Canada’s new entry rules for Brazilian, Bulgarian and Romanian citizens

Backgrounder

Starting at 9 am EDT on May 1, 2017, some citizens from Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania will be able to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), instead of a visitor visa, to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport.

However, Brazilians, Bulgarians and Romanians who are not eligible to apply for an eTA or who are travelling to Canada by car, bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship, will still need a visitor visa.

Who can apply for an eTA, starting May 1?

Travellers who:

  • have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years, or
  • currently hold a valid United States nonimmigrant visa,

and who will:

  • fly to or transit through a Canadian airport using a valid Brazilian, Bulgarian or Romanian passport, and
  • come for a short visit, business or tourist activity (normally for stays of up to six months)

Those who do not meet these criteria will still need a visitor visa to travel to Canada.

Travellers who already have a valid Canadian visa do not need an eTA to fly to Canada and can continue to travel with their visitor visa until it expires.

Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and will need a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada.

Not flying to Canada? You still need a visitor visa

Brazilians, Bulgarians and Romanians will still need a visitor visa if driving to Canada from the U.S. or arriving by bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship from Alaska (even if someone is not leaving the ship). See the chart below for specific scenarios, including studying or working temporarily in Canada.

Travelling between Canada and the U.S. by various means? A visitor visa is your best option

A visitor visa gives you the most flexibility. You can use it to travel to Canada by any means: plane, car, bus, train, or boat. See the chart below for specific scenarios, including studying or working temporarily in Canada.

An eTA only applies when you fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport.

What you need to board your flight to Canada?

When you fly to Canada, you must travel with the same passport that you used to apply for an eTA. If you get a new passport after getting an eTA, you will need to apply for a new eTA.

We also encourage you to travel with your old passport if it holds:

  • your expired Canadian visitor visa, or
  • your valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa.

What will happen when visa requirements are expected to change for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania on December 1, 2017?

The Government of Canada intends to lift the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on December 1, 2017. At that point, these citizens would no longer need a visa to travel to Canada. However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they would need an eTA to board a flight to Canada. Further information will be provided on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website in November 2017.

How the new entry requirements will work as of May 1



How you are travelling to Canada What travel document you will need
Flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport and you are eligible to apply for an eTA. You can apply for either an eTA or visa.
Flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport but you are not eligible for an eTA. You will need a visa.
Flying to Canada with your family; you are eligible to apply for an eTA but family members are not. You can apply for an eTA or visa. Your family members will need a visa.
Driving to Canada from the U.S., or arriving by bus, train or boat, including a cruise ship from Alaska (even if you don’t plan to leave the ship). You will need a visa.
Travelling between Canada and the U.S. via any combination of plane, train, car, bus or boat. Your best option is to apply for a visa – it provides the most flexibility.
Flying to Canada and you now have a valid Canadian visa. You can travel with that visa until it expires.
Flying to Canada to work or study for more than 6 months. You will need to apply for a work or study permit. When your permit is approved, you will be automatically issued a visa, which will allow you to board your flight to Canada.

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