In August 2015, Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) intended for visa-exempt nationals who visit/travel to Canada by air. Exceptions from this new requirement are US residents and all other who have a valid visa. For other methods of travel (land and sea) the entry requirements have not changed.
Starting from August 1, 2015 all eligible travellers can apply online for an eTA and from March 15, 2016 this requirement will become mandatory and every traveller will need to apply and obtain an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada.
Who is eligible for eTA?
As we mentioned before, the eTA has been introduced to visa exempt nationals and by March 15, 2016 this requirement will become mandatory to most visa-exempt nationals. In order to help you as much as possible, we shortlisted some of the nationals that are visa-exempt and will need to obtain an eTA:
|1. Australia||13. Japan|
|2. Austria||14. Korea, Republic of|
|3. Belgium||15. Luxemburg|
|4. British nationals||16. Netherlands|
|5. Denmark||17. New Zealand|
|6. France||18. Norway|
|7. Gemany||19. Poland|
|8. Greece||20. Portugal|
|9. Hungary||21. Sweden|
|10. Iceland||22. Switzerland|
|11. Ireland||23. Spain|
|12. Italy||24. Ukraine|
You can learn more about the eTA eligibility of your nationality here.
How can I apply for eTA?
The eTA Canada is electronically linked to your passport and it is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. In order to apply for an eTa, you only need to answer a few questions. after which you can apply.
The application process is inexpensive (it costs only $7 CAD) and quite simple because the entire process is based online. And the best part is that most eligible nationals will receive confirmation of their eTA application within minutes of submitting their form.
Please note that you can only apply for an eTA for one person at a time. So, for example if you want to apply for a family of three people, you will need to complete and submit the form three times. Requirements for application are:
- Valid passport
- Valid email address
- Credit card (Mastercard or Visa)
Note: The application form is available on English and French only. In order to better understand the form and the description of each field on the form the Government of Canada has prepared for you the descriptions in several languages. To view the description and get more information on how to apply for an eTA and start the application process, please go here.
Most travellers that visit Canada need valid entry documents such as the aforementioned eTA or a visa. The type of documents that you need in order to visit Canada will depend on your citizenship and status.
In order to visit Canada, you will need to fulfill some basic requirements which are:
- Valid travel document, such as passport
- Be in good health
- Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- Have ties (job, home, financial assets or family) that will take you back to your home country
- Assure the immigration office that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- Have enough money for your stay (this amount can vary depending on the duration of your stay and whether you’ll be staying in a hotel or with friends and relatives)
Aside from these, you may need to present a:
- Report from a medical check
- Letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada
To learn more about the Entry Documents and necessary requirements to visit Canada and, visit the official CIC website
What is the processing time for an eTA?
Since the eTA requirement is relatively new, definite processing times are not yet available. However, most eTA application forms are approved within minutes of applying. In case that some requests require more time to process, the applicant can expect an email from CIC within 72 hours that will inform him/her on what are his/her next steps.
What to do after you apply?
After you applied for your eTA, you will be notified via email when your application is approved. Since your eTA Canada is electronically linked to your passport. you will need to present your passport to airline staff each time you board a flight to Canada.
Your eTA authorizes you to visit Canada up to six months or until the date prescribed by a border service officer on your arrival to Canada. If you need to extend your stay you will need to apply for an extended stay. Once you have an eTA, it will be valid for five years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Further questions? Please refer to the CIC website.