As of November 10, 2016, dual citizens who hold Canadian
citizenship, as well as some other foreign citizenship, will need
to present their Canadian Passport at the time of entry into
Canada, if they are travelling by air. However, this change was not
well publicized and many dual citizens are now scrambling to obtain
Canadian Passports before the deadline.
This new Canadian Passport requirement arises from the
Electronic Travel Authorization ("eTA") program,
which was established in 2015. Although the eTA program was
supposed to become effective on August 1, 2015, the Canadian
previously announced a "leniency period," which
delayed its implementation. This leniency period was due to expire
on October 1, 2016, but has now been extended until November 9,
The eTA program is an air-travel screening process for citizens
countries, who may travel to Canada without first obtaining a
Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. The program is similar in many
ways to the Electronic
System for Travel Authorization ("ESTA") program,
which is used by the United States Government. Foreign nationals
seeking to enter the United States under that country's Visa
Waiver Program must first obtain authorization under ESTA.
However, unlike ESTA, the eTA requirement only applies to foreign
nationals travelling to Canada by air.
The reason why dual citizens will no longer be able to travel to
Canada by air after November 9, 2016, using their non-Canadian
Passport, is that an eTA will be required in such cases. However,
the eTA system was set up to screen foreigners entering Canada on a
temporary basis; it cannot be used by Canadian citizens. Since
Canadian citizens cannot obtain an eTA, they cannot rely on the
visa-exemption normally available to citizens of their other
country of nationality.
Although this new requirement could inconvenience many dual
citizens, there are some significant exceptions:
Dual U.S.-Canadian citizens will be
exempt from Canadian Passport requirement. This is because U.S.
citizens are also exempt from the eTA requirement. Since a dual
U.S.-Canadian citizen may enter Canada using his or her United
States Passport without the need for an eTA, this is still
As mentioned above, the Canadian
Passport requirement will only apply to dual citizens who are
travelling to Canada by air, since the eTA program does not
apply to travel by land or by sea. So a Canadian-UK dual citizen
could still fly to Buffalo, New York, and then drive across the
land border into Canada using their UK Passport.
If neither of the above exceptions applies, a Canadian dual
national will require valid proof of Canadian citizenship if they
wish to travel to Canada (by air) on or after November 10, 2016.
Acceptable proof of Canadian citizenship would include:
A valid Canadian Passport;
A valid Canadian Temporary Passport;
A valid Canadian Emergency Travel
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).