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Agreement opens skies over Canada, Cosa Rica

Published by Steve Coleman on August 11, 2011

New agreements between Canada and Costa Rica will make travel between the two countries easier.

Official ceremonies planned for Aug. 11 as a part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's South American trade trip include a new air transportation agreement and the launch of a new visa application centre.

The two countries plan to open the skies to air carriers from both nations, whether it's passenger or cargo service. Carriers will be able to fly as often as they want, anywhere in either country, from third-country airports.

As a part of the agreement, airline companies will also be able to board passengers and drop them off in other countries en route.

One of the biggest benefits of the agreement, the federal government says, is that Canadian air carriers will no longer be subject to a long-standing dispute over double taxation.

While airlines will have an easier time doing business, getting passengers on a plane in the first place will still require a visa.

Harper also launched a new Visa Application Centre for Cosat Rican applicants looking to visit Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is planning to expand the number of visa application centres it operates world-wide. The Costa Rican site is expected to open for business in September.

The government says one of the main reasons for the new centre is to ensure all of the Is are dotted and all of the Ts get crossed on the paperwork. The centre is expected to help reduce the number of rejected visa applications.

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