Canada Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)
The abbreviation eTA stands for an Electronic Travel Authorization. It’s an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals who travel to Canada by air; it has the exact same validity as a Canadian visa.
Getting an eTA is a simple and inexpensive online process; it takes about 15 minutes to fill out the form for Canada and pay the handling charge. After that, you need to wait for about a couple of hours to receive your authorization. The average time to receive this electronic document is 72 hours.
An eTA is linked to a traveler’s passport electronically. It’s valid for up to five years, from the day on which it is issued to the applicant or until the earliest of the following days if they occur before the end of the following period:
- The day on which the applicant’s passport or other travel document expires; or
- The day on which the electronic travel authorization is canceled; or
- The day on which a new electronic travel authorization is issued to the applicant.
Note that an eTA doesn’t ensure entry to Canada. When you arrive, an officer of border services will ask you to show your passport and other documents, in order to be sure that you are eligible for entry into Canada.
The visa office reserves the right to request the following documents before entry into Canada:
- A medical examination;
- A criminal record check;
- An interview.
The immigration officer doesn't consider certain documents to be valid, including:
- Passports issued by the Czech Republic, as they are not recognizable by the machine;
- Temporary passports supplied by South Africa;
- Temporary passports supplied by Venezuela.
The official documents will be returned together after all checks have been finished. In addition, the visa office will also retain any fraudulent documents submitted.
How to Apply for an eTA?
Applicants must complete an Electronic Travel Authorization Application online. Each traveler should have an official eTA. According to the new requirement, children are also concerned. The applicant must create a single application per person. For instance, if you want to fill out an application of a family of three people, it is necessary to make three applications.
To complete the form, you will need your passport, a credit or debit card, and an e-mail address.
It's worth to mention that some requests take several days to process. For example, if you’re asked to submit supporting documents, it’s better to get an eTA before you book your flight to Canada.
The application form is available online. As mentioned above, it takes about 15 minutes to complete it. You have to fill the following details in order to complete the application form:
- The country that issued the passport;
- The nationality indicated on the passport;
- The passport number;
- The surname and forenames as they are indicated in your passport;
- The birth date;
- The Country and the city of birth;
- Dates of issue and expiry of the passport.
Marital status, client unique identifier, and employment information, including domain, position, employer’s name, city and date of hire also have to be included. You also have to write your contact and other travel information.
After completing this information, you have to wait for the approval. You can check the status of your request by clicking on the tool reserved for this purpose. Then you have to use your application number and details of your passport. You will be alerted by email when your application has been accepted. In case of refusal, you’ll receive a breakdown of the reason for the refusal.
Who Can Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?
Foreign nationals, who are visa-exempt, need an Electronic Travel Authorization to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. These travelers don’t need it when arriving by car, bus, boat, train or cruise ship;
US Green Card holders (permanent residents) need an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport;
Citizens from certain visa-required countries may qualify to apply for an eTA to travel to Canada by air. But these travelers need a TRV when arriving by train, bus, boat, car or cruise ship.
Who for an Electronic Travel Authorization?
- Canadian citizens, including dual Canadian citizens (people in this category have to make sure to travel with a valid Canadian passport);
- Canadian permanent residents;
- U.S citizens for the reasons of a visitor/tourist travel do not need an;
- Citizens from the countries (non-exempt) that need a TRV to enter Canada.
Advantages of an Electronic Travel Authorization)
As you see now, a Canadian eTA differs from a Canadian visa. The consulate stamps a visa in your passport so you can enter a country. Depending on your country of citizenship, you either need to request a visa in advance or may obtain it right at the border. In both cases, the visa application process is time-consuming and requires going through paperwork. For the most part, foreign nationals from many countries need a visa to go to Canada.
An Electronic Travel Authorization, on the contrary, is a bit straightforward. A Canadian eTA is faster to apply compared to a Canadian visa. In addition, an eTA is electronic and after approval, it gets connected automatically to your passport.
While most Canadian TRVs are the single or multi-entry, an Electronic Travel Authorization is valid for five years. When renewing your passport, you will simply need to get a new eTA. With a valid travel authorization, you can travel to Canada as frequently as you want (usually for up to six months at a time).