As of September 29, 2016, new entry
requirements will be in effect for many travellers to Canada.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals, who fly to or transit through
Canada, will be required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization
Notably, there are three main exceptions to this
U.S. citizens do not require an eTA;
travellers with a valid Canadian visa do not require eTA;
those entering via a travel method other than air (i.e. land
and sea) do not require an eTA.
Note: having a U.S. ESTA does is not an exemption from obtaining
a Canadian eTA.
eTA applications are made online and cost only $7 CAD. Most eTA
applications are approved within minutes of applying. However,
there may be delays if there is a ground of potential
inadmissibility or investigation. These grounds can include, but
are not limited to, any (even minor) prior criminality, a medical
condition, and past immigration refusals in Canada or elsewhere in
In many instances, these issues have remained latent for
visa-exempt foreign nationals who have previously travelled to
Canada without incident. It may come as an understandable source of
surprise and confusion to face denial of entry for issues that have
never before been of concern.
In such circumstances, the individual may be asked for more
information and/or directed to their nearest visa office. When
responding to such inquiries, it is best to seek the advice of
qualified legal counsel prior to addressing the concerns.
Failure to answer a question truthfully during the eTA process
may lead to a finding of "misrepresentation", which can
in turn result in a 5 year bar from Canada. Even seemingly benign
inaccuracies can have significant consequences.
Once ultimately approved, an eTA is valid for five years or
until the individual's passport expires, whichever comes first.
If a new passport is obtained, a new eTA application is also
required. This is because an eTA is electronically linked to an
individual's passport. An eTA number will be issued but no
physical document will be provided. Airlines will be able to verify
the validity of an eTA by scanning an individual's passport
prior to allowing boarding of an aircraft destined for Canada.
The eTA process will also have a significant effect on Canadian
dual-citizens and permanent residents:
1. Dual Citizens
Dual-citizens of Canada and a visa-exempt country can no longer
use their non-Canadian (e.g. U.K) passport to fly to Canada. Such
citizens are also not permitted to apply for an eTA online. This is
because the eTA process was established to screen foreigners for
admissibility to enter Canada on a temporary basis. Citizens have a
right to enter Canada without such screening.
As such, at the end of the transition period, dual-citizens will
need to show proof of Canadian citizenship before being allowed to
board a flight home to Canada. Acceptable documents are:
a valid Canadian passport;
a Canadian temporary passport; or
Canadian emergency travel document.
2. Permanent Residents
Likewise, the same applies to Permanent Residents (PRs). A valid
Canadian PR card will be required prior to entering Canada via air.
Canadian PRs will no longer be able to travel to Canada with only a
visa-exempt passport. As with citizens, Permanent Residents cannot
apply for an eTA.
Those who do not have PR cards, or whose PR cards are expired,
must wait the application period for a new PR card. Currently, this
can take several months. This is especially so if there are
complications with respect to the calculation of the residency
obligations [note that all PRs are expected to prove residence in
Canada for a total of 730 days in the 5 year period preceding the
date of their application for a new PR card or other
In urgent situations, PRs can potentially apply for a permanent
resident travel document (PRTD) to the visa application centre
(VAC), which serves the country and area they are visiting from
outside Canada. A PRTD is valid for only one (1) re-entry into
Canada and is issued in exceptional cases.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
A unique feature of the new Canada express entry immigration system is that candidates can improve their comprehensive ranking score while in the express entry pool, without submitting a new application. We review important strategies.
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