UAE introduces high visa charges for Canadians

by Ray Clancy on January 4, 2011

UAE imposes high visa charges on Canadians

New fees have come into effect which mean that Canadians face having to pay as much as $1,000 in visa fees to travel to the United Arab Emirates.

It is the latest development in a diplomatic row over aircraft landing rights. Canada was one of 30 mostly Western countries that benefited from an UAE visa waiver but its citizens now find themselves excluded over the aircraft row.

It began when Dubai based carrier Emirates wanted to introduce is three times a week flight schedule to Toronto and add other Canadian destinations. Abu Dhabi based Ethihad Airways also wanted to boost its connections.

Canada though has rejected the plan. That triggered a UAE government decision to end access to a military base used by the Canadian military to support troops in Afghanistan. Now it has ended the waiver agreement.

The UAE embassy in Ottawa said on its website that Canadians would be charged $250 for a 30 day single entry visa while a six month multiple entry visa would cost $1000, with a maximum stay of 14 days during each visit.

Canadians though can save money if they use the USE airlines. The embassy site says Emirates and Etihad can issue visas to Canadians. Emirates said it would charge $72.50 for a 30-day visa along with a $272.50 deposit, refundable on leaving the UAE. It said it could not offer three and six-month visas. Etihad said it charges a similar amount as Emirates for a 30-day visa.

‘With 25,000 Canadians living in the UAE as well as 200 Canadian companies active in the UAE today, six flights per week does not service the economic needs of both countries or the potential for growth,’ the UAE ambassador said in a statement.

UAE’s efforts to gain more landing rights in Canada has been criticised by Air Canada which has accused Emirates of wanting to steal away connecting passengers that help make its routes profitable.

Canadians will need to apply for the visa around three weeks before travelling. The complete visa application needs to be sent to the UAE Embassy 15 working days before the departure date, according to the new requirements. The amount paid ‘is non-refundable in case of a visa refusal,’ the embassy said, adding that visa requirements may change in the future.

A spokeswoman for Canada’s foreign ministry, Melissa Lantsman, said it was not told in advance of the new charges, but that they would not make the government change its decision on landing rights for UAE airlines. ‘Canada is a sovereign nation, and we make our decisions based on what is in the best interests of Canadians,’ she told the Associated Press news agency.

In contrast, UAE nationals visiting Canada who are required to obtain a visa pay between $75 and $150. The move is described as an unprecedented step that will have a major impact on travel and business between Canada and the UAE.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Werner January 5, 2011 at 12:38 am

There are many more interesting places to visit, who needs to go to the Emirates to enjoy great beaches, be harrassed with stupid liquor laws and dress codes for women? Business people will pay up and charge it on the expense account, nobody is loosing anything.

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Ven January 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I thought UAE was a role model in the middle eastern region, they seem to be taking a very backward step by making it difficult for Canadians – wonder who their next target is!! They seem to be very shortsighted, childish and immature. If they felt they can get away with it!!, they are sorely mistaken, they will soon realize their stupidity and if they don't – they can certainly bid goodbye to their broader economy and the rest!! – Let's Boycott UAE until they change their rules.

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pro can May 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

right on they must understand we dont need them they need us,hellcanada and the usa just put up with them due to oil when that gone were gone

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Tombom January 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Canada charges Visa entry fee for UAE citizens to enter Canada. Canada are the ones being immature as they are refusing more Etihad and Emirates flights to "protect" Air Canada. Protect what! An overpriced, terrible airline? Bring me better servicevat a better price and I'm there. I am Canadian living in the UAE.

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Jah March 14, 2011 at 3:55 am

Ven seems to be very short-sighted, childish and immature in looking up global issues. he probably don’t have much international exposure to understand things in a correct way.I am not Canadian not Emirate.. living in Australia but would like to condemn Canadian monopoly in not giving more landing rights to UAE based air lines perhaps only for the sake of protecting ineffectual Air Canada.
It’s a competition world … Air Canada better have to compete instead of always looking protection in way which could raze mutual large-scaled benefits of both nations.

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Pro Can May 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

jah sounds like you do not even have a country what up with that. heres the deal eh the only reason we are even talking is the oil dude when we suck the last drop out of the desert we are so gone, have a nice day

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ally March 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

who wants to go to UAE anyways its all because we didnt allow them to have more of their emirates flights come to our lands. they need to be respectful and allow us to make our decisions not pressure us. I hope we also implemented the same even higher fees because after all we are bigger ,better and original!!

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Asif July 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

I sugest that UAE and canada should resolve the issues on flights as it would be in the interest of both countries,Most of pakistani and indians who are canadian citizen prefer to travel by emirates and stay for a night in Dubai for shopping.

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