Australia is one of fifty countries which are visa-exempt, which means Australian citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada.
Instead, Australians are required to obtain an electronic travel authorization, or eTA to enter Canada.
The eTA was implemented by Canadian authorities in 2015 in order to pre-screen foreign visitors to Canada and determine their eligibility.
Use of the system has cut visa applications and allowed the authorities to process foreign visitors more efficiently, leading to shorter waiting times and reduced queues at customs and immigration.
Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada by air
The Canada electronic travel authorization is only available to travelers entering Canada by air. Those arriving via land or sea do not need an eTA, but will still require identification and travel documents instead.
The Canadian eTA for Australian citizens is intended for visitors who are traveling to Canada for the purposes of:
- Tourism, especially short tourist stays
- Business trips
- Transiting through Canada to their onward destination
- Medical treatment or consultation
Most foreign citizens transiting through Canada need a visa to enter and leave the country. However, Australian nationals in possession of the eTA are able to transit without a visa, provided they are entering and leaving via a Canadian airport.
The Canada eTA for Australian citizens does not grant the right to live or work in Canada, although it is possible to apply for a work permit at the same time as the eTA with no additional fee.
Since the Canadian eTA is entirely electronic, it is necessary for all travelers to have an electronic passport that is machine readable. All modern Australian passports are machine readable, but travelers who are uncertain about the eligibility of their documents should check with the Australian passport office.
Electronic Travel Authorization for Entering Canada by Air
Australian nationals eligible for the eTA need to complete the simple online application form and provide some basic personal details, including:
- Passport details, including passport number
- Passport issue date and expiry date
It is also necessary to answer a few questions related to health and security matters and pay the eTA fee in order to submit the Canada visa application.
It is advisable to apply for an eTA to Canada for Australian citizens at least 72 hours before travel, to allow time for the documents to be processed and the authorization to be issued.
The eTA for Australian citizens can be applied for on desktop, tablet or mobile devices. The authorization is quick and easy and will be delivered safely and electronically to the applicant’s email address.
It is recommended that all information provided on the application form be double-checked prior to submission. Any inaccuracies or errors can result in delay or rejection of the Canada eTA for Australian citizens.
Once the Canadian eTA has been approved, it is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and valid for a period of five years. There is no need to print anything and no documents to show at the airport.
eTA Requirements for Australians Traveling to Canada
There are several requirements necessary in order to apply for the Canada eTA. All applicants must have:
- An Australian passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel
- A valid credit or debit card to pay the fee
- A current email address
Since the eTA for Australian citizens is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport, it is vital for holders of dual citizenship to apply with the same passport that they intend to travel on.
It is necessary to be an Australian citizen in order to apply for the Canada eTA. Travelers who hold a temporary passport or travel documents with a different status, such as refugees or temporary residents, will need to apply for a Canadian visa unless they also hold a passport from another visa-exempt country.
All eTA applicants must be over 18 at the time of application. Minors will need a parent or guardian to complete the application on their behalf. Those applying for an eTA for Australian citizens on behalf of a minor are also required to provide some basic personal information as their guardian or representative.
Within the five-year period, applicants are permitted to enter Canada multiple times and can be granted a stay of up to six months for each trip. On arrival, border officials will determine how long the eTA holder is allowed to remain in Canada, and the details will be indicated on the passport.
The traveler is obliged to leave the country on or before the date specified in their passport. Australian nationals who wish to extend their stay in Canada can apply for an extension, provided they do so at least 30 days before the end of their stay.