The IRCC has introduced a number of recent changes that will facilitate travel to Canada for Chinese travelers, including Chinese investors. 2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism because of the record number of applications processed in China this year. Chinese residents made up 23% of all TRV applications received in 2017 while Chinese residents have enjoyed a TRV application approval rating of over 88.5% since 2015. The changes discussed in this post will facilitate two-way flow between both countries solidifying economic and cultural ties, in 2018 and beyond.
Two Chinese airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Air, as well as the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal, were added to the China Transit Program. The China Transit Program allows for visa-exempt transit for eligible Chinese travelers through Canada for candidates heading to and from the United States.
Regarding payment options, Union Pay is now available for online applications for Chinese travelers. Union Pay is one of the largest and most popular payment providers in China so this will expedite payments for visa applications. Additionally, the IRCC is testing a new pilot program on temporary visa applications from China. This program uses computer analytics to process routine and straightforward applications expeditiously, allowing officers to focus on the more complex applications.
The IRCC has also opened up 7 new Visa Application Centers (VACs) across China (Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan), which is a substantial increase, as there were only 5 locations originally (Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong).
Last but not least, the IRCC also rolled out the Student Direct Stream study permit earlier this year which will expedite applications. For more detailed info, please visit the CKR Law June blog post here.
Interested in immigrating to Canada from China? CKR Law’s Global Mobility Co-Chair, Véronique Malka, would be happy to assist you and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.