Starting May 1 at 16:00, eligible citizens from Romania and Bulgaria will be able to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), instead of a visa, to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport, the Canadian Embassy in Bucharest informed.
Under this initiative, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria who have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or who currently hold a valid United States nonimmigrant visa, will be eligible to apply for an eTA. Those who do not meet this criteria will still need a visitor visa. As well, all Romanians and Bulgarians will need a visa entering or re-entering Canada by car, bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship.
An eTA will make it easier for many Romanians and Bulgarians to come to Canada. Applying is a simple, inexpensive ($7 CAD) online process that usually takes minutes to complete. An eTA is valid for up to five years and allows people to fly to Canada as often as they want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time) to study, transit through, visit or do business. In most cases, the eTA is approved within minutes of applying.
“Canada greatly values its partnership with Romania and Bulgaria,” said Kevin Hamilton, Canada’s Ambassador to Romania and Bulgaria. “Making travel easier fosters a deeper understanding and creates more opportunities to strengthen our vital people-to-people, business and tourism ties.”
The Government of Canada intends to lift the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on December 1, 2017. At that point, these citizens would no longer need a visa to travel to Canada, whether by air, land or sea, for stays of up to six months. However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they would need an eTA to board a flight to Canada. Further information will be provided on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website in November 2017.
The Government of Canada website, Canada.ca/eTA, is the only valid site where travellers can apply for an eTA. All a traveller needs is a passport, a credit or debit card, and an email address./IBNA