There are many countries all around the world that desire to be visa-exempt as the application and process can be somewhat overwhelming and confusing for a lot of people. Luckily for Romanians, Bulgarians and Brazilians, they no longer have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa when travelling to Canada by air. There are specifications, however, such as you must have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or currently hold a U.S. visitor visa. If this applies, then you will only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. Additionally, when visiting Canada, you may only stay temporarily for a maximum of six months. In this article, I will address the changes for these countries in particular and why these changes were introduced.
Although the visa requirement being lifted is only anticipated to change on December 1, 2017, as per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), many individuals from Romania and Bulgaria are now extremely enthusiastic about the idea of being able to come to Canada without first obtaining a visa. After this lift happens, these individuals will only require an eTA to fly to Canada. The Canadian government has yet to decide whether they will extend the lifting of the visa requirement to all of the citizens of Brazil.
The reason for the lifting of the visa requirement essentially comes from the benefit of having an increased amount of travel and trade between Canada and these countries. Canada has worked very closely with Romania and Bulgaria for years and has always had the intention to lift the visa requirement long term. They are also the only two countries from the European Union (EU) who still have to implement the visa requirement for their citizens. Similarly, Canada is also a very popular destination for Brazilians as many of their citizens visit Canada for tourism as well as business. Therefore, expanding an eTA eligibility for Brazilians would make the wait times and travel process much easier.
Conclusively, lifting the visa-requirement for these countries will assist their citizens with travelling to Canada and also reduce wait times and financial costs to obtain the proper documentation needed to enter Canada. After December 2017, international students and temporary workers will also be included in the TRV exemption. However, as for right now, international students and temporary workers who hold a passport from one of these countries are still required to apply for a TRV before entering Canada.
This visa-exemption will not apply to all citizens of Romania, Bulgaria and Brazil. If an individual has not obtained a visitor visa from Canada or the U.S. within the past 10 years, then unfortunately they are still required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) before entering Canada. In addition, if an individual already has a visitor visa to Canada, then they do not need to obtain an eTA before flying to Canada; they may also use the visitor visa to come to Canada until it’s expiration.
Another circumstance that may occur is if an individual holds dual citizenship of Romania, Bulgaria or Brazil and any other country who is also visa-exempt, then they must obtain an eTA before entering Canada. This particular circumstance has remained the same for eTA requirements and is not affected by the new regulation for Romania, Bulgaria and Brazil.
For any visa-exempt country, they are required to obtain an eTA, which is an Electronic Travel Authorization, before travelling to Canada. This regulation had been introduced in August of 2015 and has since became mandatory in November of 2016. The eTA is extremely beneficial as it allows Immigration Canada to promptly pre-screen individuals before they attempt to enter Canada; this essentially assists with Canada’s security and also aids individuals for easier travel.
In order to obtain an eTA, you must provide personal information through proper documentation, such as a valid passport from a country that is visa-exempt; a debit or credit card to make the eTA application payment of $7 CDN; and a valid e-mail address. eTA applications are mostly approved within minutes, but IRCC can request more documentation from you should they need to. Therefore, it is extremely important to obtain your eTA prior to your scheduled travel; you should not attempt to obtain your eTA on the same day of your travels.
The validity time of an eTA is five years maximum from the day you receive it. However, should your passport expire or your eTA becomes cancelled, then you will need to apply for a new eTA.
It is important to note that if you obtain a U.S. Green Card, then you do not need to apply for a visa; you just need to apply for an eTA to enter Canada. It is stated that all Green Card holders are visa-exempt, regardless of their citizenship.
If you wish to apply for an eTA and you are a Romanian, Bulgarian or Brazilian citizen, we can help you with this process. If you are from another country and are not sure whether the country is visa-exempt, we suggest you look on the government website to find out. Applying for an eTA can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with how Immigration applications work. Moreover, any Immigration application can become overwhelming if done alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit an application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients receive eTAs in order to travel to Canada. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!