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Canadian visa reforms for Saudi applicants

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The Canadian government have made the visa application process for Saudi nationals wishing to visit Canada easier. The changes were announced after a series of talks took place between Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, and various senior Saudi Leaders.

Baird met last month with Crown Prince Salman, and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal to discuss efforts to control the Islamic State (IS). Additionally, they also discussed bilateral, regional and security issues; visa reforms were also agreed.

MacDonald explained that the purpose of the reforms was to ease and simplify the visa process for Saudi applicants wishing to travel to Canada.

Some of the measures include –

  • A maximum 10 working days processing time for visit visas
  • Three week processing time for student visas
  • Introduction of online applications
  • Opening of three visa application centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar

MacDonald also said that Saudi visitors would be able to apply for multiple entry visas, which allows visitors to make multiple trips to Canada within a timeframe of 6 months to five years.