Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Immigration,Canada
  • 6 minutes
  • Apr 15, 2024

Are you planning a trip to Canada? If so, it’s important to understand the requirements for entering the country. One of these requirements is the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the eTA, from who needs it to how to apply for it. So let’s get started!

What is the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

The eTA is a pre-approval system introduced by the Canadian government for visa-exempt foreign nationals entering Canada by air. Prior to the implementation of the eTA system, visa-exempt individuals were not thoroughly screened for admissibility until they arrived at a Canadian Port of Entry. The eTA aims to enhance the security and efficiency of the screening process.

Who Needs an eTA?

Most visitors from visa-exempt countries who are entering Canada by air are required to obtain an eTA. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Citizens of the United States, for example, do not need an eTA or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. Green Card holders in the United States, on the other hand, need an eTA regardless of their nationality.

To find out if you need an eTA, you can refer to the country checklist provided by the Canadian government. This checklist outlines the document or authorization required for citizens of each country. If your country is not on the list, it means you are exempt from the eTA requirement.

How to Apply for an eTA?

The application process for an eTA is simple and can be completed online. To apply for an eTA, you will need the following:

  • A valid passport from a visa-exempt country
  • A credit card to pay the $7.00 CAD fee
  • A valid email address
  • Access to the internet and a few minutes of your time

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can proceed with the online application form. The form will require you to provide personal information such as your name, date and place of birth, gender, address, nationality, and passport/travel document information. You will also be asked to answer a few basic questions regarding criminality or medical issues.

After submitting the application, the eTA will be processed, and if approved, it will be valid for a period of five years from the day of issuance or until the earliest of the following days:

  • The day your passport or travel document expires
  • The day the eTA is cancelled
  • The day a new eTA is issued to you

How to Apply for an eTA

The application process for an eTA is simple and can be completed online. To apply for an eTA, you will need the following:

  • A valid passport from a visa-exempt country
  • A credit card to pay the $7.00 CAD fee
  • A valid email address
  • Access to the internet and a few minutes of your time

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can proceed with the online application form. The form will require you to provide personal information such as your name, date and place of birth, gender, address, nationality, and passport/travel document information. You will also be asked to answer a few basic questions regarding criminality or medical issues.

After submitting the application, the eTA will be processed, and if approved, it will be valid for a period of five years from the day of issuance or until the earliest of the following days:

  • The day your passport or travel document expires
  • The day the eTA is cancelled
  • The day a new eTA is issued to you

Exemptions from the eTA Requirement

While most visitors from visa-exempt countries need to obtain an eTA, there are several exemptions to this requirement. Some of the exemptions include:

  • Nationals of the United States
  • Her Majesty the Queen of Canada and any member of the Royal Family
  • Citizens of France who are residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon and enter Canada directly from there
  • Visitors, students, and workers who solely visit the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon and return to Canada within the authorized period of stay
  • Foreign nationals on a flight stopping in Canada for the purpose of refueling and bound for the United States, as long as they possess the proper documents to enter the US
  • Foreign nationals on a flight that makes an unscheduled stop in Canada due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances
  • Foreign nationals transiting through Canada under the Transit Without Visa or China Transit Program
  • Diplomats, consular officers, representatives, or officials of foreign countries, the United Nations, or any international organization of which Canada is a member, holding a diplomatic, consular, or official acceptance issued by the Chief of Protocol for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Crew members of means of transportation used for air travel or those transiting through Canada after working as a crew member
  • Members of the armed forces of a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act
  • Civil aviation inspectors of a national aeronautical authority conducting inspections of flight operation procedures or cabin safety of a commercial air carrier operating international flights
  • Accredited representatives or advisers participating in an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act

Conditional Eligibility for eTA

Citizens of certain countries may be eligible for an eTA if they meet specific conditions. These conditions include:

  • Holding a Canadian visitor visa or a valid US nonimmigrant visa
  • Coming to Canada for a short visit, business, or tourist activity
  • Arriving in Canada by air or transiting through a Canadian airport using a valid passport from one of the eligible visa-required countries

Countries with conditional eligibility for an eTA include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

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