On April 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published regulations implementing its Electronic Travel Authorization ("eTA") program. The regulations initially required eTAs to be mandatory as of March 15, 2016. Fortunately, the new Liberal Government has decided to delay the enforcement of the eTA requirement until Fall 2016 (no exact end date has been announced) by implementing a "leniency period." During the leniency period, visa-exempt foreign nationals who do not have an eTA will still be permitted to enter Canada as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Nevertheless, visa-exempt foreign nationals are encouraged to obtain an eTA as soon as possible.
On December 7, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published a Notice of Intent in the Canada Gazette, indicating its intention to introduce an Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) Program in Canada. The eTA program will be similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Program, which currently applies to foreign nationals who enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
On November 14, 2013, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that, effective immediately, Czech nationals will 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. This reverses Canada’s previous decision to impose visa requirements on Czech nationals, which came into effect on July 14, 2009.