Eligible Brazilians, Bulgarians, and Romanians No Longer Need a Temporary Resident Visa to Fly to Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made it easier for some international visitors to fly to Canada. They recently lifted temporary resident visa (TRV) requirements for eligible citizens from three countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, and Romania.
These new visa-free travel requirements are intended to strengthen Canada’s relationship with international citizens. The eTA helps form business relationships and improves tourism and trade. For more information on temporary resident visas and Canadian travel requirements, contact a Canadian citizenship lawyer.
Changing Requirements and Authorizations
The IRCC lifted the TRV requirements for eligible citizens from these three countries on May 1, 2017. Instead of going through a lengthy and costly TRV application process, eligible citizens only need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). It’s easy to apply for the eTA online, and it only costs $7. In addition, if there are no inadmissibility concerns, it is usually granted within a few hours of the application, if not minutes.
Once granted, an eTA is valid for five years, or until:
- Travel documents (such as a passport) expire;
- The eTA is cancelled; or
- A new eTA is issued.
eTAs are meant to increase security while streamlining the screening and travel process for low-risk travelers to Canada. An eTA typically includes the applicant’s name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, passport info, and travel document information.
Who Can Apply for an eTA?
Currently, only eligible citizens of these countries can use an eTA in place of a TRV. However, on December 1, 2017, all citizens of Bulgaria and Romania will have the visa requirements lifted. Temporary workers and international students will also have the TRV lifted. Bulgaria and Romania were the only two countries in the European Union (EU) whose citizens still needed a TRV to travel to Canada.
By lifting this visa requirement, all members of the EU receive visa-free travel to Canada, opening up trade and tourism for all countries involved. Lifting visa requirements for eligible Brazilians also strengthens Canada’s ties to South America since Canada is a popular destination for many Brazilians.
For citizens of these countries who already hold a Canadian visa, they need only apply for an eTA once their visas expire. Dual citizens of at least one visa-exempt country can apply for an eTA instead of a TRV. U.S. Green Card holders are also visa-exempt and can apply for an eTA.
By opening up travel for more international citizens, Canada can strengthen its trade, tourism, and relationships with other countries, boosting economies, businesses, and expanding its reach to become more culturally diverse. For more information on traveling to Canada, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer.