Up to 2 million French citizens are amongst them, who are attracted not only by the natural beauty and interesting history, but also by the ease of travel in the French-speaking eastern territories of Quebec and Alberta.
Do French Citizens Need a Visa for Canada?
Thanks to a new initiative by the Canadian government, French citizens no longer need to undergo a lengthy application process to obtain a visa to Canada from France.
The ETA, or Electronic Travel Authorization for Canada, is a simple and straightforward paperless travel permit that can be applied for online, and is linked to the traveler’s biometric passport.
All French travelers in possession of a valid e-passport are eligible to apply for the ETA Canada visa for French citizens, which takes between one and three days to be approved, and is valid for up to 5 years of travel to Canada.
Canada Visa Requirements for France
Applying for a Canadian ETA, the main tourist visa to Canada to France, is as easy as completing an online application form including your personal and passport details, and submitting a payment. Within a maximum of 3 days, the approved ETA is linked to each traveler’s biometric passport without the need for paperwork or for visiting an embassy or visa processing office.
The full list of eTA requirements is as follows:
- A valid biometric passport. Each applicant must be in possession of a biometric passport with a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of entry into Canada.
- Personal details. The traveler’s full name, date of birth, address, contact details, occupation, and employment particulars will be needed in addition to a passport number, date of issue, and date of expiry.
- A valid form of online payment. A credit or debit card will be required in order to make a payment via the application website’s online payment portal.
Before going ahead with the application process, it is important that travelers should note:
- Air travel only. The ETA visa is valid only for travel by air to Canada. Therefore if your intended port of entry is via one of the land borders with the USA, or one of the country’s many seaports, the ETA will not be valid.
- Biometric Passport. Only biometric passports may be used in the application of a Canadian ETA visa. This is a paperless visa, linked to the traveler’s passport and designed to be read by electronic immigration machines at the border.
- Tourist visa. The intended purpose of your visit to Canada must be tourism, transit, business, or medical. The ETA is not valid for other purposes such as work, study, or retirement.
- Minimum age requirement. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age in order to apply. Parents of children under the age of 18 may apply on their behalf.
How to Apply for a Canadian ETA Visa
Each application for a Canada Visa for French Citizens begins with completing an online application form, which takes a maximum of 30 minutes, and requires details such as the traveler’s name, date of birth, contact details, passport information, and details about the intended purpose of travel.
Once complete, the application can be submitted for approval, along with payment via credit or debit card.
The approval decision, once made, will be emailed to the address supplied during the application process. Approval can occur within the hour, but in some cases may take up to 72 hours depending on various factors.
All travelers are advised to apply for their Canadian ETA visa at least 3 business days before the intended date of travel so as to avoid any potential disruption to plans.
Visa Validity and Length of Stay
Once granted, the Canadian ETA visa is valid for a period of 5 years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. This allows for multiple airport entries into Canada during this period.
However, the maximum duration that a French citizen may stay in the country on one particular visit is 90 days. For stays of longer than 90 days, a different category of visa will need to be applied for.
Whether for business or pleasure, French citizens traveling to Canada will be required to be in possession of a valid visa before entering the country.
Thankfully with the paperless ETA visa, the process of applying for a tourist visa to Canada from France is quick and simple, and will ensure an easy entry into Canada for up to 5 years via all international airports.