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Canada Announces Expansion of Visa-Free Transit Program

Changes to China Transit Program to bring increased air service and jobs to B.C.

Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) welcomed the announcement by the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, to expand Canada’s China Transit Program to include Tokyo and Seoul and their commitment to look at expanding to further cities in China.

The China Transit Program allows Chinese nationals to transit through approved Canadian airports, like YVR, en route to the U.S. without needing a Canadian visa. The China Transit Program is currently available to passengers departing from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and Taipei. The expansion now includes Chinese nationals departing from Tokyo and Seoul. Further expansion to the China Transit Program is being assessed by the Government of Canada for additional cities in China.

“This is huge step in the right direction for YVR, British Columbia and Canada. The expansion of the China Transit Program will make YVR more attractive to transiting travellers and ultimately increase YVR’s air service and passenger growth,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “YVR’s goal is to connect B.C. proudly to the world by becoming a world-class sustainable connecting hub. We will continue to work closely with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canadian Border Services Agency and our other industry partners to progressively expand visa-free transit to the U.S. and eventually between Asia and Latin America.”

Expanding the China Transit Program to other Chinese cities could generate an additional 50 flights a week between China and the Americas through Vancouver, resulting in an additional 2,800 jobs and $167.5 million in Gross Domestic Product to the B.C. economy over the next five years.

“Our government is pleased to expand the China Transit Program in order to encourage more Chinese passengers who meet eligibility requirements to transit through Vancouver International and Toronto Pearson Airports. The expansion of this program means more traffic through these two major airports, more revenue for both our national and local economies and potential growth in new destination routes, jobs and business and tourism connections. We deeply value our people-to-people and economic ties with China and the expansion of the CTP is yet another example of Canada’s commitment to this partnership,” said Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister. 

Minister Alexander also announced that the Government is simplifying the administrative process by which new airlines participate in the China Transit Program. This will make it easier for airlines to carry eligible Chinese transit passengers through YVR.

For further information:
YVR Media Relations
604.880.9815; media_relations@yvr.ca
Twitter: @yvrairport