31 March 2016

Russian Demanding Voucher Confirmation Numbers

Effective immediately the Russian Embassy in Ottawa and all Russian consulates are demanding that all tourist visa applications have the real unique tourist voucher CONFIRAMTION NUMBER in the application form.

This is a unique number which appears on your tourist voucher from the Russian hotel or from the Russian tourist agency.

We encourage all applicants to acquire this from their Russian travel provider or their Russian hotel. If you cannot get one from Russia we can get one for you.

Click here for Russian tourist visas.

China Demands 2nd Passport from Dual Nationals

Effective immediately the Embassy of China in Ottawa, and all Chinese consulates, are demanding the original of any second passport a Canadian visa applicant may hold.

Any applicant who is a dual national, or who was born outside of Canada, must provide the real original passport from that other country along with their real Canadian passport.

Copies are NOT accepted.

If you are a dual national or were born outside Canada, but do not hold a second passport, you must provide an attestation letter confirming that you do not now hold any second (non-Canadian) passport.

This letter is a legal document and must of course be signed and dated.

Click here for Chinese visas.

16 March 2016

Brazil Raises Visa Fees 30%

We are sad to announce that the government of Brazil has raised their visa prices by about 30% this week, effective immediately.

Tourist visas now cost $120.  This is up from the old $97.50 fee.

Business visas now cost $120. This is up from the old fee of $90.

We had been expecting this for several months as the Canadian dollar dropped, but with the dollar stable and even rising it seems like an odd time to now raise the fees.

Click here for Brazil visa forms.

09 March 2016

Madagascar Raises Visa Fees

Madagascar is full of natural wonders, such as lemurs and unusual trees, but it is very far away and not usually on the Canadian tourist destination list.

For the past several years the government of Madagascar has been trying to encourage tourism by offering free visas. Those days are over.

Tourists now have to pay $45 for the single-entry tourist visa.

Click here for Madagascar visa forms.

07 March 2016


A bill has been approved that will exempt visa requirements to some foreigners coming to Brazil during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

The unilateral visa waiver applies to visitors (tourists) entering Brazil between 01 June 2016 and 18 September 2016. It benefits nationals of Canada, Australia, the United States and Japan who travel to Brazil exclusively for tourism purposes for a period of up to 90 days from the date of first entry (non-extendable).

The visa exemption is solely for TOURISM. A valid travel document (Canadian passport) will be the only document required during that period. There will be no need to present proof of ticket purchase confirmation for the Rio 2016 Games. 

The exemption does not apply to nationals of the aforementioned countries wishing to perform other activities such as paid activities, research activities, internships, studies, volunteer work, technical assistance or activities of missionary, religious or artistic nature. 

From 19 September 2016 on, the previous regime of visa requirement will be reestablished

India e-Visa - Depart from Anywhere in India

Canadians and some 149 other foreign passport holders are now able to take advantage of the well-functioning Indian e-Visa system.

In a welcome change there is a new feature which will benefit Canadians going on a cruise starting from India.

While e-Visa holders must enter India through one of only 16 designated airports (Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi), it is now permissable to leave from anywhere.

Officially the Indian government states that e-Visa holders can depart India from non-airport locations. Their official statement is that "the foreigner can take exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India".

So it seems that once you have the e-Visa stamped into your passport by the Indian authorities at the designated airport, you are free to leave from any authorized border control post by any means.

Click here for Indian e-Visa forms.

Common Brazil Visa Application Problems

People ask us constantly 'What are the most common Brazil problems I could avoid?'

When you are filling out the Brazil online visa application form on the government website, there are a couple of simple rules to make everything work smoothly:

1) Be truthful.

2) Your passport is the final word about your identity. All data must match your passport exactly. If your passport does not show a middle name, do not use one on the form. If your passport says you were born in North York, then do not put Toronto.

3) All addresses must be full complete legal addresses - not just a street.

4) When you think you are finished, go back and read your answers and compare them to your passport and other personal details.

Click here for Brazil visa forms.

Brazil Changes Government Visa Website

Effective immediately the Government of Brazil has closed down their old stable visa application platform and launched a new visa application website.

The new website is at   https://formulario-mre.serpro.gov.br

It still suffers from the basic security problem in that it does not have a security certificate recognized by any system outside Brazil. So put up with it or travel to a different country.

The site works very well and is more effective in gathering data. Hopefully that will mean a faster processing of visas in the coming months!

Click here for Brazil visa forms and prices and requirements and a manual.

China Embassy Very Strict About Rules

China is an extremely popular tourist and business destination, and the now have a policy of issuing multi-entry visas. The processing is smooth and dependable.

But do not get complacent.

Over the past several months the Chinese Embassy has toughened their enforcement of the rules.

The Chinese consuls have been demanded more and more supporting documentary proof of family and/or busiuness relationships.

Be prepared with birth and marriage certificates; or with detailed business letters from the company in China.

Click here for China visa forms and prices and requirements.

Angola Embassy Increases Fees

For the first time in perhaps a decade the Embassy of Angola has increased the visa fees payable by Canadians.

The price jumped up to $185 per visa, even if the visa is only valid for three days (STV).

Since only oil exploration workers go to Angola, the fee incrase is swallowed by oil companies, so it does not matter much to applicants.

Click here for Angola visa forms and prices.

Russian Price Increases

The Russian visa office has announced a general price increase across Canada effective immediately.

Fees for all types of visas and all speeds of service went up anywhere from $5 to $8. This is not a major price hike, but it will bite the Russians as their visitor numbers have dropped in recent years and show little sign of improving.

Click here for Russian visa forms and prices.