Ottawa – On Tuesday, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced during a meeting with the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that the Government is lifting the visa requirement for UAE citizens on June 5, 2018.
This decision is based on an evaluation of the UAE against Canada’s visa policy criteria. The evaluation found that the UAE meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption.
“The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries,” said Minister Hussen. “It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities.”
Emirati citizens will no longer need a visa as of 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on June 5, 2018, to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for business, to visit family and friends or for tourism.
However, Emirati citizens, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport. The eTA allows Canadian officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada. Emiratis will be able to apply online for an eTA after 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on June 5.
About 40,000 Canadians live and work in the UAE while some 150 Canadian companies have an operational presence in the country.Emiratis coming to study or work temporarily in Canada will still need to apply for a study or work permit even after the visa is lifted on June 5, 2018.