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Immigration News: Changes for Visa-Exempt Travellers

When you’re travelling abroad, whether for vacation or more permanent plans, it’s important to stay informed about the documents you’ll need. Depending on your nationality, the travel documents required to fly to Canada may have just changed.


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Immigration Update Nov. 8, 2016

Visa-exempt travellers boarding flights to Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) starting Thursday, November 10th. The changes, announced earlier this summer, were initially delayed to accommodate travellers and airlines. That leniency period expires this week.

Dual citizens who hold Canadian citizenship will need to be travelling with their Canadian passport in order to enter the country by air. Dual citizens who have an imminent flight to Canada (departing in less than ten days) and whose Canadian citizenship can be verified by IRCC, can apply for special authorization to travel with their non-Canadian passport. This special authorization will be available until January 31, 2017.

Immigration Update Sept. 22, 2016

The leniency period for Electronic Travel Authorization has been extended to November 9, 2016.

This gives travellers and airlines more time to prepare for the changes.

Visa-Exempt Travelers Now Require eTA

The Government of Canada has new entry requirements in effect. Visa-exempt foreign nationals now need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if they are flying to or through Canada. For a complete list of visa-exempt countries, visit the Government of Canada website.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are exempt though. So if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident you do not need an eTA, just your passport or Green Card.

As before, foreign nationals from countries that are not visa-exempt will need a valid Visitor’s Visa to enter the country. Canadian citizens and permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

Citizens, including those with dual citizenship, will have to present their Canadian passport to enter the country. Similarly, permanent residents must present their valid PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD). Please be aware that if your PR card has expired, you have not lost your status. However, you do need to apply for a new one. Especially if you are planning on travelling outside Canada.

At Canadim, we are experts in Canadian immigration law. Canadian immigration policies and practices change all the time. It’s our job to know what changes are coming, but we recognize that you’re hugely invested in the process too. That’s why we do our best to keep you informed about recent Canadian Immigration news. If you’d like to receive these updates by email, sign up for our Newsletter.

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The Canadim Team!

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