Canada announces visa free travel for citizens of Romania and Bulgaria from next year

by Ray Clancy on November 16, 2016

Visa requirements for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens arriving in Canada will be lifted from the beginning of December 2017, the Canadian Government has confirmed.

However, from some people the need for a visa will be lifted from May next year. This applies to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who have held a Canadian temporary resident visa in the past 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa.

Toronto-SkylineImmigration Minister John McCallum said that Canada is working closely with Romania and Bulgaria to put the move in place and explained that it is part of a widening of relationships with countries that are members of the European Union.

He also pointed out after the visa lifts, Canada would reserve the right to re-impose the visa requirement on Romania or Bulgaria should irregular migration trends increase significantly from either country.

‘Canada is working closely with Romania and Bulgaria to put in place the conditions for a sustainable visa lift. These efforts have intensified in recent months. Visa free travel in the future, just like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), would create opportunities to increase trade and travel between our countries,’ said McCallum.

Over the coming months, Canadian officials will work with the European Commission and with the Romanian and Bulgarian governments on migration related issues to lay the groundwork for a successful transition to visa free travel.

‘Romania and Bulgaria have worked very closely with us, and we will continue to collaborate on the transition to visa free travel in order to ensure that once the visa lifts occur, they are sustainable over the long term. Lifting the visa requirements for Romania and Bulgaria will mean visa free travel to Canada for citizens of all EU member states. We will all benefit from the increase in travel and trade that results,’ added McCallum.

It means that when they want to travel to Canada, citizens from Bulgari and Romania will need to apply for an eTA which can be done online and which is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

Bulgarian and Romanian travellers not eligible for an eTA can apply online for a visitor visa or use the services of one of the visa application centres in Bucharest in Romania or Sofia in Bulgaria.

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