OTTAWA – Canada is to allow citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport, said the Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Friday, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
Starting from May 1, 2017, citizens of the three countries who have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa will be eligible to apply for an eTA, instead of a visitor visa, to travel to Canada by air. Those who do not meet these criteria or are travelling to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat will still need a visitor visa.
“This initiative will make it easier for eligible travellers to come to Canada and to transit through a Canadian airport. It will also encourage them to make repeat visits. The end result will be more travel and tourism and more economic benefits for Canadians,” said Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen.
The ministry also said Canada is to lift the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on Dec 1, 2017. At that point, the two countries’ citizens would no longer need a visa to travel to Canada. However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they would need an eTA to board their flight to Canada.
Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and will need a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada. Permanent residents of Canada are also not eligible to apply for an eTA, and, as usual, must show their permanent resident card or a permanent resident travel document when travelling to Canada.