10-year visa to China urged
China is asked to grant 10-year, multiple-entry visas to Canadians
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.”