Changes to visa requirements for Romanians and Bulgarians and announcement of new measures to attract foreign talent - Canada
14 November 2016
Canada will no longer require citizens of Romania and Bulgaria to hold a valid Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV) to lawfully enter Canada effective December 1, 2017. Further, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria who have held a Canadian TRV within the past 10 years or who currently hold a valid non-immigrant visa for the United States of America, will not be required to hold a valid Canadian TRV to lawfully enter Canada effective May 1, 2017. Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will however be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada upon removal of the visa requirement.
In addition, Bill Morneau, Finance Minister, has announced that new measures will be implemented in 2017 to attract more foreign investment and foreign talent to Canada to stimulate growth. A Global Skills Strategy will be adopted that will expedite certain work permit and visa applications and the aim will be to process these applications within two weeks. The Global Skills Strategy will also introduce a new work permit exemption for foreign nationals working in Canada for 30 days or less within a year.
What this means for you as an employer?
Upon removal of the visa requirement, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will be able to travel to Canada with a valid eTA and will be eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit at a Canadian port-of-entry (e.g. international airport), if required. Therefore, if you have any current or prospective employees who are citizens of Romania or Bulgaria and who are required to travel to Canada, they should be able to travel to Canada more expeditiously upon removal of the visa requirement.
The Global Skills Strategy will target high-growth Canadian companies that require foreign talent to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and growth as well as global companies that are making large investments in Canada, relocating to Canada, and establishing or expanding production in Canada. The Global Skills Strategy should assist Canadian companies, particularly startup companies, to attract highly skilled workers and it should make Canada a more desirable place to do business.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your usual PwC contact for further details.