On November 14, 2013, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that effective immediately citizens of the Czech Republic will no longer be required to obtain a temporary resident visa before travelling to Canada.
This announcement comes four years after the Canadian government had imposed the requirement in July 2009 for all Czech nationals to obtain visas prior to entering Canada for any purpose. Since 2009, individuals have been required to undergo additional measures to obtain a temporary resident visa before travelling to Canada, including filling out an additional application form detailing their education, employment background, and family history – a form that is not typically required for citizens of other countries.
Now, as visa-exempt nationals, citizens of the Czech Republic may travel to Canada without first applying for a visa from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate. Upon arrival in Canada, immigration officials at the port of entry will determine eligibility to enter and determine how long the applicant may remain in Canada. Visitors who do not require a visa may stay for a maximum of six months in Canada, unless advised otherwise.
This comes as welcome news to citizens of the Czech Republic seeking to travel for tourism, as well as to companies seeking to hire or relocate Czech citizen employees to Canada in a short timeframe. As temporary resident visas no longer need to be obtained, these employees should be able to apply for their work permit directly at the border or airport upon arrival in Canada for stays of less than 6 months.
By law, all visitors to Canada require a temporary resident visa, except citizens of countries where an exemption has been granted. For more information on how this will impact you and visa requirements for other countries, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP!