The following information is the UUPCC's understanding of current visa guidelines for travel between the U.S. and Canada and the following countries: Romania, Hungary, and India. Those contemplating international travel should research visa requirements at the official websites of the countries they wish to visit as this information may not be current.
Many countries require passports to be valid for six months beyond the intended return date. If it expires before that, you may be denied boarding or denied entry upon arrival at your destination and have to return straight home. Travelers may also be denied entry into a country if they don’t have blank pages in their passports. To be safe, verify that your passport is valid for at least six months after your intended return date — if the expiration date is uncomfortably close to the cutoff, make sure you renew it way ahead of time.
U.S. and Canadian citizens visting Romania and Hungary
U.S. citizens holding a U.S. passport may stay in Romania for up to 90 days without a visa within a six-month period.
Canadian citizens holding a Canadian passport do not need a visa to visit Romania for the purposes of business or tourism.
U.S. and Canadian citizens visiting India
U.S. and Canadian citizens visiting India must apply for a tourist visa. India now has an online process for visa applications. Tourist e-Visas can be obtained for one month ($10-$25), one year ($40), or five years ($80). Applicants for a one month e-Visa cannot apply sooner than 30 days prior to their arrival date in India. The application window is longer for one and five year e-Visas. The process requires electronic copies of applicant's passport photo page and a passport-sized recent photo. Applicants must also have the name, address, and phone number of a contact in India. Visit the Indian government's Indian Visa Online for details. According to the e-Visa website, processing takes 72 hours. Also please note that applicants for an e-visa must have passports which don't expire within six months of arrival in India.
Hungarian and Romanian citizens visiting the U.S.
Hungary is on the list of 37 Visa Waiver Countries. The U.S. government recommends that Hungarian citizens entering the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) at least 72 hours prior to departure. Hungarian citizens whose ESTA application is denied will be required to apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa.
Romanian citizens traveling to the U.S. need a visa. The UUPCC maintains close contact and good relations with the U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Bucharest, Romania to assist member congregations in arranging visits to the U.S. for Romanian partners.
It is very important for the applicant to understand they must bring proof of ties to convince Embassy officials that they will honor the conditions of the visa and return to Romania.
The documents listed here explain the process, provide you with sample letters of invitation and tell the story of a recent experience of one minister. Spending some time reading the resources here will help applicants be prepared for the Consular appointment. While all of these materials are specific to Romania, in general the process is similar in any country where a visa is required (e.g., India).
- A Recent Visa Application Experience (PDF) by Rev. Gyero David, Minister, the Unitarian Congregation in Kolozs and Councilor, Headquarters of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania
- Visa Application Fundamentals (updated May 2011) for Romanians and their U.S. UU Partners (PDF)
- U.S. Embassy's Group Visa Application Process (PDF)
- Sample letter of support for minister (updated Feb 2016)
- Sample letter of support from UUPCC (updated Feb 2016)
- Sample letter of invitation (updated Feb 2016)
- U.S. Embassy in Romania Website (found through US Embassies Worldwide)
Hungarian and Romanian citizens visiting Canada
As of May 1, 2017, Romanian citizens are able to fly to or transit through Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a visitor visa if they have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or currently have a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa.
The government of Canada intends to lift the visa requirements for Romanian citizens starting December 1, 2017.
Hungarian citizens flying to Canada need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).