The government of Canada have officially announced that they will lift visa requirements for Romanian and Bulgarian travellers. The two countries had made visa free travel to Canada a condition for supporting the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The visa waivers will not come into effect until 1st December 2017 but partial lifts for eligible Romanians and Bulgarians will come into force on 1st May 2017. Citizens that have a temporary residential visa for Canada within the past ten years, or those that hold a USA non-immigrant visa will be able to fly to or transit through Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
The ruling will mean that Romania and Bulgaria will join other European member states in being able to travel to Canada without a visa. The visa restrictions had remained in place following fears from the Canadian government that there would be a flood of refugee claims from ethnic Romanians.
The European Union and Canada have been working hard to put in place all the necessary agreements to ensure that all member states are in agreement with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Romania and Bulgaria had threatened to veto the trade agreement unless the visa regulations for their two countries were dropped stating that they had been treated as second class citizens of the European Union by Canada.
In April of this year Canada and the United States were given an additional three months to get their house in order with regards to the European Union’s policy of visa agreements allowing all member states visa free travel. Over the following months officials with start to work on the framework for the introduction of total visa free travel between Romania and Bulgaria and Canada bring the two countries into line with the rest of the European Union member states.