There is no need for Hong Kong citizens apply for a visa to visit Canada, but they do require a travel authorization to visit the country for up to 6 months.
The electronic travel authorization, or Canadian eTA, was implemented for Hong Kong citizens in 2016. It was introduced by Canadian authorities as a more efficient way to evaluate foreign travelers before they entered the country.
As a result of implementing the system, queues at immigration have been reduced and the waiting time for obtaining travel authorization has become significantly shorter.
Can Hong Kong Citizens Apply for the eTA Online?
It is easy to apply for the Canadian eTA for Hong Kong online, as it can be completed from the comfort of your home and there is no need for in-person visits to an embassy or consulate.
The eTA is administered electronically, and so travelers applying for the eTA are required to have an electronic passport that is machine-readable. Recently issued Hong Kong passports are all machine-readable, but travelers who are concerned about their documents should check with their passport issuer.
The Canada electronic travel authorization 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
eTA Application for Arrival by Air from Hong Kong
The eTA is only valid if the applicant intends to enter Canada via the airport. Those driving across the border or arriving by sea do not qualify for an eTA, and instead may need a visa in addition to their identification and travel documents.
There are other requirements necessary in order to apply for the Canada eTA. All applicants must have:
- A Hong Kong 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
Accepted card types include:
- American Express
- Diners Club
Travelers who hold dual citizenship with Hong Kong and another country should take care to apply for the Canada eTA for Hong Kong using the same passport they intend to travel with. This is because the eTA is specific to the passport number used in the application and cannot be transferred.
Only travelers over 18 at the time of application can apply for the eTA for Hong Kong Citizens. Adults traveling with children will need to apply on their behalf, and will also be required to provide some basic personal information on the application form as their guardian or representative.
Since the eTA is only valid for those who intend to enter and depart Canada by air, travelers must also exit Canada via the airport before the date specified in their passport. Hong Kong nationals who wish to extend their stay in Canada can do so from within the country by filling in an extension application at least 30 days before the end of their stay.
Canadian eTA Benefits for Hong Kong Citizens
The Canadian eTA for Hong Kong has many significant benefits for Hong Kong nationals traveling to Canada. The application form can be filled in quickly and easily and is available to use on desktop, tablet or mobile devices. The authorization is delivered online to the applicant’s email, usually within three days of application.
The eTA also saves Hong Kong visitors who are transiting through Canada the inconvenience of obtaining a transit visa. Instead, travelers can simply use the Canada eTA for transit purposes, provided they enter and leave via Canadian airports.
The eTA lasts for five years and allows the holder to enter Canada multiple times, which is much more convenient than the previous single-entry visa system. Visitors can be granted a stay of up to six months, which is determined by border officials on arrival and recorded in the traveler’s passport.
Apply Online for an eTA from Hong Kong
Hong Kong 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
There will also be several health and security-related questions on the form which must be answered accurately and in full. It is recommended that applicants review all information before submitting their application, as mistakes or inaccurate information can lead to the Canadian eTA being delayed or rejected.
There is also an eTA fee to be paid at the time the application is submitted. It is advisable to apply for an eTA at least 72 hours before travel, to allow time for the documents to be processed and the authorization to be issued. The eTA is entirely electronic and linked to the visitor’s passport, so there are no documents required at border control.