Canada Not to Backtrack as EU Calls for Visa Waiver for Bulgaria, Romania

World » EU | April 9, 2016, Saturday // 13:33
Bulgaria: Canada Not to Backtrack as EU Calls for Visa Waiver for Bulgaria, Romania Bulgaria and Romania are currently the only two EU member states that need visas to travel to Canada. File photo, BGNES

Canada has told the EU it will not scrap visas for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens despite the EU Commission's suggestions it might reintroduce visa requirement for both Canada and the United States.

"Rather, Canada must be satisfied that countries meet its criteria for a visa exemption," local media outlets quote a government spokersperson as saying.

Bulgaria and Romania are the only two EU member states still subjected to a visa regime by the North American country. The US, for its part, has the same arrangements with regard to the two countries but also to Poland, Croatia, and Cyprus.

The Commission is to discuss a possible renewal of the visa regime on Tuesday, saying its actions are aimed at a "full and reciprocal visa waiver with our strategic partners," in the words of Commission spokersperson Mina Andreeva.

Even if the EU's executive arm decides to reintroduce visas for the States and Canada, the issue will have to be put to a vote in the European Parliament.

Visa-free travels between EU member states (with the exception of the ones mentioned) and Canada or the US are possible for a period of ninety days.

Washington for its part says the five EU countries in its list have not met the requirements for its Visa Waiver program.

Since April 2015, an eased visa regime has been in force for Bulgarians willing to travel to Canada, with those who have been issued a visa to the country in the past ten years (or who have a non-immigrant visa valid for the US) not needing to apply.

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Tags: canada, Bulgaria, Romania, Unted States, US, EU Commission, Mina Andreeva
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