Innovative collaboration benefits Chinese Alipay users as Ant Financial’s Zhima reports are now accepted for visitor visa applications
November 23, 2018 – Ottawa, ON – In support of growing relations between Canada and China, and the Canada-China Year of Tourism, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is collaborating with Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial) on a client service initiative making it easier and more convenient for Chinese nationals to apply for a Canadian visitor visa, particularly when applying online.
Chinese nationals who use Alipay, a leading mobile and online payment platform in China that is operated by Ant Financial, now have the option to submit an English-language Zhima report to show proof of financial standing as part of their visitor visa application. Zhima Credit is an independent credit-scoring assessment service that is operated by Ant Financial.
The Zhima report is more comprehensive than the traditional bank statements and deposit certificates typically received in support of visitor visa applications. Chinese nationals can, however, continue to provide bank statements or other evidence of financial standing if they choose. The free report is easy to access and can be easily uploaded to an online application, or printed and submitted with a paper application. IRCC officials will be able to quickly verify the authenticity of the report, allowing for more efficient processing.
This year is the Canada-China Year of Tourism, and has been a record year for Chinese travellers visiting Canada. The tourism industry is an economic driver and is Canada’s number 1 service export, with international revenues reaching over $20 billion, and supports more than 1.8 million jobs related to the tourism sector. In the first 9 months of 2018, Canada welcomed 585,000 tourists from China, an increase of 4.9% over the same period in 2017. Over one-third of visitor visa applications that IRCC received this year came from Chinese citizens.
As the number of Chinese travellers continues to increase, this service improvement will help the department manage the growing number of visitor visa applications and will facilitate travel for Chinese visitors.
IRCC is committed to better understanding the client experience and with initiatives such as this, we continue to explore ways to improve our services and to benefit from advancements in technology.