Operational Bulletin 221 - July 19, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Passport requirements for citizens of Lithuania and Poland

Issue

The acceptability of non e-passports issued by the Governments of Lithuania and Poland.

Background

On January 1, 2009, Canada introduced a regulatory amendment for nationals of Lithuania and Poland as a requirement to benefit from a visa exemption for individuals travelling to Canada on a machine readable passport containing a contactless integrated circuit chip, often referred to as an e-passport. E-passports are identified by the following symbol:

Electronic Passport

This measure effectively reintroduced a visa requirement on nationals of Poland and Lithuania that held the older series of passports.

The Government of Canada also indicated that it intended to restrict all travel to Canada for nationals of Lithuania and Poland to holders of e-passports only, effective January 1, 2011.

The Government of Canada has reviewed the travel document requirements for Lithuania and Poland and is satisfied that the current passport requirements have encouraged general compliance with Canadian immigration requirements. As such, Canada will continue to accept non e-passports from Lithuania and Poland. Nationals that hold e-passports will continue to enjoy visa-free access to Canada. Holders of previous series of passports must continue to apply for a temporary resident visa for travel to Canada.

The following instructions are to provide clarification on dealing with applications made by nationals of Lithuania and Poland.

Instructions

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has informed the governments of the respective countries of Canada’s decision to continue to accept non e-passports from Lithuania and Poland.

Missions Overseas

All missions who have informed Lithuanian and Polish citizens of the requirement for an e-passport to travel to Canada as of January 1, 2011 should revise this information.

Temporary Resident Applications

Citizens of both Lithuania and Poland do not require a temporary resident visa if they hold an e-passport. Holders of older series of passports will continue to require a visa to travel to Canada. The normal visa process, including all associated fees, should be followed for all Lithuanian and Polish citizens who wish to travel to Canada on a non e-passport.

Permanent Resident Applications

Citizens of Lithuania or Poland may apply for permanent residence with both the e-passport and the non e-passport. Applications received with either series of passport should be processed as per current procedures.

Citizenship Applications

Citizens of Lithuania or Poland may apply for Canadian citizenship with both the e-passport and the non e-passport. Applications received with either series of passport should be processed as per current procedures.

CIC Inland Offices/Case Processing Centres/Call Centre

Citizens of Poland or Lithuania that are requesting an extension to their original status in Canada can continue to do so.

However, citizens of Lithuania or Poland who do not hold an e-passport should be advised that unless they obtain an e-passport from their home country, they may be required to obtain a temporary resident visa should they leave Canada and subsequently seek re-entry. Applicants should be reminded that holding a valid visitor record, work permit or study permit does not overcome the requirement to hold a temporary resident visa as required under the Regulations. Applicants who seek to re-enter Canada from a contiguous territory may be exempt from the temporary resident visa requirement as per R190(3)(f).

Further Information

For images and a description of the security features of Lithuanian and Polish e-passports, please refer to the following CBSA bulletins:

Lithuania:

Poland:

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