If you want to travel to Canada or transit through the country, you need to hold a valid visa or an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Let’s discuss the eTA since this is what most people do not know much about.
Understanding The Electronic Travel Authorization
The Canada eTA is a special entry requirement for those foreign nationals that are visa exempt and that travel towards Canada via air. Canada eTAs are electronically linked to the passport. They are valid for 5 years or until passports expire. When new passports are issued, new eTAs are necessary. If the eTA is valid you can travel to the country as often as desired but only for shorter stays of up to 6 months.
Remember that the eTA does not actually guarantee you will be allowed to enter the country. Border services officers do ask for the passport and various other documents upon arrival. For example, you might be asked to provide your valid US Green Card. Officers have to be convinced that travellers are eligible for Canada entry.
When Do You Need A Canada eTA?
4 traveller types need eTAs to enter the country:
- Those that need eTA – foreign nationals that are visa-exempt. The documentation is not needed when entering the country by boat, train, bus or car. Also, US lawful permanent residents need the eTA and have to present valid Green Cards and passports.
- Travellers that may be eligible for eTA application – citizens from visa-required countries may apply for eTA but a visitor visa will be necessary when arriving by boat, train, bus or car.
- Travellers that need extra identification and cannot apply for eTA – this includes Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Travellers exempt from eTA requirement – as an example, the US citizens need to carry a proper identification like a valid passport.
Applying For Canada eTA
Application needs to be done through the official Canada Government website. The process is simple and just takes minutes. Most of the applicants will be approved in a few minutes. However, there are situations when the request will be further investigated so the response will come only after a number of days. Make sure that the eTA is booked before the Canada flight, as ahead of time as possible. It does last for 5 years so it is a good idea to get it ahead of time. A fee of CAD $7 is needed.
Don’t Do This Mistake
Most people that have problems with the eTA make a really simple mistake you want to avoid: they enter the wrong number for their passport. If you believe you might have problems or you are not confident that you can properly fill the application form, use the services of a professional that will help you out. You end up paying a little more but are guaranteed that all the data included is proper.
Once the eTA is received, it is connected with the passport. This means that when you are checking-in to the Canada flight you have to just present the passport. Airline staff scans the document and confirms the presence of a valid eTA.
This article was updated on 9-22-2018