From 10th November 2016, Canada has introduced a mandatory online eTA Travel Authorization for Visa Exempt Foreign Nationals travelling (or transiting) to Canada by air. You may not be able to board your flight to Canada if you are required to have an eTA but haven’t applied and been approved.
What is an ETA?
An eTA is an online ‘pre- screening’ for people who are visiting or travelling to, or through Canada, by air, whose Citizenship is from a Visa Exempt country. It is not a Document, Counterfoil or Visa. An eTA costs $7 per person directly from the Canadian Immigration Website.
You do not need to go through a private company to apply for an eTA. Most companies will be unauthorized, unqualified and will not represent your interests.
eTA Help line – 001 800 622 6232
Who needs to get an eTA?
If you hold a UK passport or a passport from a Visa Exempt country such as Germany, France, Australia etc and would not require a Visa to enter Canada, you will be required to apply for an eTA. U.S. Citizens do not require an eTA. All family members travelling, require an eTA.
Do I need an ETA if I have a work or Study Permit?
Yes, although the eTA is automatically generated upon issuance of a Work or Study Permit. REMEMBER that if you change your passport or work/ Study Permit, you will have to apply for a new eTA.
Do I need an eTA if I am a Permanent Resident or have confirmation of Permanent Residency (CoPR)?
No. If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, you cannot apply for an eTA but will need your valid passport AND either your PR card or Canadian PR Travel Document. If you have been issued your CoPR you will not be required to apply for an eTA.
I’m a Canadian Dual Citizen (or Canadian Citizen). Do I need an eTA?
How long does an eTA take to get?
Usually you will get an instantaneous confirmation and acceptance (Number beginning with J); if, however you have answered any of the Medical/ Criminal or Visa questions with a YES, your eTA may take 72 hours or longer – sometimes much longer if you are requested to supply medical records (or a Medical) or other documentation.
How Long is an eTA valid for?
5 Years, unless:
- Your Passport expires
- You become a Permanent Resident
- A Visa Officer cancels an existing eTA
- A new eTA is issued
Where do I apply?
An application is made through the IRCC website.
What information is required?
An eTA application cannot be saved online, so needs to be completed in one sitting.
Information required includes some basic form filling and the following information:
- Passport No/ Gender/ Nationality
- Full name/ Address
- Current Employer
- Date of Birth/ Place of Birth
You will be required to answer short questions on your Health/ Criminal Record/ Visa History.
You will need your Passport # and Credit Card to apply for an eTA. Each member travelling has to apply separately for an eTA (You cannot apply as a ‘family’ or as a couple).
Do I get an eTA document or Visa?
No, an eTA is NOT a Visa or a Document, it is a flag to the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) that you are authorized to travel to Canada with the correct travel documents. You will normally receive an email confirmation of your eTA, however ultimate confirmation by the CBSA will normally be just before you are issued your boarding pass at an airport. It is a good idea to print out your approval email and bring this with you when travelling to Canada. It is also a good idea to allow extra time at the airport, in case your eTA returns a ‘no Board’ response to your carrier, at the time of your flight, thus allowing you time to apply online for another eTA.