Valid electronic passports for visa-free travels needed as of June 5
To ensure the integrity of Canada’s immigration and refugee system, the Government of Canada introduced new entry requirements on Tuesday for citizens of Romania.
“Romanians with non-electronic passports will 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 Any existing eTAs issued to Romanians who applied with a non-electronic passport on or after December 1, 2017 are no longer valid and these travellers will not be able to use their eTA for air travel to Canada. The Government of Canada is sending emails to these travellers to inform them of the changes and what they need to travel to Canada,” a press release issued by the Embassy of Canada in Bucharest informs.
Only Romanian citizens who hold valid electronic passports remain visa free. Similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they can continue to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Any eTAs issued to Romanians prior to the visa lift on December 1, 2017 will remain valid as long as the passport is valid, regardless of the type of passport held. For example, an eTA will remain valid if it was issued on the basis of the traveller being a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or expanded eTA eligibility.
The new entry requirements are aimed at helping guard against the exploitation of non-electronic passports. Since December 1, 2017, 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. This situation has put pressure on Canada’s immigration and refugee system.
“Canada continues to welcome Romanian visitors. Travellers can consult this fact sheet, o see how the new entry requirements may affect them. This includes information for those travelling to Canada on or shortly after June 5, 2018,” the above mentioned document maintains.
“Canada has been working closely with Romanian and European partners to support the sustainability of the visa lift,” said Kevin Hamilton, Canadian Ambassador to Romania. “By ensuring Romanians are screened at the appropriate level, based on the travel document they hold, the new requirements will strike a better balance of security and integrity needs with travel facilitation.”