Fundatia AlegRO

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turism&travel : Canada considers withdrawing visa-free privilege from Hungarian tourists

Monday 11 January 2010

The plan to require visas from Hungarian tourists follows a similar move made by Ottawa a few months ago to impose visa requirements on tourists from Mexico and the Czech Republic. The stringent measure was made to curb abuse of Canada's asylum system. Ottawa officials observed a hike in the number of Mexican and Czech tourists filing for asylum status upon arrival in Canada in a bid to jump the line for immigrant status.

Like the case of Mexicans and Czechs, Canadian federal officials observed a rise in number of Hungarians seeking refuge status after the European Union member was granted visa-free privileges for tourists.

Ottawa extended the visa-free privilege to Hungary on March 2008, along with the grant of the same concession to citizens of Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania. The extension of the privilege was made as part of Canada's commitment to give visa-exempt status to all members of the EU bloc, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley said then.

Budapest reciprocated the move then by allowing Canadians to visit Hungary for 90 days without a visa. With Ottawa's new move, observers said Hungary and the EU may retaliate for the withdrawal of the visa-free privilege to its citizens.

Autor: eTurboNews