Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has
introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) initiative to
pre-screen visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or
transiting through Canada by air. The eTA was introduced in March
2016. To facilitate travellers' and air carriers'
adjustment to this new requirement, IRCC granted a leniency period,
during which time obtaining an eTA was not mandatory. However,
effective September 30, 2016, all visa-exempt nationals, with
limited exceptions, must have an eTA in order to travel to Canada
What is an eTA?
The eTA initiative is similar to the ESTA program in the United
States. An eTA must be obtained prior to travelling to Canada by
air, and must be presented prior to boarding a flight. It is
automatically linked to the foreign national's passport. The
application process is quick and simple.
The application fee is C$7 and the eTA will be granted by email
within minutes of submitting the application, unless additional
documents are required, in which case processing may take a few
days or a few weeks. An eTA is valid for up to five years or until
the expiry of the passport used at the time of the application.
Who needs an eTA?
Examples of visa-exempt foreign nationals who require an eTA
include citizens of: the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, as well as most of Western Europe,
Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. To find
out if you need an eTA, please visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
Who is exempt from an eTA?
US citizens, Canadian permanent residents and foreign nationals
who require a visa to enter Canada (such as citizens of India,
China, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa and Russia) are exempt
from the requirement to obtain an eTA.
Furthermore, eTAs are automatically included on all work permits
and study permits issued at a Canadian port of entry on or after
August 1, 2015. Please note that eTAs are not automatically
included on work permit extensions and study permit extensions
issued at the case processing centre in Vegreville, Alberta. eTAs
are also not automatically included on any visitor record.
If you are uncertain as to whether you have an eTA, we recommend
that you go to the online link and apply for a new eTA.
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