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CANADA – Government Lifts Visa Requirement for Bulgarians and Romanians

Effective 1 December 2017, nationals of Bulgarian and Romania no longer need a visa to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for visiting, business and tourism.

However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport.

eTA

Visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) via the online registration system, to fly to or transit through Canada.

eTAs are valid for five years, or until the expiration date of a passport, whichever comes first. Most international visitors are allowed to stay up to six months from the day they enter Canada.

The eTA requirement does not apply to citizens of the United States (US) but US permanent residents, or green card holders, do require the online authorisation. The eTA is not required if a person is entering at a land or sea port of entry. A list of nationalities requiring an eTA is available here.

Travellers should note that having an eTA does not automatically mean that travellers will be allowed to enter Canada. Romanians and Bulgarians, like all international travellers to Canada, will need to present themselves to a Canada Border Services Agency officer upon arrival in the country. Border services officers determine who can enter and for how long someone can stay in the country.

Background

Between 1 May and 30 November 2017, eligible nationals of Bulgaria and Romania were able to enter Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) rather than a visa, if

  • they had held a Canadian visa at any time in the ten years preceding their travel, or
  • They had held a US non-immigrant visa at any time.

Action Items

  • Companies should work with their visa and immigration specialist to ensure that employees of Bulgarian or Romanian nationality flying to Canada obtain an eTA.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.