Canada lifts visa requirement for the Czech Republic

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that, effective immediately, Czech nationals no longer require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada. Czech nationals can now stay in Canada for up to six months visa-free, which is consistent with all other visa exempt nationals.

"Canada values strong ties with our European friends and after working with Czech officials for some time we are pleased to be able to extend visa-free travel for Czech citizens," said Alexander. "This move is a testament to the strong relationship between Canada and the Czech Republic and reinforces our government's commitment to facilitate legitimate trade and travel."

A recent visa policy review of the Czech Republic has revealed that it now meets the criteria for a visa exemption. Canada's visa policy is based on a country-by-country assessment, which looks at several criteria. These include a country's immigration issues, such as violation rates and asylum claims, the integrity of a country's travel documents, safety and security issues, border management, human rights, and bilateral relations.

Our confidence in lifting the visa requirement is further enhanced by Canada's improvements to its asylum system, which will serve as an effective deterrence against unfounded asylum claims. In particular, claimants from the Czech Republic will be processed more quickly as it is a designated country of origin, and those whose claims are rejected will be removed from Canada within a few months.

"This is great news for both the Czech Republic and Canada," said Canadian Ambassador Otto Jelinek. "By making it easier for Czechs to visit Canada, we are strengthening the already close cultural and economic ties that exist between our two countries."

Canada is committed to the free and secure movement of people between European Union member states, and we will continue to work in cooperation with all member states.

Under Canada's immigration law, all visitors to Canada require a visa, except citizens of countries for which an exemption has been granted under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Visa requirements for travellers to Canada are the country's first line of defence in maintaining the health, safety and security of Canadians.

For a complete list of countries and territories whose citizens require a visa.

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