13 New Countries Added to Canada’s Visa-Free Travel Program

Canada, known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and quality of life, has garnered a reputation as an attractive destination for people seeking new opportunities abroad. Fortunately, Canada offers several programs that grant eligible individuals the chance to obtain a visa to live, study, or work in the country. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining a free visa through Canada’s various programs.

Canada Now Allows Visa-Free Travel for Citizens of 13 More Countries

Mr. Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, recently visited Winnipeg to announce that citizens from 13 countries can now travel to Canada by air without needing a Temporary Residence Visa. This means that individuals holding passports from these countries can enter Canada freely.

However, this rule only applies to individuals traveling from those countries who have either had a Canadian visa in the past ten years or currently possess a valid non-immigrant visa for the United States. People from the following countries are qualified for this exemption:

  • Philippines
  • Morocco
  • Panama
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Argentina
  • Costa Rica
  • Uruguay
  • Seychelles
  • Thailand

Know if You Qualify for Immigration to Canada

Mr. Fraser states that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is actively working towards streamlining the pre-travel assessment procedure to make it faster and more affordable. He is confident that this initiative will reduce the number of applications in Canada’s visa workload, enabling IRCC to process visa requests more efficiently.

A similar pilot program was launched in Brazil in 2017. The minister stated that this endeavor has been extremely successful, resulting in a 40% increase in visitors from Brazil. Consequently, the workload at the IRCC office in São Paulo significantly decreased by 60%. As a result, IRCC officers were able to prioritize more intricate cases.

1. Understanding Canada’s Free Visa Programs

Canada acknowledges the importance of attracting skilled individuals to contribute to its economic growth, cultural diversity, and overall development. Hence, the country offers a range of visa programs that are free of charge, allowing eligible applicants to live and work in Canada.

2. Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for Canada’s free visa programs, applicants must meet certain criteria that vary depending on the visa category. These requirements generally include factors such as age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and financial stability.

3. Express Entry – The Pathway to Permanent Residence

Express Entry is a system designed to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers who wish to live and work in Canada. Under this program, qualified candidates must create an online profile, which is then ranked based on factors like age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. Those with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residence.

4. International Experience Canada – Work and Travel Opportunities

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program offers opportunities for young individuals to gain valuable international work experience in Canada. Through bilateral agreements with partner countries, this program enables applicants to work and travel in Canada for up to two years, depending on their country of origin.

5. Study Permits – Pursuing Education in Canada

Canada is home to renowned educational institutions that attract students from around the world. The study permit allows foreign students to pursue their studies in Canada for a specified period. To apply, students need to have an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution and demonstrate sufficient financial resources to cover tuition fees and living expenses.

6. Provincial Nominee Program – Migrating to Specific Provinces

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who possess the skills and experience required for their local labor markets. Each province has its own set of criteria and streams to select applicants who intend to live and work in that specific province.

7. Working Holiday Visa – Exploring Canada and Gaining Work Experience

The Working Holiday Visa program offers young individuals from eligible countries the opportunity to explore Canada while gaining valuable work experience. This visa allows participants to work in various industries and travel throughout the country for up to two years.


With its free visa programs, Canada opens its doors to individuals looking to experience its vibrant culture, pursue academic endeavors, and contribute to its growing economy. By understanding the eligibility requirements and various visa categories discussed in this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge needed to embark on your journey toward a free visa in Canada. Start making your dreams a reality and explore the countless opportunities that await you in the Great White North!