eTA Agency for Travel Assistance and Visa Processing
Welcome to Canada eTA – an online agency that provides assistance in obtaining the Electronic Travel Authorization eTA required to enter Canada. From March 15, 2016 citizens of all countries that are exempt from having to obtain a visa to travel to Canada as well as lawful permanent residents of the United States must obtain an eTA visa travel authorization before entering Canada.
If you are travelling for tourism, business, or transiting and arriving by air, you must apply for an eTA electronic authorization before checking-in for your flight to Canada. The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) allows individuals from specific countries as well as lawful permanent residents of the United States to visit Canada for tourism or business purposes without having to apply for a visa.
You can enter Canada with an eTA if you comply with the following:
- You are arriving by air and are a citizen of an eligible country that is visa exempt or a lawful permanent resident of the United States with a valid alien registration card (Green Card) – please see list of visa exempt countries below.
- You convince an immigration officer of your ties to your country – employment, family home, etc. that will ensure you return to your country.
- You have sufficient funds for your stay in Canada – this is determined by the length of your trip.
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The Canada eTA Explained
The electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Purpose of the eTA
It used to be that citizens of visa-exempt countries could freely enter Canada without special permissions. However, as the need arose for increased border security, the electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) was devised and implemented. It is the Canadian government’s effort to pre-screen travelers from visa-exempt countries and keep out criminals and people under no-fly restrictions.
Obtained in the Home Country
The electronic Travel Authorization is obtained in a traveler’s home country before leaving for Canada. It is linked electronically to a traveler’s passport.
Not a Guarantee for Entry
Obtaining a Canada eTA does not guarantee admittance into Canada. Upon arrival in Canada, travelers with eTAs may be required to demonstrate to customs officials that 1) they have enough funds to cover their stay in Canada and their return trip, and 2) they have compelling reasons to return home (i.e., employment, financial obligations, spouses and children, etc.).
A traveler who is denied admittance into Canada may not enter the country and must leave.
Who Needs and Who Does Not Need an eTA?
There are three categories of travelers to Canada:
- Those who need a Canada eTA for entry;
- Those who do not need a Canada eTA for entry; and
- Those who must obtain a Canadian visa instead of an eTA for entry.
An electronic Travel Authorization must be obtained by all travelers from visa-exempt countries (see the list of visa-exempt countries on this page) before boarding flights to Canada, including:
- People who are traveling through Canada, where Canada is not their destination
- People flying into Canada on a private airplane
Travelers driving into Canada from the United States and those who possess a Canadian visa do not need an eTA.
People from countries that are not visa-exempt must obtain a Canada visa (this is different from an eTA) through their Canadian consulate or embassy to enter the country.
You Can Apply for an eTA If . . .
Anyone may apply for a Canada eTA. Granting of the eTA is based on several factors.
- The traveler is from a country that Canada exempts from a visa requirement
- Business, tourism, or transit is the purpose of the visit to Canada
- The trip will be 180 days or less
- The applicant is not a criminal
- The applicant has not violated immigration regulations
- The traveler has good reason to return home: employment, home ownership, of financial assets
- The traveler can credibly demonstrate that he or she plans to return home
- The applicant has a valid passport
- The person is in good health
About Using an eTA
An eTA is granted before travelers leave their home countries. The first time it is checked is at the airline counter in the departure country.
Electronically Linked to a Passport
The travel authorization is linked to a traveler’s passport electronically. At the departure airport, the traveler’s passport is scanned, and this confirms that a valid eTA is in place. For this reason, it is important to bring the passport whose number matches the passport number included in the eTA approval email.
Valid Up to Five Years
An eTA can be used more than once. In other words, travelers do not have to obtain a new eTA for every visit to Canada. It is good for up to five years or until a traveler’s passport expires. Approved visit length is generally not more than six months.
Regard Length and Status of Stay
Travelers should be careful to stay in Canada only for the approved length of their visit. Overstaying a visit without an extension approved by the Canada Citizenship and Immigration departments will result in losing an eTA. A new electronic Travel Authorization must be obtained for subsequent trips. Without exception, passports must be valid for the duration of the visit.
Travelers who visit Canada for a short-term stay cannot convert their status to a long-term stay in the middle of the visit. They must leave Canada and apply for a regular visa that provides for a longer stay.
Keep Passport Current
Passports must be current during travel with an eTA. It is not recommended to enter Canada with a passport that will expire soon, or with one that has been valid for less than six months.
A traveler who obtains a new passport must always apply for a new electronic Travel Authorization because the eTA is linked to one passport only and is not transferrable.
For more information, please visit the Canadian Government’s website and the pages detailing electronic Travel Authorization specifics.
When an eTA is Denied
Sometimes an eTA application is not approved. This can happen if a prior visa application has been denied, entry requirements are not met, or the applicant is a security risk. The Canadian immigration authority does not supply a reason for an eTA denial.