Bulgaria Asks for Canadian Visa Waiver
Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, asked for the lifting of the visa regime for Bulgarians traveling to Canada.
Traikov raised the issue Wednesday during an official meeting with the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Peter Van Loan, in Sofia.
The Bulgarian Minister pointed out that Bulgaria is among the only three EU Member States, whose citizens need visas to enter Canada.
Canada's government dropped the visa requirement for citizens of Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary in March 2008 and vowed to continue to work in cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania, with the goal of having visa-free travel for all EU citizens.
Canadian officials said they will conduct technical visits to these countries as part of CIC's ongoing review to determine when visa requirements can be removed.
Tensions escalated after the country imposed visa requirements on travelers from Mexico and the Czech Republic in July last year after a big jump in refugee claims from these two countries.
Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary all joined the EU in May 2004, Bulgaria and Romania entered the European block at the beginning of 2007.
Canadians can travel anywhere in the 27-nation EU without a visa, and the EU would like all its 493 million people to enjoy the same privilege in Canada.
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