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Canada eases visa rule for Romania and Bulgaria

Canada has eased visa requirements for citizens of Romania and Bulgaria for trips lasting for less than six months. Visitors from the two countries will instead need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation if travelling to Canada by air.

Photo: Pixabay Pauline_17

"[We are] still watching the direct flight situation which is not clear yet"

Individuals who are going to Canada to study for more than six months will need a study permit and a visa.

The change means that now citizens from the EU’s 28 member states can enter Canada with an eTA.

“Romanians and Bulgarians, like all international travellers to Canada, still need to present themselves to a border services officer upon arrival in Canada,” a spokesperson from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told The PIE News.

“Border service officers determine who can enter and for how long someone can stay in the country.”

Daniela Pavoni, general manager at Mirunette International Education in Bucharest, is enthusiastic about the move.

“We welcomed the news and specifically prepared and promoted a group summer camp in Canada for 2018,” she told The PIE News.

“Canada values its strong ties with Romania, Bulgaria and the EU, and we are pleased to be able to extend visa-free travel to citizens of all EU member states”

Pavoni is hoping that 20 students will attend the camp next year, but added that there are currently no direct flights from Bucharest to Canada, an introduction of which she says would be a good selling point.

“[We are] still watching the direct flight situation which is not clear yet. Fingers crossed for the group to travel to Canada for the first time with us.”

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship sees the move as a step toward more business opportunities.

“Canada values its strong ties with Romania, Bulgaria and the EU, and we are pleased to be able to extend visa-free travel to citizens of all EU member states.”

Making it easier for Romanians and Bulgarians to come to Canada will encourage more travel and trade, which in turn, will create new business, trade and investment opportunities for Canadians and Europeans alike.”

Travellers flying into the country will need an eTA, which costs CAN$7. Those arriving by sea or land will not need an eTA.

In November, The PIE News reported that the number of international students entering Canada was up by 22% last year.

The IRCC also opened seven new visas centres to keep up with demand in 2017.

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