Are you traveling to Canada for business or pleasure? Lucky you! But before you pack your bags and board the plane, there’s a new Canadian travel requirement you should be aware of. Beginning March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or through Canada, including those who hold a work permit but are visa-exempt, are required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
While there is a leniency period, and travellers who do not have an eTA between March 15, 2016 and the Fall of 2016 will still be permitted to board their flights to Canada and enter the country provided they have all their other appropriate travel documents, we recommend you sign up for your eTA ASAP. Here is some helpful information about Canada’s New eTA!
What is an eTA?
The purpose of Canada’s new eTA is to screen passengers before they arrive in the country. The eTA is connected electronically to each traveller’s passport, and it is valid for up to five years, or whenever the passport becomes expired.
Who needs to apply for an eTA?
All visa-exempt foreign Nationals, including those traveling on a work permit or study permit are expected to have an eTA. There are a few exceptions, which include U.S. citizens and travellers on a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens and permanent resident holders are not eligible. One easy way to find out whether or not you need one is to visit Immigration and Citizenship and use the “Find out if you need an eTA or a visitor visa” search tool.
How to apply for an eTA
Applying for Canada’s new eTA is relatively simple! To complete the online form, you will need:
- a valid passport from a visa-exempted country,
- a credit card (in order to pay the $7 CAD fee), and
- a valid email address.
When you have those items ready, simply apply online here. After you apply, your eTA will be electronically linked to your passport. If you forget to apply for your eTA before you arrive at the airport, you’re in luck. The process is so simple and fast that last-minute applications can be made from any internet connection, including mobile phones. That means you can apply right from the airport.
Remember, until the Fall of 2016 you will still be permitted to board their flights to Canada and enter the country provided you have all your other appropriate travel documents, but why not take care of this formality early? We hope this information gets you on the right track to signing up for Canada’s new eTA. If you would like more information, check out this informative informational video, or visit the Canada Immigration and Citizenship eTA webpage.