The eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization for Canada is mandatory for nationals of 60 countries and territories traveling to the “Great White North”. Frequently asked questions include whether Canadian citizens need an eTA to enter Canada, particularly those with dual citizenship.
This brief guide will clear up any confusion as to what a Canadian with dual citizenship needs to enter Canada legally and who must apply for an eTA.
Do I Need an eTA if I Am a Canadian Citizen?
No, Canadian citizens do not need an electronic travel authorization to enter Canada. They must, however, carry a valid Canadian passport when returning to the country.
If a Canadian citizen attempts to apply for an eTA, the system will either prevent submission of the application or cancel the request once it realizes that the applicant is a Canadian national.
Do I Need an eTA if I Have Dual Citizenship?
There is also no requirement for a Canada eTA for individuals with dual citizenship, so long as one of their citizenship is Canadian. Again, they must have a Canadian passport in order to cross the border into the country.
Individuals who have more than one citizenship but are not Canadian nationals (for example, British-Irish or French-Australian) must apply for either the eTA or a Canadian visa, depending on the citizenship they hold.
Do Canadian Permanent Residents Who Are Citizens of Another Country Need an eTA?
Foreign nationals living legally in Canada as permanent residents, but have not acquired Canadian citizenship do not need to apply for an eTA to reenter the country.
When returning to Canada, permanent residents must present one of the following:
- A valid permanent resident card
- A valid permanent resident travel document
If I Have Dual Citizenship, Which Passport Should I Use?
Canadian citizens with second citizenship can fly out from Canada on whichever passport suits them best for that journey.
However, when returning to Canada, it is crucial to present your Canadian passport. Travelers without a Canadian passport may not be allowed into the country.
In special circumstances, a dual Canadian citizen may be able to request special authorization to return to Canada with their alternate passport. Approval may be granted in cases such as:
- The Canadian national has arrived at the airport without their Canadian passport.
- The Canadian national is due to fly within a few days and is unable to acquire a Canadian passport in that time.
However, as a rule, dual Canadian citizens are not permitted to travel to or even transit through Canada without a valid Canadian passport.
The Canadian passport is considered the only reliable and acceptable travel document to prove Canadian citizenship. Therefore, it is the only way to enter Canada without going through immigration screening.
It is highly recommended to ensure that your passport will be valid long after the date you plan to return to Canada.
The one notable exception is US citizens, who are subject to different regulations from the rest of the world when it comes to entering Canada.
The Benefits of American-Canadian Dual Citizenship
The United States of America has a long history with Canada. These 2 large English-speaking countries share the world’s longest land border and have close cultural and economic ties.
Due to this, US citizens enjoy some unique benefits when it comes to traveling to and from Canada.
US citizens do not need a Canadian eTA or visa to cross the border into Canada. They simply require valid identification such as a US passport.
Dual US-Canadian citizens receive the same benefits. They may enter Canada using either a valid Canadian or US passport.
Do I Need an eTA for Canada if I Am a Dual Citizen of the USA and a Third Country?
Any American citizen can enter Canada using only a US passport.
This is true regardless of any other nationality they have.
Mexican-Americans, German-Americans, and Brazilian-Americans can all cross the Canadian border as long as they carry suitable United States identification and meet the basic requirements to enter the country.
If dual citizens of the US and a third country do not have a US passport, they must either apply for one or submit an application for an eTA using the passport of their other citizenship.
Do I Need an eTA if I Am a Permanent US Resident and Green Card Holder
Legal permanent resident of the United States who are not US citizens, but have a Green Card, must apply for an eTA to visit Canada.
For the application, the following documentation must be submitted:
- Passport from your country of citizenship
- Proof of lawful permanent residency, e.g. a valid U.S. Green Card or a valid ADIT (Alien Documentation Identification and Telecommunications System) stamp
These documents must also be presented by the US permanent resident while crossing the Canadian border. The eTA is electronically linked to the passport used in the application, so no further documentation will be needed.
Learn more about requirements for the Canada eTA and which nationalities can apply for one.
Apply for an eTA for Canada