Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

October 31, 2007 11:40 ET

Canada Lifts Visa Requirements for the Czech Republic and Republic of Latvia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2007) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced today that citizens of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Latvia no longer require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.

"After careful analysis, Canada has determined the visa requirement for the Czech Republic and the Republic of Latvia will be removed," said Minister Finley. "Canada enjoys strong ties with both of these countries, and lifting the visa requirement will help us build on those relationships to the benefit of Canadians and the citizens of the Republic of Latvia and the Czech Republic."

Visa-free status for both Latvia and the Czech Republic will be effective immediately.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has an ongoing review of the visa requirements for new member states of the European Union (EU). These reviews are done on a country-by-country basis. While not all new member states require a visa to travel to Canada, some do.

"We look at the risks and benefits of visa-free travel to Canada, to see if a country warrants having the visa requirement removed," said Minister Finley. "We are committed to the free and secure movement of people between the EU and Canada. We are also committed to the objective of visa-exempt status for all EU member states."

In 2006, there were approximately 7,300 temporary resident visas issued for citizens of the Czech Republic, and close to 1,100 temporary resident visas issued for the Republic of Latvia.

CIC will continue to work in cooperation with the remaining new EU member states to analyse the impact of lifting visa requirements, with the goal of having visa-free travel for all EU citizens as soon as possible. Canadian officials will conduct technical visits to these countries as part of CIC's ongoing review to determine when visa requirements can be removed.

By law, all visitors to Canada require a temporary resident visa, except citizens of countries where an exemption has been granted. Visa requirements for travellers to Canada are the country's first line of defence in maintaining the safety and health of Canadians.

For a complete list of countries whose citizens require a visa, please visit CIC's Web site at

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Karen Shadd-Evelyn
    Spokesperson, Media Relations
    Communications Branch