OTTAWA, Ont. — The U.S. Embassy announced Friday that landed immigrants in Canada will need a passport and a visa to enter the United States effective March 17.
This includes landed immigrants from Commonwealth countries as well as Ireland. Until now, landed immigrants from these countries were exempt under a waiver program.
The visa and passport requirement doesn’t apply to Canadian citizens. As well, citizens of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the United Kingdom will not require visas if they’re travelling to the U.S. on business or pleasure for 90 days or less.
But the visa announcement means that Canadian owner/operators and company drivers who are landed immigrants and drive cross-border long-haul runs need to start the visa application process as soon as possible.
The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and American Consulates across Canada are accepting non-immigrant visa applications from landed immigrants affected by the new policy, by mail or in person. There’s a US$100 charge. In-person applications must be made by appointment.
The Embassy is cautioning landed immigrants not to make firm U.S. travel plans until their visa application has been processed and notes that applications could take up to 60 days.
For more details, visit the U.S. Embassy Web site at www.usembassycanada.gov or www.amcits.com. You can also call 1 900 451-2778 ($2 per minute) or 1 888 840-0032 ($1.50 per minute).
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