Canadian Visa Application Centres Improved
By Government of Canada
Aug 11, 2011 - 1:11:21 PM
On August 11, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced improvements
to visa services and the opening of a Visa Application Centre in San
José, Costa Rica. The improved services – which support Canada’s efforts
to strengthen its engagement in the Americas – aim to make applying for
Canadian visas more convenient, address the number one irritant for the
business community, and help position Canada as a preferred destination
for business, study and leisure.
Visa Application Centre agents are available to help applicants fill out
their forms and answer questions about the application process. They
ensure applications are complete, which reduces the rate of returned
applications and ultimately leads to faster processing. This low-cost
service also lessens the potential for people to fall victim to fraud.
Visa Application Centres send applications to Visa offices and transmit
decisions to applicants in a confidential manner, which eliminates the
need for applicants to queue at Visa offices.
The Visa Application Centre in Costa Rica will also provide the option
to applicants to have their visa issued at the Canadian Embassy in Costa
Rica, eliminating the need to send their passport outside of the
country to be issued a visa. The advantage is that travelers will be
able to hold onto their passport and continue to travel while their visa
application is being processed.
Canada currently has Visa Application Centres in 20 countries: Algeria,
Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kenya, India, Indonesia,
Mexico, Mongolia, Moldova, Nepal, Philippines, Romania, Russian
Federation, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda and Vietnam.
In addition to the new Visa Application Centre in Costa Rica, nine more
centres are scheduled to open in August 2011: Argentina, Chile,
Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela, as well as in Brasília, São
Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Seven further centres are scheduled to
open in September 2011: Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay.
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