Starting November 10, 2016, all visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada will not be allowed to board their flights without an Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced the eTA in March 2016. However, a six-month leniency period was put in place to allow travellers who may be unfamiliar with the requirement or without eTAs to still board their flight. The leniency period, which was supposed to end in September 29, was extended until November 9, 2016.
Here are some quick facts about the eTA.
What is an eTA?
The eTA or electronic travel authorization is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting Canada. The purpose of the eTA is to allow the Government of Canada to check that visa-exempt travellers are not inadmissible to enter Canada before they travel.
An eTA is valid for up to five years or until the passport that was used to apply for the eTA expires. It will allow you to travel to Canada multiple times within the validity period.
Who are required to get an eTA?
All visa-exempt foreign nationals are required to get an eTA BEFORE traveling or transiting to Canada. US citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa are exempt from this requirement. Visit this link to determine whether you are from a visa-exempt country that requires an eTA.
How can I apply for an eTA?
The eTA application is a simple online process. In most cases, applicants receive their eTA approval within minutes via email. However, there are some cases when applicants will be asked to submit supporting documents. In these cases, the process can take several days.
In order to apply for an eTA, you will need a valid passport from a visa-exempt country, a credit card to pay the $7CAD processing fee and a valid email address.
It is best to be fully aware of all requirements prior to making any travel arrangements to Canada to prevent inconvenience and unnecessary costs. For further information on the eTA, visit IRCC’s website.