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Do I Need an eTA for Canada? – Electronic Travel Authorization

Published on: November 14th, 2023
Last updated: February 25th, 2024

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a travel document required for travellers coming to Canada from visa-exempt countries. Only individuals from visa-exempt countries are required to get an eTA, and only if they are arriving in Canada by air.

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What is an ETA? 

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada.

Only travellers from countries who do not require a visa to visit Canada are required to get an eTA, and only if they are travelling to Canada by air. If you’re from a visa-exempt country visiting Canada by land, you do not need an eTA.

Anyone who has a Canadian visa, Canadian permanent residence, or Canadian citizenship does not need an eTA travel document to enter Canada.

Do I need an eTA?

1. Lawful Permanent Residents and Canadian citizens

Lawful permanent residents of Canada, do not need an eTA. Instead, you will need your valid Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) or Permanent Resident Travel Document to travel to Canada.

If you are a dual citizen, meaning you hold Canadian citizenship and at least one other citizenship, you do not need an eTA to enter Canada. However, if you are entering Canada by air, you must be travelling with a valid Canadian passport.


2. Foreign nationals

Answer the following simple questions to find out if you need an eTA Canada travel document:

  1. Am I part of the visa-exempt foreign nationals? Check the updated list on the government website: Visa-exempt (eTA eligible) travellers list.The previous list of travellers need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board their flight to Canada.
  2. Am I travelling to or through Canada by air?Even if you are an eTA eligible, you do not need an eTA if entering by land or sea – for instance, driving from the U.S. or coming by bus, train, or boat, including cruise ship.


FAQ about eTA for traveling to Canada

Do I need an eTA if I have a valid study permit or work permit?

If you are from a visa-exempt country and have been granted a study permit or work permit, IRCC will automatically issue you an eTA when they accept your study or work permit application.

However, if you are from a visa-exempt country and received your permit before August 1, 2015, you may need to apply for an eTA if you plan to leave and return to Canada by air.

Do U.S. citizens need to apply for an eTA?

U.S. citizens do not require a visa or an eTA to travel to Canada. If you are a U.S. citizen, you can visit Canada with your valid passport.

As of April 26, 2022, U.S. permanent residents (Green Card holders) no longer require an eTA to travel to Canada.

How to apply for an eTA

Travellers must apply for an eta by submitting their application on the Government of Canada website. To apply, you must have a valid email address.

How much does an eTA for Canada cost?

The Canadian government charges $7 CAD for an eTA. To make the payment, applicants must have a valid debit or credit card.

What does an eTA look like?

Since an eTA is a digital document, it is electronically tied to your passport number. As such, you will not receive a physical document from the Government of Canada.

How long is an eTA valid for?

An eTA is valid for five years upon approval, or when your passport expires, whichever comes first. To check whether your eTA is still valid, use Canada’s eTA status check tool.

How long does it take for an eTA for Canada to be approved?

The Canadian government approves most eTAs within minutes. However, the processing sometimes takes longer. If you are required to submit additional documents, you may receive instructions to do so within 72 hours of applying.


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