10 June 2015

South Africa - Children need Birth Certificates to Travel

Effective 01 June 2015, South Africa now requires parents or guardians who are travelling with children under the age of 18 to, from or via South Africa, to produce an unabridged (long form) birth certificate of the child regardless of nationality. This is in addition to any other required travel documents such as passports and/or visas.Travellers are invited to visit the Department of Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa, or to contact the South African High Commission in Ottawa for more information.

12 May 2015

China Requires Both Parental Signatures

The Chinese embassy has new rules for minors in place as of today. 

1) Both parents must sign in both signature boxes on the Chinese form. 
Box 4 must be signed by both parents. 
Box 5 must be fully filled in and signed by both parents 

2) Both parents must provide copies of their passports or other government ID cards. We strongly recommend PASSPORT copies for this.

This is effective immediately, so make sure all applications for minors (up to and including age 17) get four (4) signatures - two from each parent.

In the case of single parents or other situations, the parent must provide a copy of a legal document proving they are the sole authority over the minor. This can be a court order or a death certificate.

Click here for China visa forms.

04 May 2015

Canadians Now Get e-Visas for India

Great news for Canadian tourist and business visitors going to India - Electronic visas!  As of right now the Indian government is allowing Canadian tourists and casual business travellers to apply for and use electronic visas.

The government of India offers e-visas on-line, and this service is now available to Canadians. The on-line fee is about US$60, plus service fees. There is a further charge at the airport in India of another 3700 rupees (US$60) to get the visa stamped into the passport. Nationals of the following countries can use the ETA service: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, CANADA, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zeal and Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam. 

You must meet the following conditions in order to be eligible for an Indian e-Visa:
1) You must have an "ordinary" tourist passport (as opposed to a diplomatic/official/military passport) which is valid for at least six months past date of proposed exit of India.
2) Your sole objective is tourism (sightseeing, recreation, etc), meeting friends/relatives, short duration medical procedures, or “casual business visit” for meetings only.
3) You will be travelling on a round trip ticket with a stay of less than 30 days in India.
4) You wish to obtain a short term, single entry visa (not a long term multiple entry visa).
5) You are a Canadian citizen who has lived in Canada for the past two years consecutively.
6) You must arrive in India by scheduled airline flight at one of the following airports: Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Trivandrum.
7) You or your parents or your grandparents were/are not Pakistani citizens (meaning the applicant is not of Pakistani heritage going back two generations). This form and the e-Visa system cannot be used by persons of Pakistani origin. Pakistani-Canadians seeking Indian visas must apply through the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.

The best part is that you no longer have to submit your passport. Keep your passport at home.

Click here for Indian visa applications.

Click here for Indian E-Tourist (and Business) e-Visas

01 May 2015

Canadian Tourists Now Get e-Visas for India

Great news for Canadian tourist going to India - Electronic and ten-year visa !

As of right now the Indian government is allowing Canadian tourists to apply for and use electronic visas.

More to come...

Click here for Indian visa applications.

Egypt Again Allows Visa-on-Arrival

The Government of Egypt has rescinded the ending of visa-on-arrival. This blog entry alters the statements we reproduced from the Egyptian government in our blog entry on 19 March 2015.

Previously the government had announced that all persons must have a valid Egyptian visa glued into their passport prior to travel to Egypt.

However, an uproar by travel, tour and hotel operators brought the authorities in Cairo back to allowing visa-on-arrival. This is a major economic issue in a country with a massive tourist industry which has seen numbers drop by over 75% since the Arab Spring began a few years back. Every tourist is important to the economy, and anything which makes it easier to attract tourists is seen as benefiting the country.

You can once again buy a visa at the main international airports in Egypt.

That said, you are still strongly advised to have a real paper visa glued into your passport by the Egyptian Embassy in Canada. Remember - airlines do not have to board undocumented passengers!

Click here for Egypt visas.

16 April 2015

Canada to be added to Indian e-Visa list

Great news for Canadian tourist going to India - Electronic and ten-year visa !

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced yesterday a new liberalized visa policy for Canadian nationals visiting the country, days after extending a similar scheme to French citizens. Modi said the new visa policy would support greater engagement and people-to-people contacts between India and Canada. India will issue Electronic Visa Authorization for tourist visas for Canadian nationals. They will also now be eligible for 10-year visas, said Modi. (from an article in indiatvnews.com)

Prime Minister Modi stated that to support greater engagement and people-to-people contacts, "we have liberalised our visa policy for Canada. We will issue Electronic Visa Authorization for tourist visa for Canadian nationals. They will also be eligible for ten-year visas now." (from an article in The Hindu newspaper of India)

Now before you all get too excited, let me remind you that none of this has actually been implemented. So for now all Canadians still have to go through the hideous and labourious process of getting a paper visa in their passports at least a month prior to travel.

Remember, you will NOT be boarded on a flight to india without a real visa glued in your passport in Canada.

Click here for Indian visa applications.

India Abandons Visa-on-Arrival name

Due to massive confusion and hundreds of tourists being sent home immediately upon arrival in India, the government of India announced last week that they were abandoning the badly-named Visa-On-Arrival scheme. Since there never was an actual visa-on-arrival available to anyone, any passenger who turned up in India was turned around and sent straight back to their home country to apply for an electronic visa authorization. So the Indian government now says what they actually have is an electronic visa authorization scheme, and call it the "e-Tourist Visa (eTV)", and also the "e-Tourist Visa (ETA)".

01 April 2015

New Viet Visa Prices

The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has finally settled on their new prices, and it involves increases of about 10-15%.

As of now they are charging for all visas in US DOLLARS only.

We as your service provider will pay the Viet embassy on your behalf in US$. You still pay only in Canadian $ for the visa and the service.

This change will not have any effect on you as a client or visa seeker.

You now pay US$80 for a single-entry 30-day visa, and US$100 to have it done urgently.

Multi-entry 90-day visas cost US$170, or US$190 to have it done urgently.

There are a lot of other visa categories and times and prices, so please check our website and Viet web form for all details.

Click here for Viet visa forms.

31 March 2015

Dual-Citizens --- Canada-USA

Many Canadians, formerly from the USA, worry about the legality of dual-nationality.

Never fear! It is perfectly legal to be a citizen of both Canada and the USA at the same time.

The US Embassy in Canada confirms this to be true.

The US laws against dual-citizenship were repealed during the Eisenhower and Johnson regimes.

US law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another nationality does not risk losing U.S. nationality.

Based on the U.S. Department of State regulation on dual citizenship (7 FAM 1162), the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a "status long recognized in the law" and that "a person
may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other", (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717) (1952). In Schneider v. Rusk 377 U.S. 163 (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a naturalized U.S. citizen has the right to return to his native country and to resume his former citizenship, and also to remain a U.S. citizen even if he never returns to the United States.

So get BOTH PASSPORTS. It never hurts to have a back-up passport.

Parental Authorizations

Lots of people travel with Children, and it is getting tougher to do so. Many families have parents with different names, and often only one parent is traveling with a child. Often one parent has a different name than the child. So there is no obvious connection between the two persons. For these and other reasons, it is strongly recommended that you have a notarized authorization letter.

Foreign Affairs Canada suggests the following model letter which may be amended to meet the specific situation and requirements of the applicant.

Simply take this text and personalize it to meet your family needs. Ensure you provide copies of the passports of both parents, and a long-form birth certificate of the child showing the names of both parents.

To Whom It May Concern
I (We), (full name(s) of custodial and/or non-custodial parent(s)/legal guardian(s)), am (are) the (lawful custodial parent and/or non-custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s)) of Child’s full name: Date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY):
Place of birth:
Canadian passport number:
Date of issuance of Canadian passport (DD/MM/YYYY):
Place of issuance of Canadian passport:

(child’s full name), has my (our) consent to travel with
Full name of accompanying person:
Canadian or foreign passport number:
Date of issuance of passport (DD/MM/YYYY):
Place of issuance of passport:
to visit (name of foreign country) during the period of  (dates of travel: departure and return).
During that period, (child’s full name) will be residing with  (name of person where child will be residing in foreign country) at the following address:
Number/street address and apartment number:
City, province/state, country:
Telephone and fax numbers (work and residence):
Any questions regarding this consent letter can be directed to the undersigned at:
Number/street address and apartment number:
City, province/state, country: 
Telephone and fax numbers (work and residence): 
Signature(s):   Date:
(Full name(s) and signature(s) of custodial parent, and/or non-custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s))
Signed before me, (name of witness),
this (date) at (name of location).
Signature:  (name of witness)
NOTARY SEAL by a lawyer in Canada.