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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » March 5, 2008
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Canada Lifts Visa Requirements for Poles
March 5, 2008   
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Poles have the right to visit Canada without visas for up to three months, after visa requirements were lifted March 1. The decision was announced at a press conference by Canadian Immigration Minister Diane Finley. At the same time, visa requirements were lifted for the citizens of Hungary, Slovakia and Lithuania. In 2006, Canada lifted visa requirements for Estonia and in 2007 for the Czech Republic and Latvia. Bulgaria and Romania are the only EU member states whose citizens still need visas to travel to Canada.

From January 2009, Poles traveling to Canada without visas will need to hold biometric passports, which are better protected against forgery and make it easier to identify unwelcome arrivals. Any Pole holding an old passport will need a visa. In Poland, all passports issued after August 2006 meet the biometric requirements.
Poland lifted visa requirements for Canadian citizens May 1, 2004, when it entered the European Union, and expected reciprocity. Negotiations have continued since that time, with Poland trying to convince Canada that the percentage of Poles coming to seek jobs had decreased to negligible figures. In 2006, the number of Poles who visited Canada on temporary visas was 33,000.
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