Canadian immigration authorities have announced the incorporation of Costa Rica into the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program.
Costa Rica remains within the Canadian government’s digital visa programme
Through a statement from the Canadian government, it was indicated that the decision was based on the fact that Costa Rica is an important partner for Canada, “a country with which values are shared in human rights, trade, security, and orderly and regular immigration.”
The statement clarified that Costa Rican citizens who have had a Canadian visa in the past 10 years or who currently hold a valid nonimmigrant visa from the United States will be able to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) for up to six months, in lieu of a visa, when they travel . Airlines to Canada for business or tourism.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, highlighted during a live conference that “This expansion not only improves traveler convenience, it improves traveler convenience. It will also increase travel and tourism benefits and economic benefits, as well as strengthen our relationship with Costa Rica”.
For her part, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said, “Canada is a destination chosen by many people around the world. We’re making it easy for more people to visit Canada, whether they’re coming to do business, visit sights, or meet up with family and friends.”
Foreign Minister Arnoldo André stated that the implementation of the program for Costa Rican travelers will strengthen ties between the two countries and noted that the decision complements Costa Rica’s existing mobility measures, such as Live student streamwhich offers fast processing of study permits for those applying to study in Canada, and the Youth Mobility Agreement, which facilitates travel and work in both countries.
People who have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada, while people who are not eligible for an eTA or who travel to Canada by various means, for example by car, train or ship, need a visitor visa.
Costa Rica is one of 13 countries included in the programme, including many from Latin America and the Caribbean.
What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
- Aliens who are required to obtain a visa from countries identified as part of the eTA extension program are eligible for eTA-X if they meet certain criteria: The applicant is a citizen of a country that is part of the eTA X extension program
- The applicant is the holder of a valid US nonimmigrant visa at the time of applying for the eTA-X.
- The applicant has been a Canadian temporary resident visa holder in the 10 years prior to applying for eTA-X.
- The eTA-X is valid for air travel only. If the customer is traveling by land or sea, they must have an actual visa in their passport.
- If you apply for a work, study or permanent residence permit, you will still be issued a physical document in your passport.
- You can have an eTA-X and a physical document in your passport at the same time.
- Applying for an eTA costs CAD $7, and most applications are approved automatically within minutes. However, you should not buy airline tickets before you get your eTA-X.
- eTA-X applicants do not need to provide biometric data.
eTA (-X) is valid for 5 years, or until the passport expires. If you get a new passport, you will need to obtain a new eTA-X.
A person with a visa can obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The visa gives you more flexibility, as it allows you to enter Canada via different modes of transport in exchange for an eTA, which is only valid for air travel.
If you have a valid visa, it is possible to apply for an eTA but it is not necessary to apply for an eTA-X until the visa expires.
Something that matters if a person is traveling with their family, some of whom qualify for eTA-X, some don’t, so people who qualify must have their own eTA-X, and others must use the visa.
Not all Costa Ricans qualify for this new measure.