eTA electronic Travel Authorization CanadaSome nationalities are exempt from visas for the purpose of traveling to Canada. For example, if you are a US citizen and intend to visit family members or tourist attractions in Canada you do not need a visa. You just enter Canada with your US passport. The Border Services Officer (BSO) usually allows you to stay in Canada for up to six months. The Government of Canada has made some significant changes to the visa-exemption program. Most visa exempt people need to apply for an eTA or rather an electronic Travel Authorization if they travel by air to Canada or transit via Canada to another countryThe changes came into effect on March 15, 2016, although Canadian authorities remain flexible on this issue till fall 2016. US citizens and some other groups do not need an eTA to go to Canada. However, US permanent residents such as Green Card holders need an eTA for air travels to Canada.

If you are a dual Citizen of Canada, you do not need an eTA, but you need to prove you are a Canadian citizen. The easiest way to prove your citizenship is to hold a Canadian passport.

If you need a visa to travel to Canada, then you do not need an eTA. In fact, you have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) instead.

If you intend to work or study in Canada, then an eTA is not sufficient. You may also need to apply for a work permit or a study permit.

The process of applying for an eTA is relatively easy. You need to fill out an online form on IRCC website and pay the processing fee. The current processing fee is $7.00 Canadian per applicant. You need to apply separately for every member of the family who intends to accompany you to Canada unless they are exempt from an eTA.  If you get lucky, you will receive your eTA in a few minutes. Some people may receive an email from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) requesting for documents. These applications may take several days or even weeks to complete, so plan ahead. Also, keep in mind that IRCC keeps the right to refuse some eTA applications.

If you find submitting your personal information to a foreign government concerning, then you may consider hiring an authorized representative such as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

We will publish some articles about eTA soon so sign up to our newsletter or contact us for more information. You may also book an appointment for official immigration advice.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

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“This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor should it be relied upon. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice contact us.”