Postmedia News noted Canada is likely to lift visas for Czech travelers to the country in the coming weeks.
Chris Alexander, minister of citizenship and immigration, issued a statement clarifying the government's stance on this issue for quite sometime now. He added the country has been successful in making "important changes" after imposing the visa for the first time 4 years back.
He stressed the action must be viewed as a significant expression of Canada's commitment to support legitimacy in travel and trade. He cited Canada values its strong relation with European countries. He noted the decision to lift visas for Czech travellers is an important gesture.
Canada lifted visas for the Czech Republic in 2007. However, it was imposed once again in 2009 after an alarming number of Czech people sought asylum in Canada. Most of them came from ethnic Roma as they claimed there was discrimination at home.
Social Development, Employment and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney was the citizenship and immigration minister when Canada imposed visas on Czechs in 2009.
Kenney said Thursday there were claims of unfounded refugees flooding from the Czech Republic during that time. The refugee system in the country has improved while the number of false claims was reduced.
The European Parliament voted for the reciprocity clause in September. The clause is going to impose visas on nations which overburden member-countries with their people.
Canada currently requires visas for European countries like Bulgaria and Romania, along with Czech Republic. However, it is yet to be confirmed whether Canada is considering lifting visas for Romania and Bulgaria.
Canada has plans to make travel visa-free for all European citizens. The country has recently lifted visas on Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary.
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