Peter Van Loan began fight for visa-free status while in opposition (2)
Archived Articles 28 Sep 2006  EWR
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Estonia achieves visa-free travel with Canada

Peter Van Loan began fight for visa-free status while in opposition

OTTAWA, September 27 – Today, the Government of Canada announced that Estonian citizens no longer require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.

"This announcement is good news for Canada and Estonia," said MP Peter Van Loan, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. "Visa-free travel will result in better trade, tourism, and academic exchange, benefiting both Estonia and Canada."

"Canada’s analysis of Estonia indicates that they are ready for a visa exemption," said Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "Canada has the largest community of Estonians outside of Estonia and we enjoy strong trade and tourism ties. This decision will help build on that relationship."

Peter Van Loan, the first Canadian MP of Estonian heritage, has worked hard to achieve this result. "In Opposition, we called for an approach that looked at each country on its merits. I am pleased that Canada’s new government applied such an approach – and that Estonia passed that test."

Van Loan continued, "This is also good news for new E.U. member states some of which are making positive progress towards satisfying Canada’s criteria for visa- free travel."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada regularly reviews the visa requirements we place on citizens from other countries who want to visit Canada. These reviews are done on a country by country basis to see if they warrant potential visa exemptions or the removal of an exemption. Country reviews weigh the risks and benefits of visa-free travel to Canada. Possible risks to Canada include abuse of Canada’s tradition of refugee protection, passport fraud or organised crime in the country under review. Some of the benefits to Canada may include increased trade and tourism.

By law, all visitors to Canada require a temporary resident visa, except citizens of countries where an exemption has been granted.
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