In the United States, among other world leaders, to address the United Nations General Assembly this week, on Wednesday Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis met with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In the meeting, the Canadian PM offered to review the procedure for Costa Ricans to obtain a visa for travel to Canada.
President Solis later said Trudeau was eager to soften the (visa) requirements after he told him of the difficulties Costa Ricans face with Canada’s immigration service.
“One of the issues that I discussed with Mr. Trudeau has to do with visas to Costa Ricans and their difficulty to obtain. In that sense, the Prime Minister assured me that he will take the subject under review,” said Solis in a video distributed posted on social media.
Currently, for Costa Ricans to obtain a transit or tourist visa for Canada, they have to complete four forms on the Canada government website and then take them personally to the offices of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in San Jose, along with two passport size photos, documentation proving roots in the country (ie, a job, bank account, family, etc) and the flight itinerary. Prior to presenting documents, ¢36,000 colones must be deposited at the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR).
Other topics discussed during the bilateral meeting were the environment, human rights, women’s economic empowerment and the Latin American regional agenda. Solis says he also took the opportunity to invite Trudeau to visit Costa Rica.
Justin Trudeau, 45, was elected Prime Minister on November 4, 2015. His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was Canada’s PM from 1968 to 1984, with a short time out of office between 1979 and 1980.
On Wednesday, Solis also met with U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres of Portugal.
“I have assured him Costa Rica’s permanent commitment to climate change, migration, and refugee, and of course, the issues of women’s economic empowerment,” Solis said of the meeting.
The president ended his agenda in New York on Wednesday and will travel to Miami today, Thursday, after giving a lecture on nuclear disarmament at Columbia University.
In Miami, on Friday, Solis will receive the “Presidential Gold Medallion” from the International University of Florida, the maximum recognition given the university to the heads of state.
For the trip to Florida, President Solis will only be accompanied by his wife, Costa Rica’s First Lady, Mercedes Peñas.