Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney speak to the media in Ottawa Sept 10, 2012.
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
Concerns about human trafficking and fraudulent travel documents prompted the Canadian government to impose new visitor visa requirements on the citizens of five countries.
Nationals from St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland will have to apply for a visa. To be approved, they will have to satisfy immigration officers that they "will not overstay their authorized stay" and "are not a security risk to Canadians," Citizenship and Immigration Canada said in a news release.
"We continue to welcome genuine visitors to Canada," Minister Jason Kenney said in the release. "However, these visa requirements will give us a greater ability to manage the flow of people into Canada."
The government said documents from St. Lucia and St. Vincent are "unreliable" because "criminals from these countries can legally change their names and acquire new passports."
Fraudulent papers are also of concern in the three African countries added to the list, along with human trafficking, especially of minors.
"These requirements will better protect the safety of Canadians by preventing foreign criminals from coming to Canada in the first place," Kenney said.