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Published on : Thursday, May 21, 2015
Canada plans to expand its China Transit Program (CTP) to allow Chinese travelers to fly to and transit through Canada visa-free when they are en route to and from the United States, according to an announcement by Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Ministry.
Starting June 1, 2015, the program will expand to three additional major transit hubs — Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, and Seoul Incheon — in addition to Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Manila and Taipei that are already part of the program.
“This expansion of the China Transit Program will help generate more business for our airlines and airports, and could potentially lead to the opening of new routes and destinations, which would benefit all travelers, including Canadians,” said Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister.
This expansion means more choice and greater flexibility for eligible Chinese travelers to transit through Canada, and more business for participating airlines and Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International Airports, including additional revenue for airports through landing fees and spending by travelers.
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, the Canadian government is also simplifying the administrative process by which new airlines can participate in the China Transit Program.
This change will make it easier for airlines to carry eligible Chinese transit passengers through Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International Airports.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is committed to the expansion of transit programs and is assessing the eligibility of other departure cities in China to be added in the future.
Consultations with the air and tourism industries are ongoing as the government explores new opportunities for facilitating transit passengers through Canadian airports, particularly once the new Electronic Travel Authorization system is implemented next year.
According to a report posted on the Canada’s government website, to be eligible for CPT, Chinese travelers must meet the following conditions: hold a valid passport issued by the People’s Republic of China; hold a valid U.S. visa; travel to Canada on an approved airline; transit through an approved Canadian airport.