Canada and China Reach Ten-Year Visa Agreement

By Patrick Rocca | March 12, 2015


Toronto immigration lawyer Karen Kwan Anderson: An interesting development for Canadian and Chinese immigration policy:

China and Canada will grant each other’s citizens visas valid for up to 10 years, Beijing’s foreign minister announced Sunday.

The agreement, which goes into force on Monday, comes as Western countries increasingly seek Chinese business and investment, and mirrors one with the US announced last year.

“China and Canada have just reached an agreement issuing visas to each other’s citizens with the validity period of up to 10 years,” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, the country’s Communist-controlled parliament, in Beijing.

No other details were immediately available.

Ottawa last year cancelled a permanent residency visa scheme for foreign investors popular with wealthy Chinese, thousands of whom reportedly had applications pending.
Every year Chinese travellers make more than 100 million “outbound” trips, tourism authorities say.

While most go to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, they represent a growing and increasingly coveted source of high-spending visitors in destination countries.

The reciprocity to grant visas will serve Canada and China well. It will increase the two countries’ connections in trade, travel and cultural activities.

The affiliation between China and Canada is an enduring one. Many Chinese – including me – have settled in Canada, while thousands of Canadians continue to visit China each year, whether as tourists or former Chinese citizens visiting the motherland.
I came to Canada when I was three years old and became a citizen at age 9. My mother tongue is Cantonese because I lived with my grandparents for several years. I continue to speak the language with my parents. While I have grown up in Canadian culture, I maintain Chinese traditions and regard it as the best of both worlds.

Karen Kwan Anderson is an immigration lawyer with Pace Immigration, an immigration law firm in Toronto, Canada.