24 March 2014

BRAZIL - NEW ENTRY FORM

The Federal Police service of Brazil, which controls border points, has introduced a new entry and exit form for all foreign visitors. We suspect it is due to the expected influx of visitors for FIFA 2014. This is very similar to the entry card you fill in when returning to Canada, or the entry card you fill in to go to the USA.

ALL Canadians are required to have this form TYPED up before boarding the aircraft to Brazil.

We have already loaded the form on our website as part of the Brazilian visa forms package.

Here are their new rules:

- Fill out both pages of the entrance/departure form.

- Boxes 4 and 5 of the first page must be completed with arrival information (flight number/ ship name / Land transportation and country of origin).

- Boxes 4 and 5 of the second page must be completed with departure travel data (flight number/ ship name / Land transportation and country of destination).

- Foreigners, living in Brazil, that have limitation on length of stay outside the country, should fill out the first page with departure travel information.

- Although the form can be printed and filled in by hand, it is recommended to print the completed form only (this means TYPE ON SCREEN). If you make a mistake start again.

- At arrival, present the completed Entry/Exit Card (both pages), together with your passport or equivalent travel document to the Immigration Officer.

- Immigration officials will keep the first page and you will be given the second page, which will have been stamped, to retain while in Brazil.

- Keep it carefully.  If you lose it, arrive very early at the airport to have enough time to sort things out with immigration.  You may also receive a fine.

- When you leave Brazil, the second half of the entry/exit card will be taken by immigration official.

Click here for the new entry-exit regulations from the Brazilian authorities.

Click here for the new MANDATORY entry-exit form for Brazil.

Click here for our Brazil visa application forms which are still necessary.

23 March 2014

INDIA VISA-ON-ARRIVAL OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Here is the official announcement of the government of India regarding the highly-anticipated and warmly-welcomed visa-on-arrival scheme to be launched this year. The actual decision was taken by cabinet on 05 February 2014.

"Union Tourism Minister Dr. K.Chiranjeevi has welcomed the decision to relax the visa regime of India to promote tourism.

Dr. Chiranjeevi has thanked the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Mr.Rahul Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid, Union Home Minister Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Rajeev Shukla and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

In the meeting held under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission on 5th February, 2014, the following decisions were taken to relax the visa stipulations to promote tourism:-

(i) The Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) and Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facilities shall be extended to all the countries except 8 countries - Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Ministry of Home Affairs will work out manpower, infrastructure and other requirements for expanding the TVOA and initiating the ETA facility. The new system of TVOA and ETA could be put into place by October, 2014.

(ii) All categories that can be accommodated within the category “short stay”, i.e., stays of 30 days or less, should be put under the category of short term visas. Short term visas will not be extended to categories under a negative list which could include purposes such as those seeking paid employment, education etc. Short term visas would not be extendable beyond 30 days.

(iii) The procedure for ETA would be as below:-
(a) Prospective visitors will apply online;
(b) They will send their two-page visa application to the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) online. It will be examined and within three days the applicant will be informed whether or not he/she can travel to India. BOI agreed to extend ETA to all countries except the above 8 countries."  07/02/2014.

INDIA ABOLISHES 2 MONTH EXIT RULE

During his recent visit to the German travel show in Berlin, Tourism Minister Shri K. Chiranjeevi said that the recent decision of the Government of India to lift the restriction of the two month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India on a tourist visa will encourage more tourists to visit India.

India had made it very difficult for tourists who were visiting the entire region to use India as a hub for travel to other neighbouring countries. The Indian government ruled that once a tourist exited India they were not allowed to return until two months had elapsed.

With this change foreign tourists will be encouraged to once again make India their primary destination and their travel hub.

20 March 2014

INDIA TO INTRODUCE E-VISAS IN OCTOBER 2014


The government of India has said it is going to replace it’s antiquated and cumbersome and inefficient tourist visa system, which can take weeks and sometimes more than a month, with a brand new electronic visa.

Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla and Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi announced the plan to include 180 countries in a new e-visa / visa-on-arrival scheme, and to have it running in time for India's peak tourist season in October 2014.

Canadians will be able to use this system, and it will save everyone a lot of time and money. The best news is that we will no longer have to surrender the passport in order to apply.

The basic idea is that a foreigner seeking a visa to India will apply for the visa on-line from the comfort of their home or office. The passenger will type in personal and passport details and details of the planned journey. They will also pay for the visa on-line using a credit card. The government of India will review the application and inform the applicant within five (5) days of the decision to issue (or refuse) the visa. The traveler then prints out their authorization and gets on the flight to India. Upon arrival in India tourists will undergo a biometric scan such as fingerprints or iris scans. Then they will receive the 30-day visa. The visa will be issued into the passport by immigration officials in the arrivals hall at the airport in India.

The e-visa-on-arrival will eventually be available at 26 major airports in India and would be valid for a stay of up to 30 days from the date of the tourist's arrival in India. In the first stage of implementation, tourists can get the visas at the following airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Goa and Trivandrum. The remaining of the 26 airports will be added as investment permits.

The Tourism Ministry expects the whole project to be in place and functional by the end of 2014. Planning Minister Shukla said he expected the rollout to be completed sooner: "It will take five to six months for the respective departments to put the required infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October."

Some Indian officials said the system would be modeled on the Australian electronic travel authority (ETA), but would take three-to-five days in India rather than the immediate ETA issuance by Australia's immigration department.

This would overnight catapult India into the ranks of the top five countries with e-visas and visa-friendly policies. Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said the move would encourage visitors to India, which currently suffers from very low tourism rates despite being a desirable destination in terms of culture, food, geography, history and facilities. India receives less than a quarter the number of tourists seen by Thailand or by Malaysia in any given year. Those two countries have visa-free entries.

The only countries specifically excluded from the scheme are Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia, which have been categorized as sensitive for security reasons. However, Pakistan may be removed from the list, as Indian officials said only the reluctance of Pakistan to grant most-favoured trading nation status to India stood in the way. Interestingly, the Indian External Affairs Ministry, and the National Security Advisor as well as related agencies have supported the new e-visa plan.

Of course in the near term the real problem is investment, infrastructure, computers, manpower and training. Officials in India conceded that the new scheme hinged on more money and on significantly more staff at airports. So the world remains to be convinced that this will happen on schedule.

However, while we wait for this great day to come, Canadians and everyone else will still have to apply for a visa the hard way. Click here for India visa information.

26 February 2014

SOCHI VISAS A GREAT SUCCESS

We are really pleased to tell you that Visa Services Canada helped a lot of people attend Sochi 2014.

A full 100% of Canadian spectators and specialists who used our service got visas in time for their trips.

Congratulations to everyone on Team Canada!!

Click here for Russia visa forms

VISA FREE TRAVEL FOR PERMANENT RESIDENTS

No visas are required for Canadian permanent resident card holders planning a trip to Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands or Turks & Caicos so long as the visit is under 30 days.

Foreigners holding a Canadian permanent resident card can travel to any of the countries listed above with just their passport and PR card.

Click here for the forms to any of the above-mentioned countries.

COMPUTER AUTHORIZATION FOR LIBYA

After experiencing a few months of technical difficulties, Libya's system is up and running again.

The faxed copy of the authorization is no longer needed to prove the visa has been authorized.

Canadians once again just need to provide the 6 digit authorization number with their application package.

Click here for Libya visa forms.

VFS GLOBAL FOR UK VISAS IN CANADA

Canadian still do not need a visa to go Britain for business or tourism, but do need visas for university and work. Also, most foreigners holding a Canadian permanent resident card do need a visa to go to Britain.

All of your UK visa needs will now be handled by VFS Global

WorldBridge will no longer provide UK visa application services in Canada.

click here for UK visa information.

CHANGES FOR OBTAINING CHINA VISAS

It is a mandatory requirement for tourists to provide flight and hotel confirmations.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain double-entry visas to China. Simply selecting the double-entry option on the application form is no longer sufficient. The Chinese are now requesting proof of the need for a double-entry. They want to see actual tickets, proving that there is a second entry to China.

Good news for Canadians seeking a work visa to China. The physical examination is no longer required to obtain the work visa.

Click here for China visa forms

25 February 2014

NO MORE VISA-ON-ARRIVAL TO TURKEY


It is no longer possible for Canadians to obtain a visa-on-arrival in Turkey. Canadians arriving in Turkey must have an e-visa prior to travel.

Please be aware that you will NOT be boarded on the plane without having an e-visa for Turkey.

Canadians now enjoy dramatically lower fees and pay only US$20 per person. The e-visa is multiple-entry with a validity of 180 days from date of issue.

The rules for cruise ship passengers are as follows:
-Visitors don’t need an e-visa if they don't leave the ship.
-Visitors don’t need an e-visa if they only tour in the respective port city of Turkey. (Permission will be given by local border police authorities to enter Turkey).
-Visitors WILL need a visa if they want to tour beyond the respective port city of Turkey.

Click here for an e-visa to Turkey.