British citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada for short stays for tourism and business activities but do not include work. All visits are at the discretion of Canadian Border Services who may require you to provide the proof of funds that will support you during your stay, travel medical insurance, passport and the proof that you will leave the country.
The Introduction of the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
Fortunately, from March 15, 2016, any British visitor traveling to Canada will have to acquire ETA to get to Canada. In fact, by August 1, 2015, British travelers have the opportunity to go online and apply for their ETA ahead of time. This program is similar to the current digital verification program implemented in the United States and Australia.
Apply for an ETA Visa
British nationals who want to apply for Canada ETA must hold a credit card, passport, email address, submit background and biographical information. Also, they must submit previous travel information and occupation details. The authority to travel to Canada is granted through the Canada-eta.ca website and the applicant will have to print it out and submit it to the responsible authorities plus other travel documents before he/she departs for Canada.
At the very end of the ETA application form, applicants will find a free text field, which ask them to indicate additional details pertinent to their application. It allows them to include their urgent need to travel to Canada if any. After a successful submission of the application, the applicant will receive CIC computerized email authenticating the receipts of the application. In fact, the email will have a link to enable the applicant to check his/her status at any time and GCMS application number for confirmation.
The validity of ETA Visa
The Canadian visa is electronically linked to the British Citizens' passports and only valid for five years or until the passport linked expires. No additional period of validity beyond this is required, but if the passport less than six months remaining when you get to Canada, it might take long to pass through the immigration control authority. The British passports can only be extended by 12 months and consulates under additional measures. Unfortunately, the Canadian government has the full authority to cancel your ETA based on inadmissibility factor and other public policy considerations.
Despite the fact that the government of Canada has created the pre-authorization program, the British Nationals still need a passport and the standard customs form to travel to Canada, no visa. However, by March 15, 2016, they will only need ETA and passports to visit Canada.