If you are planning to visit Canada for tourism, business, or transit purposes, you may be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before boarding your flight. The eTA is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. It is a simple and efficient online process that allows the Canadian government to screen travelers before they arrive in the country. Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement introduced by the Government of Canada to enhance security and streamline the process for travelers from visa-exempt countries. It is an electronic document linked to a traveler’s passport and is required for air travel to Canada. The eTA is not a visa and is not required for travelers entering Canada by land or sea.
Travelers from visa-exempt countries who plan to fly to Canada need an eTA to board their flight. However, there are some exceptions. Citizens of the United States (U.S. citizens) do not require an eTA to enter Canada by air, as they can present their valid U.S. passport or other acceptable travel documents at the Canadian border. Citizens of countries requiring a visa to enter Canada, even for short visits, are exempt from the eTA requirement, as they must obtain a visa before traveling to Canada.
What Do You Need to Apply for eTA Canada?
Applying for an eTA for Canada is a straightforward online process. To successfully complete the application, you will need the following:
- Valid Passport: You must have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country. The eTA will be electronically linked to the passport you use for your application.
- Email Address: A valid email address is required to receive notifications and updates about your eTA application.
- Personal Information: You will need to provide your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, and nationality.
- Travel Document Details: Provide the details of the passport you will use to travel to Canada.
- Contact Information: Include your current address and phone number.
- Security Questions: Answer a few security-related questions as part of the application process.
- Means of Payment: Have a credit or debit card ready to pay the processing fee. The fee is non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.
Remember that the eTA has an expiry date. The eTA is typically valid for up to five years or until the expiration date of the passport linked to it, whichever comes first. This means that if your passport expires before the five-year period, your eTA will also expire on the same date as your passport. You can check the status and expiry date of your eTA in the online system.
Canada eTA Processing Time
The processing time for an eTA application can vary based on several factors, including the volume of applications being received at the time of submission. The Canadian government usually aims to process eTA applications quickly and efficiently.
The eTA is often approved within minutes after submitting the application. However, there are cases where the process may take longer. Therefore, it is advisable to apply for your eTA well in advance of your planned travel date. Applying several weeks before your trip will allow for sufficient processing time and avoid any last-minute complications.
Canada eTA Application Process
-Before starting the application process, verify whether you need an eTA to enter Canada. If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country and plan to fly to Canada, you will likely require an eTA.
-Ensure you have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country. Check your passport’s expiration date to ensure it remains valid for the duration of your intended stay in Canada.
-Visit the official Canadian government website dedicated to eTA applications. Ensure you are on the official website to avoid potential scams or fraud.
-Click on the “Apply for an eTA” button on the website. Read and accept the terms and conditions before proceeding.
-Complete the online application form with accurate and up-to-date information. Double-check all details to avoid errors.
-Submit the required processing fee using a credit or debit card. The fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application.
-Review all the information you provided in the application form. Once you are confident that everything is accurate, submit your application.
-You will usually receive a decision on your eTA application within minutes. However, there may be instances where additional processing time is required. Ensure you check your email regularly, as the decision will be communicated to you via the email address provided in the application.
-If your eTA is approved, it will be electronically linked to your passport. You can verify your eTA status on the official website using your passport information.
-Once your eTA is approved, you are ready to travel to Canada. Present the passport linked to your eTA at the airline check-in counter before boarding your flight to Canada. The eTA will be validated by the airline before you can proceed with your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I apply for an eTA if I am a permanent resident of Canada?
No, the eTA is only applicable to travelers from visa-exempt countries. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you must present your permanent resident card or other appropriate travel documents.
What if my eTA application is denied?
If your eTA application is denied, you must apply for a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) at the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate in your country.
Can I apply for an eTA on behalf of someone else?
Yes, you can apply for an eTA on behalf of someone else, such as a family member or friend. Ensure you have all their relevant information before starting the application.
Do infants and children need an eTA to travel to Canada?
All foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries, regardless of age, need an eTA to travel to Canada by air.
Can I extend the validity of my eTA?
No, the validity period of the eTA cannot be extended. If your eTA expires, you must apply for a new eTA before your next trip to Canada.