Studying in Canada with the eTA: Everything You Need to Know

Apply for ETA for Study

World-class universities, a tolerant society, high living standards, and magnificent landscapes make Canada one of the most attractive countries for students. However, when planning to study in Canada it is important to consider what type of documentation you need to enter the country.

There are 2 types of documents which students might need to be able to take a course in Canada: the Canada eTA and a study permit. Students who are not eligible for the Canada eTA may also need to obtain a visa in order to enter the country.

The Canada eTA is easy to obtain and it allows foreign students to take short-courses without obtaining a visa or a study permit. For courses longer than 6 months, study permits are necessary.

Normally academic institutions obtain the eTA on behalf of their foreign students but, if not, the online application only takes a few minutes to complete. This article will explain what the Canada eTA allows you to do, how you can apply, and whether you also need a study permit.

How Long Can Students Spend in Canada with the eTA?

The eTA allows students to spend up to 6 months a year in Canada. The eTA is valid for a period of 5 years (or until the passport used to apply expires). Students can leave and reenter Canada multiple times as long as the total number of days spent in the country is not greater than 180 (in any 360-day period).

The Canada eTA is easy to renew once it has has expired. Students just need to complete a eTA renewal application which only takes a matter of minutes and the form is the same as the initial application.

How to apply for the Canada eTA

Students can apply by completing the online Canada eTA application form. The process is very simple, applicants just need to enter some information such as their name, address, date of birth, and passport details. There is also a fee which is payable by credit or debit card. Students should whether their course provider is obtaining the eTA on their behalf before applying.

What Courses Can You Take with a Canada eTA?

The ETA only allows you to study in Canada visa free for short courses in Canada. However, most students also need a study permit to take an educational course in Canada, in addition to the Canada eTA.

Short-course are defined as being under 6 months. This means that students, for example, can’t take an 8-month course because they only plan to spend 6 of those 8 months in Canada. Work permits are needed for university degrees, masters programs, and other longer-term courses.

How to obtain a study permit for Canada

Students normally apply for a study permit before going to Canada, however, in some cases applicants apply from within the country. Applicants need to complete an online form and provide a range of documentation including an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) and a valid passport or travel document. It is also necessary to provide a photo and fingerprints (biometrics).

Who Can Apply for the Canada eTA?

Students from the following countries can obtain the eTA Canada (the eTA can only be used to enter Canada by air):

Can Students Work in Canada with an eTA?

The eTA does not allow you to work in Canada. However, students with a study permit are allowed to work in Canada as long as they obtain a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) and are taking a full-time course. Sometimes students are only allowed to work on-campus. For most positions a work permit is required.

Apply for a Canadian eTA