Canada is the land of opportunities. The country has always been open to trade and business with foreigners which is reflected in its business-friendly government policies. One of the policies that were implemented in 2015 to ease businessmen and other travelers entering the country was eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization. It is a regulation which eases air travels to Canada without a visa. Though eTA is not applicable to all countries, the rules apply to many European countries, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and many other countries. If you want to expand your business in Canada or are looking for business opportunities in the country and live in one of the visa-exempt countries listed by the Canadian government, you can get an eTA in just about 10 minutes.
What is eTA
eTA stands for electronic travel authorization. There is an online form available in the Canadian government’s website submitting which you can instantly get an approval to travel to Canada by air. eTA is not a visa but a simpler travel document which along with your passport is enough to let you travel to Canada. eTA is applicable to all visa-exempt countries as listed by the Canadian government. It is an electronic document that is linked to your digital passport and which stays valid for five years or until your passport expires – whichever comes earlier.
What Happens When You Get an eTA
Any foreign national traveling to Canada from a visa-exempt country can get an eTA approval if his passport is satisfactory. When you get an eTA there are numerous benefits you can enjoy. Let’s take a look at them.
- Traveling Freely for Up to Five Years – If your business needs are such that you need to travel to Canada frequently, doing so with an eTA is very You can use the same travel document for five years without renewing it if your passport doesn’t expire. However, you cannot stay in Canada for a duration that is longer than six months.
- Saves Time – People with business interests will understand the age-old saying that time is money. With your ever-increasing business commitments, the eTA helps you save time in complying with travel policies. You do not need to get approval every time you visit the country.
- Helps Prevent Illegal Migration – If you have to frequently travel to Canada on business, you will need to state the reason at the eTA form. Since the specific need for entering Canada has to be mentioned, it helps prevent illegal migration.
- Easy to Apply – Getting a visa approval is a tedious process with bureaucratic bottlenecks that are time-consuming. You need to plan your trip in advance and wait for months to get the visa approved. Apart from document verification, you have to physically verify yourself to the authorities before getting a visa. But when you have business interests in a foreign country, visa seems to be an unnecessary hurdle. On the other hand, it is very easy to obtain an eTA and travel by air to Canada.
What Can You Do With eTA
eTA is not only a necessary document for those traveling to Canada with business interests. If you are a tourist wishing to explore the vast country and live in a visa-exempt country, you can also avail the benefits of eTA. Once you have the eTA in place, you can travel the breadth and length of this vast country without any hurdles. As a foreign national you do not need any other document (apart from your passport) while traveling within the country.
How to Get eTA Approval
It is very easy to get an eTA approval. As we have mentioned earlier there is an online form which needs to be correctly filled with information and submitted with a payment of CAD7 using a credit or debit card. If you fail to provide authentic information or what you enter doesn’t match with details provided in your passport, your eTA may be rejected. In such a case you will have to apply again. There are certain things that you must keep handy before filling up the form – because you cannot fill it offline. Some of the things which will be asked in your eTa form are -
- Personal Information - You will be required to enter your name, age, marital status, passport number, passport issuing country’s name, nationality as mentioned in passport, etc. Every information provided in this section must be correct and must match the details provided in the passport.
- Employment Information – If you are a businessman you will need to provide details about your business – the company’s name, a country where your business is registered, etc. If you are working for a company, the necessary details about the company must be entered.
- Contact Details – In this section information regarding your postal address, your email id should be entered.
- Purpose of Travel – Though this section doesn’t determine the approval of your eTA, providing information with regards to your travel plans within the country is helpful.
- Background Information – This is an important section which can determine your eTA approval to a large extent. Here some questions regarding criminal cases against you, whether you are or have been suffering from illnesses such as tuberculosis, whether you have been rejected Canadian visa or eTA previously are asked. If your answer is YES, you will need to provide further documents.
However, it must be mentioned that even when you have an eTA, immigration authorities at the airport may ask your additional details if they find anything suspicious. An eTA is only applicable if you intend on traveling to Canada via air. If you are using the roadway or seaway you cannot enter the country with the eTA.
eTA is a simple, straight-forward travel document especially beneficial for foreign nationals with business interests traveling to Canada. It simplifies your travel plans to the country and makes it easy to travel around the vast nation without any problems.