With more than 21 million travelers entering the country each year, Canada is amongst the most popular tourist destinations worldwide.
Do Portuguese Citizens Need a Visa for Canada?
Yes, Portuguese visitors should note that a valid visa to Canada from Portugal is required in order to enter the country, and should be applied for prior to travel.
The main tourist visa to Canada from Portugal is called the Electronic Travel Authorization, or ETA for short. This has been introduced by the Canadian government in order to streamline the process of obtaining a visa to Canada from Portugal and 49 other countries.
This electronic visa is valid for a period of 5 years, or until the date of your passport’s expiry. It allows for multiple entries into into Canada via one of the country’s airports during this period, but does not allow for travel into the country via a land or sea border.
However, the longest that a Portuguese citizen may stay be allowed to remain in the country on one visit is 90 days. For longer stays, travelers will need to apply for a different category of visa.
How to Apply for an ETA Canada Visa from Portugal
The ETA application for Portuguese citizens is a simple process, and involves completing an online Canadian ETA application form submitting an electronic payment.
Each applicant will need:
- A biometric Portuguese passport, valid for at least 6 months from the proposed date of arrival in Canada.
- An application form which is completed online, and which includes personal details such as the traveler’s full name and date of birth, as well as your Portuguese passport number, date of issue, and date of expiry.
- Online payment via credit or debit card is required before the travel authorization approval process can begin.
- An email address is required to finalize the application and to receive communication about the eTA’s approval.
The online application form will take about 30 minutes to complete, and will require such details as your name, address, and contact details, your date of birth, passport number, date of issue, and date of expiry, as well as details about the intended purpose of your travel from Portugal.
Once the online application form has been submitted, debit or credit card payment is required before the application will be accepted for processing.
A confirmation email will be sent to the address provided upon approval of your visa. Approval may take less than one hour or up to a maximum of 72 hours in some cases.
As this is a paperless document, no paper visa will be supplied. The Canada ETA visa will be linked to your Portuguese passport, and will be read by the electronic immigration machines at the border upon your arrival.
It’s important to note that the ETA visa to Canada allows for up to 90 days of travel in the country via the airport of your choice. Before the 90-day period expires, you will be required to leave the country. However, subsequent visits not exceeding 90 days will be possible for the next 5 years or until your passport expires.
Important Considerations Before Applying for a Canadian ETA Visa from Portugal
The following requirements should be noted before applying:
- This is a paperless visa, linked to each traveler’s passport, and therefore only biometric Portuguese passports are eligible for the ETA visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of intended arrival in Canada.
- The ETA is intended for travel by air only, and is therefore valid only for entry at the border of one of Canada’s international airports. Travel via one of the country’s many seaports or land borders with the USA will not be possible.
- The intended travel purpose to Canada from Portugal must be tourism, business, medical, or transit. The ETA is not valid for other purposes such as study (it is possible to do small courses with your eTA), work, or retirement
- Only Portuguese travelers aged 18 and over may apply. Parents of children under the age of 18 may apply on their behalf.
Canada is a diverse and fascinating country to visit, whether for business or pleasure. Thankfully, the ETA Canada visa from Portugal allows for ease of entry into the country for up to 5 years, provided such entry is via one of Canada’s many international airports.