eTA allows you to visit Canada for:
You can now visit for business reasons by obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization
Visiting is now a click away. An online Travel Authorization can in fact expedite your Canada e Visa requirements.
Travelers transiting through Canada need to have an Electronic Travel Authorization before boarding their flight.
Canada ETA - Everything You Need To Know
Canadian Visa UK
To ensure your visit to Canada from the UK is a smooth, enjoyable experience, please read on for information on the new Electronic Travel Authorisation requirements.
What is eTA Canada?
eTA Canada stands for electronic travel authorization to Canada. Indeed, since 2016 citizens of all countries that are exempt from obtaining a visa to travel to Canada must obtain a valid eTA before embarking on a flight to Canada.
This also applies to permanent and lawful residents of the United States, who must still obtain it.
Whether your trip is for business, tourism or you are changing plane thus transiting through Canada, you need to apply for an electronic authorization prior to check-in for your flight to Canada.
The eTA electronic travel authorization ETA allows individual travelers from certain countries, UK included, to visit Canada for tourism or business without having to apply for a real visa at the Canadian embassy.
What are the types of visas to visit Canada?
There are multiple types of Canadian visas. In order to choose the right Canada visa for your needs, it is essential to be clear about the type of travel and the length of stay in the country. Most common types of visas are:
- tourism or business with a maximum stay of 6 months: this is the most common situation, when all you need is eTA Canada;
- transit: those who only need to change planes at a Canadian airport must have an approved valid eTA Canada;
- work visa: this will be the case for those who have to work in Canada for periods longer than 6 months. In this specific article on the working visa in Canada you will find more information;
- student: there is a Canadian student visa, in two variants: study alone or study and work. We recommend reading the page dedicated to studying and working in Canada;
- residence: this is the case of those who want to live permanently in the country of the maple leaf.
The last three alternatives, namely the student visa, the work visa or the residency visa for Canada, involve meeting additional requirements to the ones for obtaining the Canadian eTA, which is obtainable 100% online.
What are the differences between the visa and the eTA Canada?
The expression 'Visa' is used frequently. So, some information is needed in order to not confused on what it is and what it implies.
The eTA Canada and the Canadian visa are different in many ways. Indeed, the eTA Canada authorization is an electronic travel authorization ETA granted under the Canadian Visa Waiver Program.
This program allows UK travelers to avoid the visa application procedure at the Canadian embassy or consulates in the UK. Not only British can apply, but citizens of other visa-free countries as well.
On the other hand, the traditional Canadian visa must be applied for in person by visiting the Canadian embassy or consulate, usually multiple times. Then, you will need to go to the embassy to submit the application, to collect it and sometimes hand over additional documents or even incur in an interview.
Moreover, the Canadian visa process is highly variable and many factors affect the issuing process.
Otherwise, the eTA Canada application is set to have a maximum response time of 72 hours. In most cases, the outcome of the request arrives within minutes.
What are the origins of eTA Canada?
Citizens of countries included in the Canadian Visa Waiver Program, UK comprised, have been exempt from the visa requirement since its creation in 1986.
Following the 2001 terroristic attacks and the consequent tightening of the immigration controls, government of Canada and the United States have introduced new rules for passenger flows.
Therefore, in 2008 the ESTA was born on the American side while the Canadian took more time to implement an online passenger security screening. The eTA Canada in fact was born in 2016 (this article explains in details the differences between eTA Canada and ESTA USA).
Since then, passengers that are citizens of visa-exempt countries, such as the UK, have to apply online for electronic travel authorization for Canada, or simply for an eTA Canada.
All other passengers must still submit regular visa application at Canadian consulates and embassies in their country of origin.
What are the goals of the eTA Canada?
Given the proximity and historic cooperation between the government of Canada and the United States, the establishment of the eTA program bridged the legal gap then existing between the two countries.
Thus eTA has certainly contributed to realizing the vision shared with the United States in defending common borders within the highest security standards.
In this context, the main goal of the eTA authorization is to provide travelers with a speedy method of issuing a permit to travel to Canada. Therefore, the data provided when completing the eTA form allows the officials of the competent Canadian immigration office to easily identify travelers who do not fall within the admissible safety parameters.
The eTA system provides robust tools for tracing visa-free foreign visitors to and from Canada. Previously, given the lack of data, government authorities were unable to act proactively.
With the institution of the eTA system, Canada has managed to significantly increase the security of its borders, as well as aligning itself with existing policies in the USA.
How does eTA Canada work?
The system known as eTA Canada actually consists of multiple systems and groups of data, with difficult acronyms such as the IAPI, API and PNR.
The first stands for Interactive Advance Passenger Information or IAPI. This is an interactive and anticipated transmission system of passenger data that returns board or no-board (boarding admitted or denied) notices to airlines for all those who have previously requested a visa or an eTA to enter Canada.
Travelers are simplified the check-in procedure with the possibility of boarding the airplane without showing their valid passport and eTA data at the check-in.
What is the Interactive Advance Passenger Information?
The IAPI system allows airlines to send passenger data to the Canadian immigration agency responsible for border protection and immigration, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This information allows airlines to ascertain whether the passenger has the appropriate travel document to enter Canada. For example, the eTA Canada authorization and the electronic passport.
Small digression: it is for this reason that citizens of countries that are part of the Canadian visa waiver program must apply online by filling out the appropriate form. At this time the government of Canada captures the data of future arriving passengers.
Then, in the next step, the CBSA receives the foreign citizen's information and processes it. Finally, the airline communicates with an electronic board or no-board message. All this even before you board your flight to Canada.
Once you arrive in Canada, however, you must go through the normal immigration procedure, by meeting a Canada immigration officer with the appropriate travel documents.
Advance Passenger Information
API data is basic information about passengers and crew members. Thus, it includes your name, date of birth, gender, citizenship and e-passport details.
This information is read by the scanner when reading your electronic passport. In fact, carriers collect this additional API data at check-in. APIs include: unique passenger reference number, crew member ID, flight number, plus arrival and departure times.
Passenger Name Record
The Passenger Name Record or PNR is the information that comes from the systems of the airlines themselves: reservations, check-in, flight changes to and from Canada. Each company collects this information in a different way than the other. The range of data can concern the date of travel, the seat booked, the route, who is traveling with you, special meals requested, etc.
Do I need a visa for Canada?
On March 15 2016 new legislation brought about to help improve boarder security came in to effect in the form of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). People travelling to Canada by air should apply for their eTA before boarding a flight to Canada.
Apply for a Canada eTA here. It takes just a few minutes to apply and is a simple process- please have your valid passport and credit or debit card ready.
Benefits of the eTA Canada Visa
The goal is to make it easier and quicker for those eligible passengers coming in to Canada by air.
Persons not deemed eligible, such as those with criminal records or with no fly orders, will be refused travel prior to arrival in Canada. By identifying such persons through the use of the eTA system this will help protect Canada’s boarder more effectively and save resources & monies repatriating the individuals.
How to obtain an eTA for Canada in the UK
To apply you must have a valid passport, a credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or a pre-paid Visa, MasterCard or American Express), and an email address. Once you have this information your application can be started on this website.
Who does an eTA apply to?
All air passengers travelling from visa free countries must hold an authorised eTA in order to enter Canada.
It applies to Nationals from the following countries:
Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, British citizens, British overseas territory citizens, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States Permanent Residents.
Although we can provide electronic visa’s for any of the above countries, our primary audience is people travelling from the UK.
Do my children need to have an eTA to travel to Canada?
Yes, any persons travelling to Canada from the UK must apply even if they are a minor.
In addition, if you are travelling with children and only one parent is present, to ensure your trip to Canada goes as smoothly as possible, you should carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent.
A letter of consent may help to dispel potential concerns from immigration officers. For further information check with the Canadian High Commission Website.
How long does a Canadian eTA last?
Once your Canada eTA is approved it is valid for 5 years. This means you can fly to Canada without reapplying so long as your ETA and passport remain valid.
Do I need to apply for a Canadian eTA if I have a United States visa?
Yes, a visa from the United States does not grant entry into Canada, you will still need a valid Canadian visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada if you are from a visa-required country.
Where do I apply for my eTA Canada?
Start your Application here, it takes just a few minutes to apply.