Set in North America, Canada is a vast beautiful country that welcomes millions of foreign visitors each year. In 2016, the country introduced the Canada electronic travel authorization system, eTA, for citizens of 60 countries.
Tourists who wish to visit Canada for tourism purposes can either obtain the Canada eTA or can apply for a Canada tourist visa through an embassy or consulate. There’s an important difference between the Canadian eTA and a regular consular visa.
The Canadian eTA is a travel authorization for tourism, business, and transit purposes that can be quickly obtained online. The tourist visa for Canada, on the other hand, requires that foreign visitors gather a series of documents and apply through a Canadian mission.
What documents do I need to get the Canada eTA?
If you are citizen of an eligible country for the eTA Canada, you will need only one document: a valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the expected date of arrival in Canada.
However, there are other requirements to get the Canadian eTA. These are:
- An email address to receive official communication about the status of the eTA
- A debit or credit card to cover the fee of the eTA authorization
Travelers that are eligible for the eTA for Canada can easily complete the eTA online application form with their personal details including name, place of birth and country of citizenship. There are several advantages to applying for the Canadian eTA. Thanks to its online format, travelers can access the application from the comfort of their home or office. They can even complete their application through their mobile phone.
If you apply for the eTA, you will need to answer a series of security questions. If you have a criminal history, you may not be granted the Canada eTA and might need to apply for a visitor visa instead.
Once the eTA is granted, the holder can travel to Canada for tourism purposes. They can also use the eTA for transit or for business. The eTA is valid for a period of 5 consecutive years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
The tourism eTA is a multiple entry authorization, which means that an eTA holder can travel to the country on multiple occasions. The eTA must be valid at the moment of arrival in the country and the holder can stay in Canada for a stay of up to six months.
What documents do I need for the Canada tourist visa?
The Canada tourist visa is also referred to as a visitor visa. If you are not eligible to obtain the Canadian eTA you can apply for the Canada visitor visa.
These are the basic requirements to get the tourist visa for Canada:
- Have a valid passport
- Be in good health
- Have no criminal convictions
- Have no immigration-related convictions
- Convince the immigration officer that you have sufficient ties in your home country, such as a job, home, family or financial assets
- Convince the immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- Have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your trip
In some cases, you may need a medical exam or a letter of invitation from a person who lives in Canada.
There are a few reasons why a person may not be allowed entry to Canada. Some people are considered not admissible due to the following reasons:
- Criminal activity
- Human rights violations
- Organized crime
To apply for the visitor visa, you will need to make an appointment at the Canadian embassy and complete an application. You will have to present all of the required documents and have an interview with an immigration representative.
Be sure to check whether you are able to apply for the Canadian eTA, this will save you time, hassle and money.