Barbadians visiting Canada: Do you need a Visa?

Have you ever dreamed about visiting Canada some days back and no your dream is coming into a reality? One more thing before you get too overwhelmed about your visit: you need to determine if Barbadians require visas to gain entry into Canada.

The good news for Barbadians

If you are a full citizen of Barbados residing in the country, you don’t normally need a visa to travel to Canada thanks to the eTA program. The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a program introduced in 2016 by the Canadian government and a host of other countries to exempt citizens of both countries from visa requirements.

All you need is to apply for your eTA, which will have your travel details appear next to your passport in Canada’s immigration system. Hence you won’t have to print and bring your eTA along once approved. This means Barbadians and many other countries in the eTA program can enjoy seamless access into Canada without a visa.

Your eTA application

Barbadians can apply for their eTA online, from the Canadian immigration portal. You must have a valid Barbadian passport when applying for the eTA. You need to submit your application early enough before the departure date, usually 3 days earlier.

ETA is only valid for Barbados citizens entering Canada by air. If entering through road, cruise ship, boat or any other means, you must have a Canadian visitor visa.

In addition, you can only apply for an eTA if you are going for a short term visit, such as tourism, medical friend or family visit and business. If transiting through Canada, you will also be required to apply for an eTA. This is only if traveling by air and planning to spend at most 48 hours in Canada. If the transiting in a car, cruise ship or boat, you must have a visitor visa.

For a short term visit as described above, it must not exceed six months. If traveling for any other purpose beside what is accommodate for in the eTA program you must apply for a visitor visa instead. Visit the Canadian Immigration Visa Advice site to find out more about your visa requirements.

If your travel papers have any other status apart from the Barbadian citizenship or a visa-exempt country, you are required to duly fill and submit your application form for the Canadian visitor visa.

When is your eTA ready?

ETA’s are usually processed and be ready within a 5 minute time span from your application time. It can take days or even weeks to process depending on each case scenario. Once approved, you will receive your eTA in a pdf format in your email address. Just remember submit your application three days in advance before your departure date.

If your eTA application doesn’t go through, you can as well apply for the full visitor visa.