10-year visa to China urged

China is asked to grant 10-year, mul­ti­ple-en­try visas to Cana­di­ans

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG RU in Bei­jing wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China is be­ing urged to grant Cana­di­ans 10-year, mul­ti­ple-en­try visas, in talks that are un­der­way, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Van­cou­ver Sun.

Canada al­ready grants 10-year visas to for­eign vis­i­tors from coun­tries re­quir­ing visas, in­clud­ing China. Canadian tourists, Chi­nese-Cana­di­ans vis­it­ing fam­ily, and Canadian busi­ness­peo­ple go­ing to China, how­ever can only ap­ply for one-year visas, though for an ex­tra fee they can be ex­tended to two years.

Canada should push for the same deal that Wash­ing­ton got, the NDP’s Don Davies, MP for Van­cou­ver Kingsway, said in an in­ter­view with the Van­cou­ver Sun. He had tabled the mo­tion and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing pe­ti­tion with more than 2,000 signatures.

Since last year, pe­ti­tions call­ing for the change of visa pol­icy have been ini­ti­ated, af­ter Canada granted Chi­nese vis­i­tors 10-year visas, and China and the US an­nounced the new 10-year visa be­tween their coun­tries.

The need for Cana­di­ans with an in­ter­est in eas­ier ac­cess to China is huge. In 2013, 684,200 Cana­di­ans trav­eled to China, ac­cord­ing to the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Gao Lin, 53, a busi­ness­man living in Van­cou­ver, said he and his fam­ily have been long­ing for the visa pol­icy change.

Gao, who im­mi­grated to Canada in 1998, ini­ti­ated a “ten thou­sand sig­na­ture” on a Chi­nese-Canadian web­site, to call on a longer visa pol­icy.

“There are many peo­ple like me in Canada who have busi­ness and rel­a­tives in China,” said Gao. “As long as we are granted 10-year visas to China, the ties be­tween Canada and China can be closer.”

Since Canada loos­ened the visa pol­icy and granted 10-year visa to Chi­nese vis­i­tors, the num­ber of Chi­nese tourist to Canada boomed.

The lat­est data from the Canadian Tourism Com­mis­sion showed that the Chi­nese tourists to Canada by last Novem­ber reached 425,856, see­ing a 29.5 per­cent growth com­pared to last year.

Jock Fin­layson, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of the Busi­ness Coun­cil of B.C., said in an in­ter­view his or­ga­ni­za­tion wants Ottawa to keep pace with Wash­ing­ton.

“We be­lieve it is im­por­tant that Canada do what it can to be com­pet­i­tive with the US re­gard­ing tourist and busi­ness visas with China and other key for­eign mar­kets,” he said.

“That in­cludes the avail­abil­ity of visas, and also the ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses sur­round­ing visa ap­pli­ca­tions — par­tic­u­larly the time it takes to process ap­pli­ca­tions and is­sue visas.”

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