Canada will allow Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania's citizens to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport, a ministry statement has said.

Starting May 1, those citizens of these countries who have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid US non-immigrant visa would be eligible to apply for the eTA, the Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said on Friday.

They would not need a visitor visa, to travel to Canada by air, Xinhua news agency reported. 

However, those who do not meet these criteria or were travelling to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat would still need a visitor visa.

"This initiative will make it easier for eligible travellers to come to Canada and to transit through a Canadian airport. It will also encourage them to make repeat visits." 

"The end result will be more travel and tourism and more economic benefits for Canadians," said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen.

The Ministry also said Canada was to lift the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on December 1, 2017. 

At that point, the citizens from these two countries' would no longer need a visa to travel to Canada. However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they would need an eTA to board their flight to Canada.

Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and would need a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada. 

Permanent residents of Canada were also not eligible to apply for an eTA, and, as usual, must show their permanent resident card or a permanent resident travel document when travelling to Canada.