The Canadian Government introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in 2018. Obtaining an eTA for Canada is much easier than getting a conventional visa as applicants do not need to go to an embassy or consulate to complete the application.
The application process is completed entirely online. Applicants just need to complete the online eTA form and pay a fee using a credit or debit card. The whole process only takes a matter of minutes.
Who needs an eTA for Canada? All eTA eligible nationalities (see list of countries below) who enter by air need an eTA for Canada. Some groups of people (such as US citizens) can enter with just their passport. Other nationalities are not eligible for the eTA and need to go to an embassy or consulate to apply for a visa.
Do You Need an eTA for Canada?
Whether you need a Canadian eTA depends on your nationality and if you are traveling to Canada by air. If you are from an eligible country and are flying to Canada then you most likely need a Canada eTA (there are a few exceptions which are discussed below).
The following countries are eligible for the Canada ETA:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Hong Kong
- Korea South
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Island
- St. Helena
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
Do Canadian Residents and Dual Citizens Need an eTA for Canada?
Permanent residents of Canada do not need an eTA. They just need a Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) or a Permanent resident Travel Document to enter Canada.
Dual citizens (people who have a Canadian passport a second passport issued by another country) do not need an eTA to enter Canada as long as they present their Canadian passport at the border.
Do U.S. Citizens and Residents Need an eTA for Canada?
U.S. citizens do not not need a Canada eTA or any other form of visa or travel authorization to enter Canada. They just need to present their valid U.S. passport.
U.S. permanent residents (Green Card holders) do need an eTA to travel to Canada, in addition to their Green Card and passport.
Do Students and Workers Need an eTA for Canada?
If you are from a visa-exempt country and have a work or study permit, you will automatically be issued an eTA when your work or study permit application is accepted.
However, if your work or study permit was issued before August 2015 you need an ETA in order to return to Canada by air.
How to Apply for a Canadian eTA
Applying for the Canadian eTA is straightforward. To be able to apply, applicants need to meet all the eTA requirements which includes having a passport from one of the eligible countries and a credit or debit card to pay the visa fee.
The eTA application form just involves answering a series of basic questions by entering information such as the applicant’s full name, date of birth. address, passport details, and travel plans.
Applicants also need to answer some health and security-related questions. All the provided information is screened by the authorities before the application is approved or denied (the vast majority are quickly approved).
Approved Canadian eTAs are sent to applicants by email. They are valid for periods of 5 consecutive years (or until the eTA holder’s passport expires). Canada eTAs cannot be transferred between passport’s. Travelers need to use the passport they used to apply for their eTA to enter Canada.