Citizen and Immigration Canada is changing rules for visitors to Canada or persons who transit through Canada effective from March 15, 2016 even they are citizens of visa exempt countries. Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be required for those who can enter Canada without obtaining visitor visa in addition to the other required travel documents such as passport if they enter Canada by air on or after March 15, 2016. United States nationals are, however, exempted to obtain eTA.
1. What is eTA?
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is required by travelers to Canada who plan to enter Canada on or after March 15, 2016 along with other mandatory travel documents if they traveling by air. However, they do not need eTA if they enter Canada by land or sea.
How Much it Costs?
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada can be obtained online by paying a processing fee of $7.00.
How to Apply for eTA?
Travelers requiring eTA for Canada can submit application to obtain eTA online. They need following to apply for eTA:
Valid email address
You can apply for eTA online. After entering the required information such as passport number, your name, date of birth, nationality, home address, available funds, marital status and valid email address, you may receive the eTA approval within few minutes in most cases. You must have a valid credit card to make payment of eTA processing fee. You will also be required to answer some simple questions.
The online eTA application system allows you to enter information of one person at a time only. If you are applying for four family members, you will be required to fill out the online form four times.
You do not need to print out the confirmation or eTA document as it will be electronically linked to your travel document that is your passport.
Electronic Travel Document eTA is valid for 5 years or the expiry date of your passport which you used to apply for eTA.
Who Does Not Need eTA to Enter Canada?
Once the eTA for Canada becomes effective on March 15, 2016, the following travelers will not be required to apply for eTA:
- Canadian permanent residents will not need an eTA to fly to Canada, but as is currently required, they will need to travel with their permanent resident card of Canada. Otherwise, they may not be able to board their flight to Canada.
- U.S. permanent residents will need an eTA to fly to Canada (as well as their U.S. Green Card). They will not need an eTA if entering Canada by land or sea.
- Students and temporary workers from eTA required countries who received their student or work permit before August 1, 2015, and intend to travel from and return to Canada by air will need an eTA.
Further more you cannot apply for eTA if you are:
- a Canadian citizen or a dual Canadian citizen,
- a Canadian permanent resident, or
- a U.S. citizen. (However, lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA if traveling by air.)
You can check out here to find if you are national of country requiring eTA to enter Canada.
Canada eTA will be required effective from March 15, 2016, however, it is possible to apply for eTA now. It is important to obtain your eTA before you book flight for Canada. In case you forgot to obtain eTA before arriving in Canada, it is possible to apply online if you have access to a device which can connect to internet. It will take only few minutes to get the approval in majority of cases. It is always the best option to obtain all the required documents prior to boarding a plane to arrive in Canada.