***Not many people know about this change***
I wanted to post this as i had family coming from Poland and found out at the last minute just after Christmas. I read an article just after Christmas that an entire flight from Warsaw was held in Toronto and half the people on the plane were sent back to Poland because they did not have the new passport...
Visa waiver for citizens of Poland and Lithuania
NOTE: Holders of all Polish and Lithuanian machine readable passports remain exempt from the visa requirement until 31 December 2008.
As of 1 January 2009 only holders of biometric passports (e-passports) shall be exempt from the visa requirement (i.e. Polish and Lithuanian passports issued as of 28 August 2006, except temporary passports, which are not biometric). After 31 December 2008, temporary resident visas will be required from holders of non-biometric Polish and Lithuanian passports.
A visa exemption for travellers with Polish and Lithuanian machine readable passports (and biometric passports as of January 1, 2009) does not guarantee these travellers automatic entry to Canada. All visitors to Canada must still meet the entry requirements Certain categories of people, including those who have been previously deported from Canada or who have criminal records, may not be admissible to Canada.
In certain situations, a Canadian official at the Canadian port of entry can require you to make a cash deposit as a guarantee that you will leave Canada upon the end of your approved period of stay. The amount of the deposit is fixed by an officer on the basis of your financial resources and other conditions set out in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions chapter for more information.
Don't panic yet.
I think it depends. I am an immigration consultant. Many of my Polish clients entered Canada this year, using their old passports. They arrived at the Vancouver International Airport.
Maybe Toronto is different. Who knows why they do not apply this law everywhere when they are supposed to.