April 6, 2017 – Certain Romanians will be able to travel to Canada without a Canada visa from May 1, 2017, an official has announced.
Romanians who held a Canada visa in the last 10 years, or currently hold a US visa, will not require a visa, Canada’s ambassador to Romania said.
Ambassador Kevin Hamilton said the visa restriction will be lifted for all Romanian citizens from December 1, 2017.
Romanians will require the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (Canada eTA) to board a plane to Canada.
Plan For Romanian Access To Canada
|Until May 1, 2017||May 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017||Post December 1, 2017|
|All Romanians need Canada visa.||Romanians who held a Canada visa in the last 10 years, or currently hold a US visa, will not require a visa.||All Romanians citizens will be able to travel visa-free, but will require a Canada eTA|
Canada agreed to lift the visa requirement for both Romanians and Bulgarians 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.
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.
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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.
Hamilton tried to separate the lifting of the visa requirement from the CETA negotiations.
“I want to dissociate the EU-Canada free trade agreement from the visa aspect,”Hamilton said.
“There are complementary aspects, but not identical. I have negotiated with Romania’s government for eliminating the visa for Romanian tourist and this is a separate matter.
“Canadian officials have assessed Romania, they have seen the progresses in the areas such as passports, migration regulation and this is why we trustfully accepted an agreement following which Romanian citizens can very soon travel to Canada without any visa.”
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.
The visa requirement was originally imposed in 2008 because of the number of asylum claims being received.
“We’re likely to go down the same path as before, which could create a problem for the current government,” Singer said. “That’s my hunch for what we’ll see once we have the numbers in hand.”
Canada has threatened to re-impose the visa restriction if it receives too many asylum claims, although it has not publicised any limit.
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