October 31, 2016 — Ottawa, Ontario – The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today the Government of Canada’s intention to lift the visa requirements for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on December 1, 2017. It demonstrates the importance that the Government of Canada places on its relationship with both countries and with the EU more broadly.
In the lead-up to the full visa lifts, Canada intends to implement partial lifts for eligible Romanian and Bulgarian citizens travelling to Canada for May 1, 2017. 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 (U.S.) non-immigrant visa would not require a temporary resident visa and would be able to fly to or transit through Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a visa.
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.
Over the coming months, Canadian officials will continue to 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,”said John McCallum.