What is an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization)?
Some visitors to Canada are exempt from visas because of their nationality, the documents they hold, or their purpose of visit 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. A 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 country. The changes came into effect on March 15, 2016. US citizens do not need an eTA to go to Canada, but almost all other nationalities are not exempt from an eTA. 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.
The process of applying for an eTA is relatively easy. You need to fill out an online form on the IRCC website and pay the processing fee. The current processing fee is $7.00 (Canadian funds) 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 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).
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.