Citizens of Romania now need a valid electronic passport for visa-free travel to Canada

Ottawa, June 5, 2018 — To ensure the integrity of Canada’s immigration and refugee system, the Government of Canada introduced today new entry requirements for Romanian citizens.

Romanians with non-electronic passports will need a valid visa to travel to Canada. Only Romanian citizens who hold a valid electronic passport remain visa free, and similar to other visa-exempt travellers, can continue flying or transiting through a Canadian airport with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Since the visa requirement was lifted on 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. Examples of non-bona fide travel include those who apply to visit Canada, but whose real purpose is to work or stay illegally in the country, or those who use Canada’s asylum system to stay in Canada. This situation has put pressure on Canada’s immigration and refugee system.

To help guard against exploitation of non-electronic passports, Romanians who hold this type of passport, including a temporary passport, 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  Any existing eTAs issued to Romanians who applied with a non-electronic passport on or after December 1, 2017 are no longer valid and these travellers will not be able to use their eTA for air travel to Canada.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.

The Government of Canada will continue to closely monitor migration trends and assess the impact of the new requirements. We will also continue working with Romania and European partners to support the sustainability of the visa lift.

Romanians can consult this backgrounder to see how the new entry requirements may affect them. This includes information for those travelling to Canada on or shortly after June 5.

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