Qualified Filipinos now eligible for visa-free travel to Canada

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — Filipinos who traveled to Canada in the last 10 years or hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa can now enter the North American country without a visa.

The Canadian government on Wednesday announced that if Filipino travelers fall under these two categories, they only need to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) instead of visa to enter the country by air.

The Philippines is among the 13 countries added to Canada's eTA program.

Its inclusion comes after the official visit of Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly to the country.

"The Philippines considers Canada as a close partner due to its well-established people-to-people ties and looks forward to charting a new era of engagement under this new policy," the Philippines' Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said in a statement on Wednesday.

Applying for an eTA to fly to a Canadian airport only costs $7 CAD and most applications are approved within minutes as compared to the $100 CAD processing fee for a visitor visa.

The Canadian government said an eTA is valid for up to six months for business or leisure or until the passport expires.