, 251,547 MEVs were issued to people from China, up 245 percent from the same period in 2013.
* The CAN+ program will speed visa processing for experienced travellers to Canada.
* In 2013, CIC issued 974,711 Temporary Resident Visas.
“Our government’s top priority is to help create jobs and economic growth. That’s why, in visa offices around the world, we are pulling out all stops to increase legitimate trade and travel which, in turn, ensures economic growth and long-term prosperity here at home,” said Alexander.
“A strong tourism industry with improved access to Canada for international visitors is critical to the growth of our economy. Programs such as CAN+ reinforce our commitment to enhancing Canada’s reputation as one of the world’s premier tourism destinations while increasing business opportunities, trade and tourism,” said Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture).
“Travel and tourism is a highly competitive global industry where quality of experience, ease of access and price point define advantage. The Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is committed to continue working with the government through the Federal Tourism strategy to build on the positive momentum achieved this year so that Canada can capture its fair share of the booming global tourism market,” said David Goldstein, TIAC President and CEO.