Canada is adding three more Asian ports from where Chinese travelers can apply for visa-free transit in Canada when flying to the US.
Effective on June 1 this year, Narita Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo as well as Incheon Airport in Seoul will be added to the list of visa-free transit application points in Asia that already includes Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Manila and Taipei.
The Canadian government is committed to working closely with airlines and travel industry professionals to expand passenger transportation initiatives and is assessing the possibility of adding more Chinese cities to its scope especially after introducing a new electronic verification system next year, according to its Immigration Department.
The policy for relaxing visa-free transit rules is aimed at drawing more business for Canadian airlines and airports, and helping open up more potential routes and destinations, according to Immigration department chief Chris Alexander.
Previously, Chinese applicants for visa free transit in Canada for US-bound Chinese travelers required travelers to have a valid passport with a valid US visa and fly with Air Canada, Air China, Cathay Pacific Airways, Thai Airways and China Southern Airlines. As well, they have to transit at Vancouver International Airport or Toronto Pearson Airport and must have an ongoing air ticket for same day departure with no overnight stay in Canada.
Recent China-Canada aviation agreements shows that the number of single-trip passengers between Canada and China has risen around 14% to almost 1.5 million from 2013 to 2014. Canada’s Immigration Department said China is Canada’s biggest source of immigration, overseas students and travelers. Canada issued 360,923 visas to Chinese nationals in 2014.(Translation by David)