There are fifty different countries which are exempt from Canada visa requirements, including Switzerland. This means Swiss citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada.
Swiss citizens are required instead to get an Electronic Travel Authorization, or eTA. The eTA was introduced by Canadian authorities in 2015 as a way of pre-screening foreign visitors to the country and speeding up the application process.
As a result, visa applications are faster and more efficient, waiting times to receive a visa or travel authorization are shorter, and queues at customs and immigration have been reduced.
Canada eTA Application from Switzerland
The Canada Electronic Travel Authorization can only be used by travelers who are entering Canada via airport. Those arriving via land or sea do not need an eTA, but will still require identification and travel documents.
The eTA for Swiss 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
For Swiss nationals transiting through Canada, it is not necessary to have a transit visa as they are able to transit using their Electronic Travel Authorization. However, as with entering the country, it can only be used when entering and leaving via a Canadian airport.
The eTA for Swiss 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.
In order to use the eTA, it is necessary for all travelers to have an electronic passport that is machine readable. All modern Swiss passports are machine readable, but travelers who are uncertain about the eligibility of their documents should check with the Swiss passport office.
How to Apply for an eTA for Swiss Citizens
Swiss 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 is also an eTA fee to pay and several questions relating to the applicant’s medical history, as well as some security questions that must be completed. Although the eTA for Swiss citizens is usually processed quickly, it is advisable to apply at least 72 hours before travel to allow time for the authorization to be issued.
It’s easy to apply for the eTA online from anywhere in the world using a desktop, tablet or mobile. The authorization is quick and easy and will be delivered safely and electronically to the applicant’s email address.
There is no need to print your authorization documents or bring them to the airport. Once the eTA for Swiss citizens has been approved, it is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and valid for a period of five years.
eTA Requirements and Required Documents
There are several requirements necessary in order to apply for the Canada eTA. All applicants must have:
- a Swiss 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
The eTA for Swiss citizens is linked to a specific passport number, so holders of dual citizenship must apply for the eTA using the same passport that they intend to travel on.
Only travelers who are full citizens of Switzerland are able to use the Canada eTA application. 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.
Applicants who are under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian to fill in and sign the application on their behalf. Adults applying for an eTA for Swiss citizens on behalf of their children or another minor are also required to provide some basic personal information as their guardian or representative.
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. 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.
Swiss citizens visitng Canada may not stay in the country beyond the date specified in their passport. Travelers who need to extend their stay in Canada can apply for an extension, provided they do so at least 30 days before they are due to leave the country.eTA from Switzerland