Guyana & Canada in talks for visa-free travel

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The Government of Guyana has expressed an interest in having visa-free travel to Canada and Canadian High Commissioner Mark Berman said that the two governments are discussing this.

Berman, at the sidelines of an event on Monday, said that High Commission raised Guyana’s interest with the Canadian government. He, however, noted that Canada’s visa policy is different from that of the United Kingdom (UK).

For context, Guyanese tourists are now allowed to travel to the UK visa-free for up to six months. This visa-lift was announced in October and took effect from November 9.

Even with differing visa policies, Berman said, “It’s something we’re (looking) at and we’re making a determination.”

High Commission of Canada in Guyana, Mark Berman (Photo: Ministry of Health/November 15, 2022)

Aside from a potential visa-lift, the High Commissioner said that the Canadian authorities have been engaging private airlines on more direct flights between Guyana and Canada. This is viewed as particularly crucial given the heightened business relations between the two countries and the sizable Guyanese diaspora there.

Air Canada and West Jet are among the top airlines that have been engaged, Berman noted.

Currently, only the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines serves this direct route. Public Works Minister Juan Edghill told a recent press conference that the government is in talks with other international airlines, though.

In February, Air Canada– the largest Canadian airline – reportedly signalled keen interest to enter Guyana’s market. Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest airline of Canada by fleet size and passengers; its headquarters is based in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec.

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