Are you planning a trip to a beautiful destination like Canada? As you prepare for your journey, one essential aspect to consider is Electronic Travel Authorization, commonly known as eTA. This travel authorization has revolutionized the entry process, providing a convenient and streamlined way to visit Canada for eligible travelers. Whether you’re traveling for tourism, business, or transit purposes, the eTA ensures a hassle-free experience at the border. And now, get ready to embark on your Canadian adventure confidently, armed with the knowledge and understanding of Electronic Travel Authorization.
What is an eTA?
The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a mandatory requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. Linked electronically to the traveler’s passport, the eTA remains valid for up to five years or until the passport expires. It is essential to obtain a new eTA if a new passport is acquired. While a valid eTA allows for multiple short stays in Canada, it does not guarantee entry. Upon arrival, a border services officer assesses the traveler’s eligibility based on their passport and supporting documents, requiring convincing evidence to enter Canada. The cost is CAD $7 per person, and you’ll need your passport, credit card, and email address to complete the application.
Eligibility and Process
To apply for an eTA for travel to Canada, visit the official Government of Canada website. The process is quick and can be completed online. Most applicants receive eTA approval within minutes via email, though some may take longer if supporting documents are needed. It is advised to apply for an eTA before booking your flight.
Eligibility criteria for eTA application:
- You must have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or currently hold a valid United States nonimmigrant visa.
- Your visit to Canada is for short-term purposes such as tourism, business activities, or a brief stay (up to 6 months).
- You are flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport and hold a valid passport from one of the eligible visa-required countries.
Some Important Dates
- The Canadian eTA is valid for five years from the date of issue or until your passport expires. Once your Canada eTA application is approved, you can travel to Canada as many times as you want within the five-year validity period of the electronic visa.
- Each stay in Canada cannot exceed six months, and your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned trip, as the eTA is linked to your passport.
Here is the updated list of eligible visa-required countries for eTA visa to Canada:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Kitts and Nevis
- Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents
- Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and must possess a valid Canadian passport to travel to Canada by air.
- Canadian permanent residents require a valid permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document and cannot apply for an eTA.
Travel scenarios and recommended travel documents:
- Flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport:
- Eligible travelers can choose to apply for either an eTA or a visa.
- Ineligible travelers require a visa.
- Flying to Canada with family members:
If you are eligible for an eTA but your family members are not, you can apply for an eTA or a visa, while your family members will require a visa.
- Driving to Canada from the U.S., or arriving by bus, train, or boat (including cruise ships):
A visa is required for entry.
- Departing from and returning to Canada on a boat (including a cruise ship) that travels outside Canada:
A visa is required.
- Traveling between Canada and the U.S. via any mode of transportation:
It is recommended to apply for a visa, as it provides the most flexibility.
- Flying to Canada to work or study for more than 6 months:
A work or study permit is required, and upon approval, a temporary resident visa will be issued, allowing you to board your flight to Canada.
- Flying back to Canada to work or study after renewing your permit:
- If your visa is still valid, you can continue to use it.
- If your visa has expired, an eTA will be provided upon renewing your permit.
- Traveling to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat requires a new visa
In conclusion, obtaining an eTA is a crucial step for travelers planning a trip to Canada. It offers a streamlined and convenient way to visit the country for eligible individuals. By linking to your passport, the eTA remains valid for up to five years or until your passport expires. Remember to apply before making travel arrangements and embark on your Canadian adventure confidently, knowing you have completed the necessary requirements for a smooth entry.