April 30, 2017 -Brazilians deemed low-risk travellers no longer require a Canada visit visa to fly here.
Brazilians join Romanians and Bulgarians in having the visa requirement partially lifted for air travel. Citizens of all three countries still require a Canada visa if entering by car, bus, train or boat.
“This initiative will make it easier for eligible travellers to come to Canada and to transit through a Canadian airport,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
“It will also encourage them to make repeat visits. The end result will be more travel and tourism and more economic benefits for Canadians.”
Canada is set to totally lift the visa requirement for Romanians and Bulgarians as of December 1 2017. From this date all air travellers with still need the eTA.
There is no plan at this stage to also totally lift the Brazilian visa requirement.
Canada agreed to lift the visa requirement for both Bulgarians and Romanians after the two countries threatened not to sign a crucial trade deal.
The Canada-EU Trade Agreement, or CETA, will soon become law after it was voted through by the European Parliament in February.
Opposition, particularly from Belgium but also from Romania and Bulgaria, had threatened to derail the deal at the final hurdle.
The deal must now be ratified by Canada’s parliament.
EU Rule Change
The visa issue with Bulgaria and Romania began when the EU changed its rules back in 2014.
Under the rule change, all countries granted visa-free access to the EU bloc had to provide the same privilege in return.
Countries were given two years to provide the access, or face losing their visa-free access.
Canada was reluctant to grant the access to Bulgaria and Romania, with former Immigration Minister John McCallum saying neither met the requirements.
But when the issue became tied to CETA, Canada was left with no bargaining room.
Canada lifted the visa requirement for Mexicans from December 1, 2017, and has since seem a marked increase in asylum claims.
The first two months of 2017 saw 440 Mexicans detained at the Canada border, according to figures obtained by Reuters. That’s more than the 410 detentions in the whole of 2016.
Do I need an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You need an eTA if you are travelling to Canada by air from a visa-exempt country. A full list of visa-exempt countries is available here.
The requirement came into effect as of March 15, 2016, with a leniency period expiring on November 6, 2016. Citizens of visa exempt countries are not allowed to board a plane without an eTA.
How do I get an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You can apply for an eTA through the Canadian federal government website.
Before you apply, you will need:
- Valid passport
- As a US permanent resident, you can apply with:
- Valid US refugee travel document (I-571)
- Valid permit to re-enter the US (I-327)
- Credit card to pay the $7 fee
- Valid email address
To apply for an eTA click here.
When should I apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?
The Canadian government advises you to apply as soon as you know you travel itinerary.
However, an eTA can be obtain at the last minute via a smartphone. All you need is an internet connection. The email authorization often only takes a few minutes to come through.
There is no requirement to print an eTA. It is electronically linked to your passport or travel document.
How long is an Electronic Travel Authorization valid for?
An eTA can be valid for five years, or until your passport or travel document expires.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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