Jamaica's future on Canada visa-free travel list
Specimen of a Canadian visaa

Dear Mr Brown,

I would like to know whether Jamaica can ever get on the visa-free list for Canada. I read that Trinidad is on the list. Would it ever be possible for a Jamaican to get to go there? I have been denied for a visa three times in the early 2000s, but I have not applied again since then.


Dear SCF:

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Sean Fraser, the Canadian minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, recently announced the addition of 13 countries to the eTA programme. Travellers from these countries who have either:

• Held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years; or

• Who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant

can now apply for an eTA instead of a visa when travelling to Canada by air.

Individuals who already have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada. Those who are not eligible for an eTA, or who are travelling to Canada by means other than air (for example, by car, bus, train and boat — including by cruise ship) will still need a visitor visa.

Eligible Countries

Eligible travellers from these countries can benefit from the programme:

• Antigua and Barbuda

• Argentina

• Costa Rica

• Morocco

• Panama

• Philippines

• St Kitts and Nevis

• St Lucia

• St Vincent and the Grenadines

• Seychelles

• Thailand

• Trinidad and Tobago

• Uruguay

The visa-free travel has been extended to known travellers from Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts-Nevis, Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Morocco, Seychelles, Thailand, and the Philippines.

In response to you query, I refer to the minister with responsibility for information Robert Morgan, who recently affirmed the Jamaican Government's continued advocacy for visa-free travel for Jamaican citizens to international countries. However, the irony is that he reportedly delineated the several barriers of achieving the goal, such as:

• Submitting problematic or fraudulent documentation

• Participating in illegal migration

• A large number of Jamaicans with criminal records applying for visas

• A large number of Jamaicans are guilty of overstaying

Based on this pattern of behaviour it is unlikely that Jamaican will enjoy visa-free travel any time soon, unfortunately. However, many Jamaicans are granted visas, study permit, work permits and permanent residence for Canada every year.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programs, including Express Entry, The Study & Work program, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston, and AfriCanadaServices.com in Abuja, Nigeria. Send questions/comments to documents.jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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