On July 7th, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Minister, Chris Alexander, announced that the CAN+ Visa Program will now be open to Indian nationals, which will facilitate travel from India to Canada. The decision to make this a permanent feature of Canadian immigration follows a very successful pilot program, which resulted in a 95% approval rate and the issuance of visas within five days. The CAN+ program will be open to Indian nationals who have traveled to Canada or the United States of America within the ten years prior to the date of their application, and will grant them expedited processing. CAN+ visas are expected to be processed in seven days. This change will have an overall positive effect on processing times for all Indian travelers as visa officers will have more availability to take on other cases. This comes from a series of initiatives that have been created to improve Canada-India relations and allow Indian businesspeople, tourists, and students to go to Canada faster. The following are the government initiatives created to increase trade and travel between Canada and India:
- The creation of three Visa “Express” programs for Indian businesspeople, students, and tourists;
- Business Express: Expedites business travel from India with visas issued within three days. There is a near-perfect approval rate for those registered in the program.
- Tourist Partner Program: A fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who opt to use travel agencies that are registered with the Canadian Embassy.
- Student Partner Program: This program “fast-tracks” the processing of study permits with visas: they will be issued within 13 days or less for those who will study at participating Canadian educational institutions.
- The establishment of ten Visa Applications Centres (VACs) across India; and
- The implementation of a standardized multiple-entry visa with a reduced fee of CAD $100.
Indian nationals who would like to participate in the CAN+ program need take no action: the Visa Post will automatically screen for eligibility. These individuals will not need to provide as many supporting documents upon submission of their applications. However, during the initiative’s implementation, it is recommended that applicants have available all supporting documentation ordinarily provided in such applications.
Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.