Canada reintroduced visas for Czechs as of July 14, Czech Human Right and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab said on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
Canada reimposed the visas on Czechs Tuesday following the influx of Czech asylum seekers. Most of the applicants were Romanies who argued they were discriminated against in the Czech Republic.
According to the Canadian Immigration Ministry, the Czech Republic had the second highest number of refugees who came to Canada in the first half of this year, after Mexico.
In 2006, five Czech Romanies sought asylum in Canada. However, their total number had reached 3,000 by now since the visa regime was abolished in 2007. In the first half of this year, there were 1,720 refugees, double the number for the whole last year.
The Czech government reacted to the visa introduction by imposing visas on Canadian diplomats and service passport holders, and has recalled its ambassador to Canada.
The Czech government Tuesday asked Brussels to invoke the procedure that might lead to the introduction of visas for Canadians within the whole European Union (EU).
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on the same day that the Commission will thoroughly check the matter and will release a report on visa reciprocity probably in September.
The reimpositon of visa requirements by Canada hit hard Czech tourism. Some 30,000 Czech tourists traveled to Canada annually. The number would fall by roughly one-third over the visas, a spokesman for the association of travel agencies was quoted as saying.