Canada simplifies visa rules for Saudis

JEDDAH: Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia David Chatterson has announced his country’s new rules for issuing a temporary resident visas to Saudi citizens, which includes scrapping medical examinations.

Most Saudis applying for the visa will not need to be examined, including students who are planning to stay in the country for more than six months.

“I am very pleased with this decision,” said Chatterson.

“This follows the announcement in May that Saudi nationals can be issued a multiple entry temporary resident visa for Canada for up to five years.”

While medical examinations are no longer required for most long-term students, they are still needed for those working in the health sciences field or with children.

An estimated 12,000 Saudi students are currently enrolled at Canadian universities. There are 800 Saudi doctors completing advanced studies and residencies in Canada as well. The country is also expecting 2,000 additional students this year.

Saudi Arabia is Canada’s second largest trading partner in the region, with two-way trade surpassing $2.6 billion in 2009.

Canadian exports to the Kingdom, mainly cereals, machinery and paper, were worth more than $1.1 billion, while oil formed the majority of $1.5 billion worth of total imports.

“The new medical exam rules for Saudi visitors will make it easier for Saudis to study in Canada and further bolster our strong relationship,” said Chatterson.

Information for visitors and student visas can be found on the Canadian Embassy website. – Arabnews