Are You Eligible To Travel With A Canadian Online Travel Permit – eTA?

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All tourists and travellers require a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to transit through a Canadian airport. Before you fly or travel to Canada, you need to know as to what all documents you need so as to avoid any confusions or mistakes.

What is an eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization?

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry condition for all those visa-exempt foreign nationals who are flying to Canada. The Canada eTA is linked to the passport electronically and holds validity for five years or when the passport expires. So, if you have a new passport and are flying to Canada, make sure that you have an eTA. With an eTA, you can feel free to fly to Canada as often as you want and stay for shorter time periods for up to six months. However, one doesn’t need an eTA for travel within Canada.

Keep in mind that having an eTA does not guarantee your entry into Canada. When you arrive, the immigration officers will evaluate your other documents and passports. He needs to be convinced that you are eligible to enter Canada. The final decision lies at the discretion of an immigration officer, and if the officer feels that your visit is based on tourism or for any business, he or she can refuse entry.

Apply for your eTA from the comfort of your home and we will send you back the approved travel permit by email!

Who needs an eTA?

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) has been introduced by the Canadian government as a new requirement for travellers from the visa-exempt countries when they fly through Canada. Those travellers who do not need a visa to travel to Canada would require an eTA, but only if they are travelling by air. You do not need an eTA if you are travelling to Canada by land or sea. Those travellers who carry a Canadian visa and Canadian citizenship do not need eTA travel document.

There are different requirements for different travellers. One needs to be sure about their status to learn if they need an eTA and are eligible for it.

  • Visa-exempt foreign nationals-These travellers need an eTA when they go through a Canadian airport but do not need the eTA when arriving by land or sea. That is, if they enter Canada via car, bus, train or boat, they do not need an eTA.
  • The permanent resident of the U.S.- U.S. citizens, need an eTA when they fly through a Canadian airport. However, they must show their Green Card and passport when they check in.

 Who is eligible to apply for an eTA?

There are travellers who may or may not be eligible to apply for an eTA. Travellers from select visa-required countries can go for the eTA instead of a visa to transit through Canada by air. However, the same travellers will need a visitor visa when they arrive by car, train, or boat. Those travellers who cannot apply for an eTA but need to carry other identifications or documents include the Canadian citizens and American-Canadians. However, they need to have with them a valid Canadian or U.S. passport. Canadian permanent residents need to carry their permanent resident travel document. Those travellers who are excused from getting the eTA requirement include the U.S. citizens. However, they too must carry valid documents and passport.

It is important to note here that the former residents of Canada, the Permanent Resident (PR) status does not expire. Still, they should learn more about their status and if they need eTA.  If you lived in Canada several years ago, you could still have PR status.

Only citizens of certain countries who can travel to Canada without a visa are eligible. These countries include Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,  Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco,  Romania, San Marino, Singapore, , Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain Taiwan, Turks and Caicos, Vatican City, United Kingdom.

Not sure if you are eligible to apply? Please, check here for the eTA requirements.

How to apply for an eTA?

The Canadian government has made it compulsory for citizens eligible to enter Canada without a tourist visa to apply online for an eTA. It is easy to apply for an eTA even from the comfort of your home. It is simple to follow the online process, which takes just a couple of minutes. Most applicants get their eTA within minutes while for others, it may take several days to process as they need to submit the supporting documents. One can apply and pay for an eTA for only one person at a time.

Keep your passport, email address, credit or debit card details ready as you would need those to fill in your application. Other information you would need to complete an eTA application includes your name, birth date, marital status, address, passport number, nationality, and some simple questions to determine if your eligibility to come to Canada.  People often make mistakes when applying for an eTA like entering the wrong passport number or other details. One needs to be careful as this can lead to further issues when you fly to Canada. You also need to apply for an eTA for your child and need to submit a separate application form.

Do you need an eTA?

It is essential to know about your eligibility status and determine if you need an eTA so as to minimize the risk of any denial in your application. To find out if you require an eTA, all you need to do is go through the following list of questions and answer.

  • Are you from a visa-exempt country and travelling to Canada by air?
    If yes, then you need an eTA before you board your flight to Canada.
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
    If you are a citizen and permanent resident of the U.S., you can visit Canada with your valid U.S. passport and do not need an eTA.
  • Are you a U.S. permanent resident?
    If you are a Green Card holder or permanent resident of the U.S., you don’t need and eTA to travel to Canada. You must carry your passport as well as Green Card.
  • Are you a dual citizen?
    A dual citizen is one who has Canadian citizenship as well as citizenship of another country. If you are a dual citizen, you do not need an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must have all the valid documents with them when travelling.
  • Are you a Canadian permanent resident?
    If you are a permanent resident of Canada, do not need an eTA, but as mentioned before, must carry all the other valid documents.

Specific considerations are taken into account for those applying for Canadian eTA, for example, their employment information. Any criminal record would result in an automatic denial of an eTA.  Certain illnesses or health conditions too can result in a denial for entry.

FAQ regarding eTA

Travellers to Canada carry some questions in their mind regarding the new entry requirement, eTA or the Electronic Travel Authorization. Here are some of those frequently asked questions.

                1. Can I fly to Canada without an eTA?
                  Yes, but please note that depending on your citizenship, you might still need some kind of authorization like a visa.
                2. Can I still travel to Canada if the application for an eTA was refused?
                   Yes, you can still travel to Canada but only if you are holding an approved visa.
                3. Do I need an eTA as a NEXUS or CANPASS member?
                  Yes, you are required to have an eTA to transit through a Canadian airport.
                4. I am visiting the U.S. and now want to visit Canada. Do I need an eTA?
                  Yes, all travellers will need an eTA to transit through Canada.
                5. Can I use my ESTA to enter Canada?
                  No, you cannot use your ESTA to enter Canada as eTA is separate authorization that is required to enter Canada by air.
                6. Do I need to carry a printed copy of the eTA to the airport?
                  We always recommend our clients to print their eTA document and to keep it among the travel documents.
                7. As I have been refused entry to Canada before, does it make it difficult to get an eTA?
                  Any earlier refusal especially those that have happen less than 10 years will most probably lead to an eTA refusal. In such case, we highly recommend our clients to apply for regular visa directly through the Canadian Consular services.
                8. Can one go for group applications for eTA?
                  No, group applications are not possible, and any travellers with eTA-requirements are expected to have an eTA including minors.
                9. Do chartered aircraft travellers or Heads of State or diplomats need an eTA?
                  Yes.  All travellers from eTA-required countries whether they are VIPs or diplomats or travelling as a chartered group need to have an eTA.
                10. I carry CoPR or a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Do I need an eTA?
                  No. If you have a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document, you don’t need an eTA.
                11. How do I pay the eTA application fee?
                  You have several options to pay for your eTA application – debit or credit card or via PayPal.
                12. Can I get my eTA on an urgently because of exceptional circumstances?
                  In case you need urgently your eTA please, contact us and we will treat your eTA application with priority.
                13. Will you email me when my eTA is approved?
                  Yes. We will contact you by email sending the approved eTA on your names.
                14. What information will I receive once I apply for an eTA?
                  Once you submit the eTA application, you will get an email with one of the following messages:
                  – A message with your approved eTA;
                  – A message requesting additional information;
                  – A message saying that your passport is not eligible and that you will be refunded in up to 7 working days;
                  – A message saying that you are not authorized to travel with en eTA and that you will be refunded in up to 7 working days.
                15. What if I am not getting any information or emails after I apply for an eTA?
                  In case you have not received a message from us, please check your email’s Bulk folder. You can also contact us via the contact form of the website. Our Customers support department is there 24/7 for you.
                16. How do I check the status of my eTA?
                  If you have lost your eTA document or you need to follow the progress of the online travel permit validation, do not hesitate to contact us!
                17. Can I pull out my eTA application?
                  No, once the eTA application paid and sent, you cannot pull it out.
                18. Can I get a refund if my application for an eTA was refused?
                  Yes, in case of an eTA refusal, we will fully refund you.
                19. Is there a way I can appeal if my application for an eTA was refused?
                  You can get in touch with the Federal Court of Canada to review your application status and decision. However, only a lawyer can apply for judicial review on your behalf.

                See also: Working and studying in Canada with your eTA