26 April 2010

Canada may lift Canadian visa requirement for Czechs, says Melicharova

The Canadian visa requirements for Czech nationals may be lifted in a few months, the Czech deputy interior minister Lenka Ptackova Melicharova said.

Canada Immigration

The Canadian visa requirement for Czech nationals may be changed after a May summit.

The minister made the announcement after a meeting of EU interior ministers on Friday.

If Canada does not lift the Canadian visa requirement the Czech Republic could block the ratification of the trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and Canada, Ptackova Melicharova said but emphasised that this is her personal opinion.

"For the moment I can't imagine Czech parliament nodding to the ratification. I don't expect this, but this is my personal opinion," Ptackova Melicharova said.

Canada reintroduced a Canadian visa requirement for Czechs last July, after almost two-years of visa-free relations, citing the wave of asylum seekers from the Czech Republic.

The visa issue is expected to be discussed at the EU-Canada summit in Brussels, on 5 May.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said progress had been made on the issue but a solution is not within sight. The EC cannot force Canada to remove the visas, Malmstroem said.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Canadian immigration applications with the Canadian Embassy.   

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