Canada and China facilitate multiple-entry visas through reciprocal agreement – effective March 9, 2015

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Global Immigration
Mar 15

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Mr. Chris Alexander, announced on March 8, 2015 that Canada and China have reached a reciprocal visa agreement to facilitate long-term, multiple-entry visas between the two countries.

Canada and China may now respectively, issue multiple-entry visas, for a period of up to ten (10) years, allowing their citizens to travel to the reciprocating country (with an exception for visa issuance being issued only until the validity of one’s passport). This visa accommodates for all types of travel including business visitors, tourists and family visits. One of the restrictions on this type of a visa includes a maximum of a 180-day stay per visit. The caliber of this type of initiative is meant to benefit both countries in their cultural exchange, economic and trade relations.

What this means to you?
Prior to this agreement, Canadians had to hold two (2) dual entry visas before they were eligible to qualify for a one-year (1) multiple-entry visa to China. Canadian individuals, who wish to travel on an immediate basis for business or personal purposes, will now be able to do so with their multiple-entry visa. Canadians will now only need to apply for a visa once, as a visa may be issued for up to ten (10) years. This will positively impact Canadian businesses and individuals who can now cross borders in a more economic, friendly and convenient manner.

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Mar 15

The International Experience Canada (IEC) Program provides young individuals from certain countries, with which Canada has a reciprocal agreement, the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. Generally, individuals aged between 18 to 35 years are able to participate in this program; however some countries have capped their age limit to 29 or 30 years.

For most participating countries, the IEC program has three streams: Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-operation Internship. Once approved, a work permit is usually issued to an individual for twelve (12) or twenty-four (24) months, depending on the country of their citizenship. IEC-based work permits are often open permits which provide numerous advantages to holders, however they can be employer specific as well.

Foreign nationals should be aware that each country has a set quota, per category, of applications they will process and accept, and once reached that particular category will be closed for the remainder of the year.
It is important to note that this program is designed to be temporary in nature to facilitate gaining international work experience that would then be taken back to the temporary foreign worker’s home country.

IEC Program Now Open

On February 24, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that they plan on opening up the IEC program for 2015, shortly. Following this announcement, the following categories started accepting applications:

– France – Young Professionals (still open) and Co-operation Internship (still open); and
– Croatia – Working Holiday (now closed), Young Professionals (now closed) and Co-operation Internship (still open).

IEC Programs Opening on March 3, 2015

CIC has indicated that the following streams will be accepting applications as of March 3, 2015:

– Australia – Young Professionals and Working Holiday;
– Germany – Young Professionals and International Co-operation; and
– South Korea – Working Holiday.

It should be noted that CIC recently changed the duration of stay for Australians who are in Canada pursuant to IEC-based work permits. Previously the duration was unlimited, as long as the applicant fulfilled the other conditions listed to qualify under the program, and now the duration is capped out at twenty-four (24) months.

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