Ottawa: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding its Visa Application Centre (VAC) Network in China, increasing its geographic reach as Canada looks for new ways to support the growth in applications. So far this year, more than 500,000 applications have been received from China, a 15 per cent increase from 2016.
By offering greater flexibility and accessibility for Chinese travellers, Canada continues to demonstrate its commitment to a growing cultural exchange between the two countries.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, attended the opening ceremony of a VAC in Nanjing this week to mark the opening of seven new centres located in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan. They join the existing network of VACs in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
These new VACs will play an important role in meeting the growing demand for visas for Chinese residents.
VACs offer support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident visa application is assessed by an IRCC officer. VAC service agents are available by phone, email or in person to answer questions in local languages and to make sure that applications are complete.
As ties between Canada and China continue to grow, IRCC remains committed to making it easier than ever for Chinese residents to apply for a visa.
To this end, a new pay option will also be put into place beginning in early 2018. IRCC will begin accepting payments through UnionPay, one of the largest payment processing providers in China.
This improved flexibility will make it easier for travellers to come to Canada, and by extension, open the door to new opportunities for economic and cultural exchange.
“Canada has a long and proud history with China which our department continues to play an integral role in. At IRCC, we are committed to improving client service for applicants and to being more efficient. These improvements will better serve Chinese applicants as we continue to create stronger business and personal ties between our two countries and welcome new immigrants to the Canadian family,” said the honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“Canada and China have strong ties, built on mutual economic cooperation and deep family connections. Expanding our Visa Application Centre network in China will make it easier for Chinese families, friends and tourists to visit Canada. As we approach the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, I look forward to welcoming a record number of Chinese visitors to Canada and showing them what makes our beautiful country such an unforgettable place to visit,” said the honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
- 2018 is the Year of Canada-China Tourism. This initiative will help support a stronger and more stable long-term relationship with China by boosting cultural exchanges and the two-way flow of tourists.
- China is Canada’s fastest-growing tourism market, already its third-largest overseas source market for tourists, and Chinese visitors contribute more than $1 billion annually to Canada’s economy.
- Canada now has 137 VACs in 95 countries.
- VACs are managed by private companies that are authorized to provide visa applicants with specific services. VACs are not involved in the decision making process and are not authorized to provide applicants with advice about their visas.