Creeping infringement on freedom of travel or paranoia?

This post was inspired by what I read yesterday about Singaporeans needing to register themselves with the Canadian authorities before travelling or transiting there. Now Singapore is one of ~50 visa-waver nations to Canada. Starting in mid March, these nations need to apply for Canada’s “electronic travel authorisation” (eTA) at a cost of C$7, which is valid for 5 years’ entry. Well the website for application was said to have been in preparation since last August.

According to the Telegraph: “A spokesperson said: “The new process will allow the Canadian government to screen all travellers before they enter the country. The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Therefore, you must travel with the passport that you applied for your eTA with, you can enter Canada as many times within the validity of the eTA.”

Strangely this applies only to air travelers and not to those coming via sea or land according to the Singapore Straits time article. Especially in regard to screening “all” travellers. Probably need to verify that one. You know with all government implementations, confusion is a must at least at the onset.

canada eTA visa

US ESTA visa

The US has its ESTA. Now Canada wants it own eTA (although it exempts Americans). Will the Europeans come up with something next? Or will Japan do the same?

For the sake of trying to screen out a tiny minority, it appears the majority now have to pay the price. Some say that the world has shrunk and flying is now like taking a bus for some. Perhaps. Not so for more than 6 billion people! Perhaps you might not want that too!

Is this about money? After all, the initial C$7 can be raised later. Really, can they really raise that much money from blokes like me flying through? No matter what the reasons are (conspiracy or not), this development if it perpetuates to more countries is just one more barrier being put up for cross-border travel.

 

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

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