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June 5, 2018
Canada implements new rules for visitors from Romania
Last year Bulgaria and Romania were the only countries from the European Union (EU) whose citizens required a visa to enter Canada. The two countries made their approval of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) conditional to the repeal of the visa requirement.
Canada lifted the visa requirement for citizens of both countries on December 1, 2017. Since then Canada has seen a substantial increase in asylum claims and non-bona fide travel from Romania, with a concerning number of travellers using temporary and other non-electronic passports. Examples of non-bona fide travel include those who apply to visit Canada, but whose real purpose is to work or stay illegally in the country, or those who use Canada's asylum system to stay in Canada. This situation has put pressure on Canada's immigration and refugee system.
To correct the situation the Government of Canada introduced, on June 5, 2018, new entry requirements for Romanian citizens. The changes do not affect citizens of Bulgaria.
Only Romanian citizens who hold a valid electronic passport remain visa free, and similar to other visa-exempt travellers, can continue flying or transiting through a Canadian airport with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Romanians with non-electronic passports will need a valid visa to travel to Canada. To help guard against exploitation of non-electronic passports, Romanians who hold this type of passport, including a temporary passport, now need a valid visa to travel to Canada. Any existing eTAs issued to Romanians who applied with a non-electronic passport on or after December 1, 2017 are no longer valid and these travellers will not be able to use their eTA for air travel to Canada.
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