For citizens of eligible countries, the Electronic Travel Authorization provides efficient and hassle-free access to Canada.
The eTA is a mandatory document for visitors from 60 visa-exempt countries arriving by air. Since the introduction of the program in 2015, foreigners from these nations have been required to obtain the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization in order to cross the border for tourism, business or transit purposes.
With no need to go to an embassy or consulate in person, the eTA application is generally quick and convenient, the whole process is completed online.
Once approved, the eTA is valid for 5 years and is multiple-entry meaning that holders can leave and reenter Canada. Each stay in the country can have a maximum duration of 6 months.
Can I get the ETA quickly?
It’s not always possible to apply well in advance and some visitors may need the authorization almost immediately.
Luckily, applicants who are in a rush can now opt for a 1-hour urgent processing service. Travelers can find information below about how and when to use this express eTA application.
The regular processing times are also fast — most requests are reviewed within 24 hours. Despite this, it is highly recommendable to apply for eTA at least 1 to 3 business days prior to departure in case of any complications.
When to Choose Urgent Canada eTA Processing
When possible, the eTA should be applied for well in advance of departure. Although most applications are problem-free, in certain situations issues may arise which lead to longer processing times.
Although completing the application well ahead of time is ideal, it is not always suitable. In such instances, visitors may be concerned that the eTA will not be granted in time for their scheduled flight.
Exceptional circumstances in which an emergency eTA is required
Some of the most common situations in which travelers need to apply for the eTA urgently are:
- Business meetings arranged at the last minute
- Unexpected changes to tourist itineraries
- A spontaneous trip to take advantage of airline deals
- Family emergencies
- Modifying transport plans and therefore arriving by plane instead of overland or by sea
If the flight to Canada is scheduled within the next 24 hours, it is highly recommendable that passengers select the urgent eTA service to guarantee a decision within 1 hour, although processing may still take longer for some nationalities.
Can I Get an eTA for Canada at the Airport?
Until now, applying for a Canadia eTA at the airport has been discouraged. With standard processing times of up to 24 hours, requesting this mandatory document just a few hours prior to a flight was a risk, with no assurance that the application would be reviewed in time.
Thanks to this new option, it is now possible to apply for eTA on an urgent basis directly from the airport. With guaranteed processing times of under 1 hour, for most nationalities, travelers can enjoy peace of mind that a decision will be reached within 60 minutes.
It is important to note that the one-hour service promises a decision within 60 minutes for the majority of nationalities, not approval. When applying for the eTA last minute it is more important than ever to double-check that the application form is submitted error-free.
Any mistakes made are likely to lead to the request being denied, by which time it may be too late to re-submit the form before the flight’s departure.
To avoid such unfortunate situations, last-minute travelers can use a specialized agency to ensure that the application is submitted without errors, increasing the probability that the eTA will be approved and avoiding disappointment and disrupted holiday or business plans.
How To Apply for the Urgent Canada eTA
To use the fast-track Canada eTA service, applicants follow the same process as when making the request using the standard option (1 to 3 business days). The only difference is that the applicant needs to select ‘Urgent guaranteed processing in less than 1 hour’ when paying the eTA fees.
However, it is important to note that for some nationalities processing times will still take longer than an hour.
The application process is completed in 3 simple steps:
- Fill in and submit the eTA application form electronically
- Select the express option and pay eTA fees
- Receive approved eTA by email
Travelers are required to meet the same eTA requirements for their country of origin as when applying through the regular service.
The application form for an urgent eTA requires some basic personal information including name, nationality, and occupation. Passport details must also be provided.
It is essential that every detail is completed correctly, any spelling mistakes or erroneous passport data may lead to the urgent eTA being denied and travel plans disrupted.
A valid eTA along with the associated passport must be presented at the border on arrival in Canada or access to the country will be denied.