After the jubilation caused by the news that Canada would stop requiring visas from Costa Ricans, the North American country insisted that said policy only covers a certain group of people and there are various rules behind it.This was stressed by Canadian and Costa Rican diplomatic authorities in a joint conference on Monday.
In it they explained details about the requirements, costs and limitations:
1. Applies only to “known travelers”
Canada’s new immigration system will replace the need for a visa with an electronic authorization (called ETA for its acronym in English).This is only reserved for people with a valid US visa or for those who have had a Canadian visa in the last 10 years.The rest of the people still need to do the ordinary visa process.
2. Not for cruises and land travel
The ETA is only valid for people traveling by plane.Currently there are various tour packages that combine New York with Toronto or Montreal by land, as well as cruises in Seattle or Alaska that pass through Vancouver or Victoria.In these cases, tourists cannot use the ETA and have to apply for their traditional Canadian visa.
3. Wait before buying air tickets
Canada insists that the virtual process is fast; but after opening the ETA not only to Costa Rica but to 12 other countries, the system has had some setbacks.Authorizations are expected to arrive within minutes but there may be some issues. Given this, the Canadian authorities recommend not buying travel tickets without having the approved permit.
The same goes for the payment system.Each ETA costs CDN$7, payable by card at checkout. However, the system has also had failures in that function.
4. Only allow short visits
The ETA enables a stay of a maximum of 6 months for non-work purposes.If the person travels to Canada for work purposes, they must apply for their work visa at Costa Rica.
In the case of students there are two possibilities. If you are going for less than 6 months, you can use the electronic pass, but if your program is more than half a year, you must process the academic visa.
5. It does not extend between relatives
Each ETA is personal and non-transferable.Thus, if a family group travels, only those who meet the requirements can apply for the ETA. The rest of the people, including children, must request the traditional Canadian visa.
The announcement about the change of visas to Canada raised various doubts, which is why authorities from both countries gave a joint conference on current policies.
Canada awaits the Ticos!
Once the doubts were clarified, both the local and the North American authorities insisted that the new immigration system will have benefits not only in tourism but also economically and for students.Foreign Minister Arnoldo André highlighted the facilities that are open to those who deal with trade issues in Canada.
The Costa Rican ambassador in Ottawa, Adriana Solano, highlighted her contribution is that fewer people will need a visa, so the quotas will be more accessible.
To this she added that there are already cooperation plans on issues such as youth, which can be used as internships, research projects and others.For her part, Canadian ambassador Elizabeth Williams invited Costa Ricans to discover more of their country.