Receiving authorization to travel to Canada
If you are planning to visit Canada and are a citizen of one of the 52 countries that are visa exempt, you must first apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before traveling to the country.
An eTA allows travelers from visa exempt countries to apply online for their travel authorization without the need to apply for a travel visa at a Canadian embassy. Approved travelers will be allowed to visit Canada for visits of 180 days or less.
Information about the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program
The Canadian government has recently established the eTA program in order to pre-screen travelers from visa exempt countries that are traveling to Canada.
Before the eTA program was established travelers would arrive in Canada and if they did not meet entry requirements they would be denied entry to the country. With eTA the Canadian authorities are able to pre-screen travelers and ensure that they meet Canada’s entry requirements.
The eTA application process allows travelers from visa exempt countries to apply online, from the comfort of their home or office and avoid the hassle of requesting a visa at the embassy or consulate.
The eTA program is designated for travelers who are planning to visit Canada for tourism or business for 180 days or less.
The eTA application contains questions regarding the visitors passport details, address, employment information and other. All of those questions must be filled out online.
In order to apply for an eTA you must be a citizen of one of the 52 countries that are visa exempt, you must arrive by air transportand you must have enough economic means to cover the cost of your stay in Canada.
An approved eTA does not guarantee admission to Canada. The final decision on whether you are admitted or not into Canada will depend on the passport control officer that will interview you upon your arrival in the country.
Caroline is a British citizen – a visa exempt country to Canada and is therefore eligible to apply for an eTA.
She is a Liverpool based software developer and plans to visit Toronto next week for an important software trade show.
In preparation for her upcoming trip, comfortably from her sofa at home and using her tablet, Caroline received her eTA authorization to travel to Canada.
All she needed to do was to complete an online application by having her passport and credit card handy.
After her application was completed and payment was submitted, Caroline’s approved eTA was sent to the email address she provided in her application.
For his upcoming 40th birthday Pavel plans to visit Canada to undertake an outdoors adventure. Pavel is an enthusiastic hiker and mountain climber and has visited Canada three times over the past few years to explore the country’s famous wilderness. As a citizen of Poland – a visa exempt country to Canada – Pavel is able to apply for an eTA online.
For his past trips Pavel applied at the Canadian embassy in his native Warsaw for his tourist visa. Since Canada abolished the need for a tourist visa a few years ago for Polish citizens, Pavel was surprised to learn he could apply quickly online for an eTA.
Pavel was very pleased at the ease of the eTA application and at how fast he received his approval document. He just needed his laptop, his passport and a credit card and quickly completed the process. Considering how easy it is to apply for an eTA Pavel plans to visit Canada many times in the future and plans to explore Canada’s amazing outdoors and hike and climb the beautiful Canadian Rockies.
Requirements to Apply for an eTA
- You are a citizen of one of the 52 countries belonging to the Canada visa exempt program.
- You are visiting Canada for tourism, business or transit and your trip is for 180 days or less
- You must not have any criminal convictions or immigration violations
- You must be in good health
- You must have ties to your home country such as employment, home or financial instruments
- You have to convince an immigration officer that you plan to return to your country after your visit to Canada
Who needs an eTA to travel to Canada?
All persons traveling by air to Canada and are citizens of one of the 52 countries that are visa exempt need to apply for an eTA prior to traveling to Canada.
An approved eTA is mandatory for all passengers including children. If you are entering Canada via automobile through one of the designated land borders with the United States then you are not required to apply for an eTA.
Citizens of countries that are not visa exempt must apply for a regular visa at a Canadian embassy or consulate.
An overview of Canada’s visa history
Canada has had a visa policy for several years that has exempted a select group of countries from the need to apply for a visa before traveling to the country.
The country makes very serious analysis into its visitors and carefully looks at visa overstay rates, asylum claims, security issues and other factors to determine whether countries can remain on the visa exempt list or not.
The following 52 countries can travel to Canada visa-exempt and must apply for an eTA:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Vatican City.
The United States is also visa exempt but U.S. citizens are not required to apply for an eTA when traveling to Canada.
Gerhard and Angela
Gerhard and Angela are a couple of surfers from Germany and Mexico enthusiasts. After months of planning, in the following month they will finally embark their flight that will take them to the Pacific coast in Mexico.
Their travel will take a stopover in Toronto, before continuing on to Mexico City.
Despite the fact that Gerhard and Angela will stay in Toronto only at the airport for the time necessary to transit to their next flight to Mexico, upon arrival in Toronto they will still have to pass the Canadian immigration and customs controls which means they will require an eTA.
After their email, our customer service team confirmed to them that they must obtain a Canada eta before boarding their flight to Toronto.
Gloria a citizen of Mexico will travel this summer from Mexico city to London to visit her daughter who is a student at the London School of Economics. She has found a great price on Air Canada so instead of taking a direct flight to London from Mexico City she will have a short layover in Montreal on her way to London.
Despite the fact that she is not staying in Canada and will only be transiting thru Montreal airport she will have to go thru Canadian customs and immigration controls which means she will need to apply for a Canada eTA.
After Gloria’s email to our customer service team she received an e-mail confirming that she does need an eTA.
How does eTA work?
The CANADA eTA application process requires travelers to provide personal and background information in an online application form.
The application will require the following information:
- Traveler information such as home address and phone number
- Passport information including passport number, date of issue and date of expiration
- Employment information and employer name
- A valid email address
- A credit or debit card for payment.
Once the eTA application form is completed and payment is submitted, our agents will carefully review the information and look for errors or omissions.
Our agency has processed thousands of applications and our vast experience allows us to quickly spot any errors that could lead to delays or rejections. Once we review the application we submit it and monitor the status.
Once the application has been approved we will send you an email with the approval Document.
You will have to rpint this document out and keep it among your travel documents (e.g. passport, flight tickets, etc).
The whole Canada eTA applications process takes a few minutes and then you will be on your way to Canada!
Denial of an eTA
• Providing a passport number that was reported lost or stolen
eTA validity period
Acceptable travel purposes
• vacation (holiday)
Children and eTA
Visa-exempt country details
When to complete the eTA application?
eTA application outcomes
When is the eTA used?
The first point where your eTA is checked is at check-in with your carrier to allow you to board the plane to Canada.
Transits and eTA
Visiting the UNITED STATES and traveling to Canada by car.
Multiple visits with an eTA
If you plan to stay long term in Canada for work, study, marriage…
If you are allowed a six month stay then you must depart the country before…
Exceeding your six month limit
eTA expiration while in Canada
It is acceptable to have an eTA expire after entry into Canada,
Is there such a thing as an eTA visa?
Is my eTA still valid if my passport has expired / changed?
Any time a passport is changed,…
What can be done if the eTA is denied?
Travel authorization is rarely denied but in the unlikely event that your eTA application results in a “travel not authorized” outcome, your next best option is to obtain a visa for travel to Canada through a Canadian embassy or consulate.
Can I learn why my travel authorization was denied?
Do I need the eTA if entering the Canada by land?
If you are entering Canada through a land border with the United States and are a citizen of one of the 52 visa exempt countries (excluding the United States) you do not need an eTA to enter Canada.
Do I need an eTA if entering Canada on a private plane?
If arriving by air, you must apply….
Do I need the eTA if entering the Canada on a private boat?
Travelers arriving by land borders or by boat from the United States…
What if my passport is about to expire before my trip to the Canada?
What happens to my personal information when I apply with the eTA?
eTA form questions
Correcting mistakes on the eTA application form
If you’ve submitted the eTA application form…
Don't have access to the internet and/or a correct payment method?
Non-English characters and the eTA application form
You can find the correct characters that should be used near…
My passport has an X for the sex marker
HIV and the eTA program
If you are taking medications or are under medical care for HIV…
I have U.S. Permanent Residence (Green Card), can I apply for an eTA?
Updating information on the eTA application after submitting
If you’ve submitted the eTA application to us and made a payment, please contact us immediately and if your application has not been submitted yet we will be able to edit it.
Why does the eTA form ask for employment information?
If you are unemployed please state it in the employment information section.
What if I leave an eTA form field blank?
VISA vs. eTA
Travelers from visa exempt countries are not required to apply for a visa at a Canadian embassy or consulate but are required to apply for an eTA in order to enter Canada.
What if I already have a valid visa?
Previously denied visa request
If your eTA application is accepted after a previous visa denial…
Expedited visa request after eTA denial
The customs inspection process
The basic customs steps are listed below.
What if I'm denied admission into CANADA?