Canada is the second biggest nation globally and has a diverse geography and scenic vistas. It is home to a plethora of spell-binding attractions – captivating natural wonders, gorgeous lakes, alpine forests, snowcapped mountains, spectacular wildlife, and incredible historical spots. Most people require a valid passport, a visa, or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to visit this great country, depending on their nationality. In this post, we cover all the details about Electronic Travel Authorization. Do you want to know more? Keep reading!
What are the types of Canada visas?
A Canada Visit Visa is an official document issued by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate that allows you to enter Canada and stay there for up to six months. Single-entry and multiple-entry visas are the two types of Canada visas, and in most cases, applicants are automatically granted a multiple-entry visa. You need either a visitor visa or an eTA and not both to enter the country.
What is an Electronic Travel Authorization?
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is required for all visa-exempt foreign nationals entering Canada by air or transiting through a Canadian airport. The eTA is given by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Who needs an eTA to travel to Canada?
A visa-exempt foreign national requires an eTA if the person is flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport. You do not need an eTA if you enter Canada by road, rail, or sea.
You must apply for an eTA (instead of a visitor visa) if traveling by air to Canada from any of these countries.
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, British citizen, British National (Overseas), British overseas, citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom), British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization, or a registration in one of the British Overseas Territories of:(Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Island, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands), British Subject (with a right of abode in the United Kingdom), Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (should have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (should have an Israeli national passport), Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand,Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Romania (electronic passport holders only), Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (should have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number), United Arab Emirates, Vatican City State (must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican).
Who is exempt from the eTA requirement?
Citizens of the USA are exempt from applying for an eTA. However, they must carry proper identification, such as a valid U.S. passport.
As of April 26, 2023, lawful permanent residents of the United States of America are also exempt from the eTA requirements. They must show these documents for all modes of travel to Canada:
- a valid passport from their country of nationality (or a similar acceptable travel document) and
- a valid green card (or similar valid proof of status in the United States)
How to apply for eTA for Canada?
Applying for an eTA is a simple and quick online process.
- Keep your passport and debit/credit card ready.
- Go through the application help document. (Available in several languages)
- Fill out the online form to apply for eTA.
- Pay CAD 7 for your eTA right once you complete filling out the form.
- Receive an email about your eTA application. (If you change your email id after applying for an eTA, you must update your new email id on the IRCC website.
Note: Most applications are approved within minutes, but some may take longer to process. Sometimes, you may need to submit additional documents before your application can be approved. An email will be sent with instructions within 72 hours if other documents are required to be submitted by you or what are the next steps.
After your eTA is approved, kindly check the passport number in your eTA approval email to be the same as that on your passport. You need to apply for a new eTA with the correct passport number if they are different.
How long does it take to process the eTA for Canada?
Getting an eTA for Canada is mostly a quick process; most applicants get their eTA approval via email within a few minutes. Sometimes, you may have to submit supporting documents, and your request may take many days to process.
- It is always better to apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada.
*All approved eTAs are valid for up to five years or until your passport expires, whichever happens first. If you apply for a new passport, you must also apply for a new eTA.
What is the cost of getting an eTA?
An eTA costs just CAD 7.
1. Should I apply for both a visitor visa and an eTA?
No, you need a valid visitor visa or an eTA to travel to Canada. What you need depends on your nationality, the travel document, the country that issued your travel document, and how you travel to Canada.
2. Do I need to carry anything to the airport if I have an eTA?
No, your eTA is linked to your passport, and you must present that while you check in at the airport. The airport staff can scan your passport and check if you have a valid eTA. There is no need to print out any additional documents.
3. Is there any age limit or exemptions to apply for an eTA?
No. There is no exemption for eTA basis age. All travelers requiring an eTA will have to apply for one when they fly to Canada.
4. Can I enter Canada with an eTA?
Having an eTA does not guarantee entry to Canada. A border services officer will check your passport and other documents when you arrive in the country. You will only be allowed to enter the country once the officer is convinced. Your eligibility to enter the country depends on several factors, such as criminal activity, human rights violations, security, health, financial reasons, or organized crime.
5. My eTA application was refused. Can I travel to Canada without that?
No, you must not travel to Canada if your eTA application is refused, as you will not be allowed to board the flight.
Canadian visa and eTA rules keep changing, so it is advisable to check the regulations for your country before starting the process. Canada has unique experiences for every visitor; you will have the time of your life when you visit this wonderful country.