Under the new visa, which came into play this week, Chinese citizens can enter Canada on multiple occasions over the ten-year period and vice-versa, provided each stay does not exceed 180 days.
“It’s a great step forward and will make it much easier for international education professionals, faculty and students from Canada to travel to China”
“It’s a great step forward and will make it much easier for international education professionals, faculty and students from Canada to travel to China,” commented Jennifer Humphries, vice president for membership, public policy and communications at the Canadian Bureau for Education.
“Most likely it will increase the frequency of visits because Canadians will no longer need to go through processes and fee payments on a regular basis,” she told The PIE News.
“I would imagine that the change will lend impetus to collaborative academic projects and enhance the attractiveness of bilateral study and research exchange.”
The new arrangement will benefit the “vast majority” of Canadian travellers to China, according to Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui.
China issued some 230,000 visas to Canadian citizens in 2014, 80% of which were for business, tourism and family visits, he said.
And in Canada, the new arrangement will particularly benefit Chinese students who want to visit friends and family, Luo added.
More than 100,000 international students from China, along with 1.5 million Chinese diaspora, are “eagerly looking forward to receiving long-term and multiple-entry visas”, he wrote in the Globe and Mail,
“This arrangement reflects the great importance attached to bilateral relations by our two sides, and it is also responsive to the aspirations of our two peoples, and will greatly inject new vitality into our friendly, co-operative relations,” he added.
According to Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, more than 2,000 people travel back and forth between the two countries every day, which is equivalent to the number that traveled per year in the 1970s.
In November of last year, the US and China announced a similar agreement that extended the validity of short-term tourist and business visas from one to 10 years and student and exchange visas from one to five years for citizens from both countries.