China / Canada – New Reciprocity Agreement Gives Travelers Access to Longer Validity Visas

What has changed

Chinese and Canadian officials have confirmed a new reciprocal agreement containing provisions designed to help ease travel requirements for visitors from both countries.  The agreement and its provisions are effective immediately.

Under the new agreement, citizens of Canada seeking to enter China may now obtain visas with extended validity periods for specific purposes, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met. The extended validity of newly issued visas will significantly reduce the number of new visas a traveler will need over their lifetime.

On March 9, 2015, The Embassy of China in Ottawa announced on its website the issuance of the first ten (10) year visas.  Canadian nationals seeking entry to China under tourist (L) or business (M) status may be granted visas valid for ten (10) years. In addition, travelers also seeking entry for short-term visitation of relatives (Q2) and private matters (S2) may receive ten (10) year visas as well.

Canada had already started issuing some long-validity visas to Chinese citizens in 2012 who wished to enter Canada for the purposes of tourism or business.

It is important to note that the visa validity cannot extend beyond the expiry date of the traveler’s passport.  All eligibility and application requirements remain unchanged, as do the maximum validity periods of other visa categories. These changes represent a targeted effort to grow international travel and commerce between Canada and China and will be welcomed by travelers from both nations.

Who is affected?
What to expect

Citizens of Canada and China

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Citizens of Canada and China are now able to obtain longer validity visas for specific categories when seeking entry to either nation.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.