What is eTA (or Electronic Visa) for Canada?
As part of its joint agreement with the United States to better secure both the countries' borders, from August 2015 onwards Canada started a
Visa Waiver programme for certain Visa exempt countries
whose citizens could travel to Canada by applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization Document instead,
which is known as the eTA for Canada.
The Canada eTA works as a Visa Waiver document for foreign nationals from certain eligible (Visa Exempt) countries who can travel to Canada without having to obtain a
Visa from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate but instead visit the country on the eTA for Canada which can be applied for and obtained online.
The Canada eTA performs the same function as the Canada Visa but it is much more easily obtained and the process is faster too. Canada eTA is valid for business, touristic or transit purposes only.
The validity period of your eTA is different than the duration of stay. While eTA is valid for 5 years, you duration cannot exceed 6 months. You may enter Canada at any time within the validity period.
It is quick process which requires you filling an eTA Application Form online, this can be as little as five (5) minutes to
complete. Canada eTA is issued after the application form has been successfully completed and fee paid by the applicant online.
Who can apply for eTA for Canada
Only citizens of the following countries are exempted from obtaining a Visa to travel to Canada and must apply instead for the eTA to Canada.
Citizens of Canada and the United States need only their Canadian or U.S. Passports to travel to Canada. US lawful Permanent Residents, however, who are in possession of a U.S. Green Card, must apply for the Canada eTA.
Only those visitors who are traveling to Canada by air through a commercial or chartered flight need to apply for the eTA to Canada.
Types of Canada eTA
The Canada eTA has four types, or in other words, you can apply for the Canada eTA when the purpose of your visit to the country is any one of the following:
Transit or layover when you have to stop at a Canadian airport or city for a brief period of time till your next flight to your final destination.
Tourism, sightseeing, visiting family or friends, coming to Canada on a school trip, or attending a short course of study that does not award any credits.
For business purposes, including business meetings, business, professional, scientific, or educational conference or convention, or for the settling of the affairs of an estate.
For planned medical treatment in a Canadian hospital.
Information required for Canada eTA
Canada eTA applicants will need to provide the following information at the time of filling out online Canada eTA Application Form:
- Personal information like name, place of birth, date of birth
- Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry
- Contact information such as address and email
- Job details
Before you apply for Canada eTA
Travelers who intend to apply online for Canada eTA must fulfil the following conditions:
A Valid passport for travel
The applicant’s passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the departure date, the date when you leave Canada.
There should also be a blank page on the passport so that the Customs Officer can stamp your passport.
Your eTA for Canada, if approved, will be linked to your valid Passport, so you are also required to have a valid Passport, which can be either an Ordinary Passport, or an Official, Diplomatic, or Service Passport, all issued by eligible countries.
A valid Email ID
The applicant will receive Canada eTA by email, therefore a valid Email ID is required to receive Canada eTA.
The form can be completed by the visitors intending to arrive by clicking here Canada eTA application form.
Method of Payment
Since the Canada eTA application form is only available online, without a paper equivalent, a valid credit/debit card or PayPal account is required.
Applying for the Canada eTA
Eligible Foreign Nationals who wish to travel to Canada need to apply for the eTA for Canada online.
The entire process is web-based, from application, payment, and submission to getting notified of the result of the application.
The applicant will have to fill the Canada eTA application form with relevant details, including contact details, previous travel details, passport details, and other
background information such as health and criminal record.
All persons traveling to Canada, regardless of their age, will have to fill this form.
Once filled, the applicant will have to make the eTA application payment using a credit or debit card and then submit the application.
Most decisions are reached within 24 hours and the applicant is notified via email but some cases may take a few days or weeks to process.
It’s best to apply for the eTA for Canada as soon as you have finalised your travel plans and no later than 72 hours before your scheduled entry into Canada .
You will be notified of the final decision by email and in case your application is not approved you might try applying for the Canada Visa.
How long does Canada eTA application take to process
It is advisable to apply for Canada eTA at least 72 hours before you plan to enter the country.
Validity of the Canada eTA
The eTA for Canada is valid for a period of 5 years from the date of its issue or lesser if the Passport that it is electronically linked to expires before the 5 years.
The eTA allows you to stay in Canada for the maximum of 6 months at a time but you can use it to visit the country repeatedly within the period of its validity.
However, the actual duration you would be allowed to stay in for at a time would be decided by the border officials depending upon your purpose of visit and will be stamped
on your Passport.
Entry into Canada
The eTA for Canada is required so that you can board a flight to Canada as without it you cannot get on any Canada bound flight.
However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canadian border officials can deny you entry at the airport even if you are an approved Canada eTA holder if at the time of entry you do not have all your documents, such as your passport, in order, which will be checked by the border officials; if you pose any health or financial risk; and if you have previous criminal/terrorist history or previous immigration issues.
If you have ready all the documents required for the Canada eTA and meet all eligibility conditions for the eTA for Canada, then you should be able to quite easily apply online for the Canada eTA whose application form is quite simple and straightforward.
If you require any clarifications you should contact our helpdesk for support and guidance.
Documents that the Canada eTA applicant may be asked at the Canada border
Means of supporting themselves
The applicant may be asked to provide evidence that they can financially support and sustain themselves during their stay in Canada.
Onward/return flight ticket.
The applicant may be required to show that they intend to leave Canada after the purpose of trip for which Canada eTA was applied is over.
If the applicant does not have an onward ticket, they may provide the proof of funds and ability to buy a ticket in the future.