Ottawa lifts visa rules for Czech and Latvian visitors

EU

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley has announced that visitors to Canada from the Czech Republic and Latvia no longer require visas.

The decision to lift the visa requirements, said Finley, was taken as part of Canada’s ongoing review of travel requirements for new European Union members. Finley says her government is committed to the “free and secure movement of people between the EU and Canada,” and to the objective of visa-exempt status for all EU member states. The visas, designed to ensure that visitors to Canada return to their countries of origin, still apply to six other eastern European countries that were once part of the former Soviet Union but have since joined the EU.

This includes travelers from Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic. Last year, Ottawa issued about 8,400 visitors visas to Czech and Latvian travelers; the vast majority — 7,300 — were visitors from the Czech Republic. (theglobeandmail.com)

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