The Government of Canada has decided Antigua and Barbuda no longer meets the criteria for visa-free entry into the country. The change—effective immediately—was announced on June 27, 2017.
The change in entry extends to those who already have an existing electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and all future visitors. Despite the end of visa-free travel, Canada will continue to welcome visitors from Antigua and Barbuda, as long as they are approved to receive a visa.
According to a government of Antigua and Barbuda press release, most approved visa applicants will receive a multiple-entry visa, which allows travellers from Antigua and Barbuda to visit Canada as many times as they want for up to 10 years. On each visit, travellers can stay up to six months. The average visa processing time is around 14 days.
The ban is rooted in concerns over Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment program and more specifically, that it is not a residency program. This means individuals with no previous ties to the country, but who meet the program requirements can receive citizenship and ultimately a passport. Applicants are not required to live, or even visit Antigua and Barbuda during the process.
At a time of global unrest with intensified concerns about terrorism—including recent evidence of ISIS recruits in the Caribbean—many countries are tightening their entry requirements.
Passport holders with a clean background will still be able to enter Canada, just with a bit of added paperwork.
If you have concerns or questions over what this means for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.