Visa-exempt business travellers, workers, students, and tourists from countries other than the United States will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly or transit through Canada by air as of September 29, 2016. The leniency period which allows travel without an eTA ends on that date. Without an eTA, travellers will not be able to board their flight bound for Canada. Travellers should apply well in advance, as it may not be possible to obtain one on the date of travel.
WHO NEEDS AN ETA?
Visa-exempt foreign nationals, such as citizens of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia, will require eTAs. For country specific instructions, consult the Government of Canada’s website here. This includes persons holding a Work or Study permit who did not receive an eTA at the time their permit was issued.
United States citizens and Canadian Permanent Residents do not require eTAs. Persons with valid travel visas do not require eTAs.
Note that Work or Study Permits do not automatically come with an eTA. Only Work or Study permits issued outside of Canada, not at a Port of Entry, are accompanied by an eTA. Applicants who obtained permits from within Canada or at a Port of Entry are not automatically provided with an eTA and must apply.
HOW DO I GET AN ETA?
Most eTAs can be obtained within minutes of applying through the Government of Canada’s website here. The processing fee is $7, and the eTA is good until the expiry of your passport or travel document, or for five years, whichever is the soonest.
Travellers should be wary of sites passing off as the Government of Canada. eTAs should only be applied for directly from the Government of Canada, or through a Canadian lawyer or registered Canadian Immigration Consultant.
HOW LAWYERS CAN HELP
Most applicants are able to obtain an eTA on their own. However, if a person experiences significant delays in obtaining an eTA or is potentially inadmissible to Canada, a Canadian immigration lawyer can assist with the process or in overcoming the inadmissibility.
For further information on eTA requirements, please contact a member of our Immigration Practice Group.