From the beginning of December citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will no longer need a visa to travel to Canada, it has been announced.

Instead they will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which they need to get online before travelling and immigration officials are urging those with plans for travel from 01 December 2017 to make sure they get one.

Canada Immigrants

They will need to have the ETA in order to board a flight to Canada with the application process raking only a few minutes online.

Romanians and Bulgarians who already have a valid Canadian visa can continue to travel to or transit through a Canadian airport with that visa until it expires and do not need to apply for a new ETA.

An Immigration spokesman also confirmed that those who already have an ETA can continue to fly to Canada with that ETA until it expires or they get a new passport.

However everyone is urged to check what their status is. For example those with dual Canadian citizenship cannot apply for an ETA and need a valid Canadian passport to enter Canada.

Canadian permanent residents need to travel with a valid Canadian PR card or PR travel document and valid passport and this applies to former residents of Canada as PR status does not expire. ‘If you once lived in Canada, you could still have PR status,’ said the spokesman.

Eligible Romanian and Bulgarian citizens can apply immediately for an ETA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport and Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who are also lawful permanent residents of the United States can apply.

‘It is always best to get the appropriate travel documents before booking a flight to Canada. If you are not eligible to apply for an ETA, you can either apply for a visa, or wait until 01 December to apply for an ETA,’ the spokesman explained.

An ETA costs $7 dollars and applicants need to have the details of their passport, a credit or debit card to pay and an email address. Most ETAs are approved within minutes.

‘However, some requests can take several days or even longer to process if applicants need to submit supporting documents. That’s why it is best to apply before booking a flight to Canada,’ the spokesman added.

The ETA is only needed for those travelling to Canada by air. For example, travelling by car, bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship, from the United States, does not require an ETA.

From 01 December visa exempt travellers will not need an ETA or visa when arriving by car, bus, train or boat.