Canada issued a record number of visitor visas last year. With almost 1 million approved, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has seen visitor visa issuances increase almost 40 percent since 2004.

“The Government is committed to attracting an increasing number of visitors to Canada as part of our plan to grown the Canadian economy and create jobs,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “We strive to issue visas as quickly as possible to facilitate travel for genuine visitors – to welcome tourists, to reunite families, and benefit from the economic spinoff they bring to Canada.”

The rise in visa issuances may be due to a number of recent government initiatives aimed at increasing visitors to the country. In 2011, for instance, the maximum duration for multiple-entry visas was increased from five to 10 years. Additionally, 2012 saw the introduction of the popular Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, a multiple-entry visitor visa that is valid for up to ten years.