The Government of Canada has announced its intention to expand
eligibility for the new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) plan
to low risk travelers from Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico and
The eTA is the product of a joint U.S.-Canada border action plan
to cooperate on pre-screening of travelers in order to identify
security threats. As of March 15, 2016 all foreign nationals from
visa exempt countries, except U.S. citizens, will be required
to obtain an eTA prior to travelling to Canada by air as part of a
new entry authorization system. While U.S. citizens are exempt from
eTA requirements, U.S. green card holders are not.
Applications for eTA opened online on August 1, 2015. The
eTA will be mandatory as of March 15, 2016.
Expansion of Program for Low-Risk Travelers
Soon after the eTA is fully implemented, travelers form Brazil,
Bulgaria, Mexico and Romania who have held a Canadian visa in the
last 10 years or who hold a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa will no
longer be required to apply for a new Canadian visa when arriving
by air. These nationals will instead be able to apply for an
eTA. This will significantly improve access to Canada for
low-risk travelers from non-visa exempt countries.
It is widely expected that this program may be expanded to
include other foreign nationals who are currently required to apply
for a visa in order to enter Canada.
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