Visa Application Centre in Portugal

Introducing the New Canada Visa Application Centre in Portugal

Canada is extending its reach to Portugal with the launch of its first-ever Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lisbon, catering to the growing ties between the two nations. This move, announced by Immigration Minister Marc Miller on February 19, 2024, signifies a significant step forward in visa processing efficiency and client service.

What is a Visa Application Centre (VAC)?

VACs are privately owned entities contracted by the Canadian government to facilitate the visa application process. They play a crucial role in accepting and securely transmitting required documents to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices. Additionally, VACs offer biometric collection services.

Benefits of the New VAC

The establishment of the Lisbon VAC streamlines the visa application process for residents of Portugal, eliminating the need for travel outside the country. This not only reduces costs but also enhances accessibility and client service. Applicants can now avail themselves of VAC services closer to home, minimizing distance and travel time.

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Service Offerings

While VACs assist in document submission and biometric collection, it’s essential to note that they do not make decisions on visa applications or provide advice on permits. However, VAC service agents are readily available to address applicant queries in local languages, ensuring comprehensive support throughout the application process.

Expanding Opportunities for Portuguese Citizens

The inauguration of the Lisbon VAC aligns with Canada’s commitment to fostering social, economic, and cultural ties with Portugal. With over 448,000 people of Portuguese origin residing in Canada, the VAC represents a pivotal resource for facilitating travel, study, and work opportunities between the two nations.

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Why Portugal?

The decision to open a VAC in Portugal underscores the robust bilateral relations shared between Canada and Portugal. Celebrating 70 years of formal diplomatic ties in 2022, the two countries enjoy strong cultural and economic bonds. The new VAC serves as a testament to Canada’s dedication to strengthening these relations further.

Opportunities for Immigration

For those interested in Canadian permanent residency, various immigration programs offer pathways to residency, even without prior physical presence in Canada. Programs like the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Express Entry system provide avenues for skilled professionals to immigrate to Canada.

Digital Nomad and Working Holiday Options

Portuguese citizens can explore opportunities as digital nomads, utilizing Canada’s visitor visa and electronic travel authorization (eTA) to work remotely for up to six months. Additionally, the International Experience Canada (IEC) program offers youth aged 18 to 35 the chance to embark on a working holiday in Canada for up to two years. The opening of the Canada Visa Application Centre in Lisbon marks a significant milestone in bilateral relations between Canada and Portugal.

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By enhancing accessibility and streamlining visa processes, the VAC paves the way for increased collaboration and exchange between the two nations, fostering mutual prosperity and growth.

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