electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Most foreign nationals who want to visit Canada require a valid visitor visa to enter the country. However, citizens of some countries are visa-exempt. In 2016, Canada introduced electronic travel authorizations (eTA) as a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or through Canada by air.


Who Needs an eTA

Most foreign nationals who are exempt from requiring a Canadian visitor visa require an eTA if they are travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. A notable exception to the eTA requirement is U.S. citizens, who can continue to travel to Canada using their valid U.S. passport.

Travelling from the United States to Canada

U.S. citizens are exempt from the eTA requirement. U.S. citizens can enter Canada on their valid U.S. passport, whether they are travelling by air, land, or sea.

Lawful permanent residents of the United States, or Green Card holders, are visa-exempt regardless of their country of citizenship. However, when travelling to Canada by air, they require a valid passport from their country of nationality (or an equivalent acceptable travel document) and a valid green card (or equivalent valid proof of status in the United States).

Individuals with dual Canadian-American citizenship can enter Canada while travelling on either their Canadian or American passport. Individuals with dual citizenship with any country other than the United States are required to use their Canadian passport when they travel to Canada by air.

eTA Exemptions

There are some exceptional cases in which travellers may not be required to obtain an eTA. Such cases include:

  • French citizens who live in Saint Pierre and Miquelon and are flying directly to Canada from St. Pierre and Miquelon;
  • Diplomats accredited by the Government of Canada, and;
  • Foreign nationals who transit through a Canadian airport under the Transit Without Visa or China Transit programs.


Transit Without Visa Program

If you are flying through Canada to or from the United States, you may not require an eTA. Only travellers from certain countries travelling with participating airlines and through participating Canadian airports are eligible.

China Transit Program

If you are a Chinese citizen and flying through Canada to or from the United States, you may not require an eTA. Only travellers with a valid U.S. visa travelling with participating airlines and through participating Canadian airports are eligible.

How to Apply for an eTA

To apply for an eTA, you will need internet access and your personal information such as address and passport. A form must be completed online and pay a $7 government fee by credit card. If approved, the eTA will remain valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. If you have more than one passport, you must travel with the passport that your eTA is linked to. Approval time ranges between minutes and days, so it is best to apply before travelling.


Do I need an eTA?

Travellers of all ages entering Canada by air who are NOT:

  • Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents;
  • U.S. citizens, or;
  • exempt

Are required to have an eTA.

I received a new passport, do I need to submit a new eTA application?

Your eTA is linked to your passport. You must always carry your linked passport when coming to Canada by air. If you are required to have an eTA and you receive a new passport you will need to complete a new eTa application.

I completed an eTA application. Can I fly into/enter Canada?

Your eTA must be fully completed, received, and approved before boarding your flight. An eTA does NOT guarantee entry into Canada. When you arrive in Canada you will be required to meet with a Canadian border officer who will determine your entry eligibility.

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If you have questions or concerns relating to electronic Travel Authorizations please contact us and a member of the Canadim Team will be happy to discuss your options.

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