An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a new requirement for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries arriving in Canada by air, whether to visit the country directly or to pass through in transit.
Do I need an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You need an eTA if you are travelling to Canada by air from a visa-exempt country. A full list of visa-exempt countries is available here.
The following are exempt from requiring an eTA:
- Those who have already obtained a valid visa to enter Canada.
- Anyone entering by land or sea.
- Armed Forces visiting Canada on official duty.
- Students who have a valid Canadian study permit dated on or after August 1, 2015.
- Flight crew, civil aviation inspectors, accident investigators.
- Temporary Foreign Workers who have a valid Canadian work permit date on or after August 1, 2015.
- French citizens who live in and are travelling from St. Pierre and Miquelon.
- Persons entering from the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, while holding valid status in Canada.
- Accredited diplomats.
- Canadian citizens and dual citizens (provided you are travelling on a Canadian passport)
- Canadian permanent residents (you need your PR card or point of entry documentation)
- US citizens (US permanent residents, or green card holders, DO require an eTA when travelling by air)
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Special Case: Brazilian, Romanian and Bulgarian Nationals
As of May 1, 2017, Brazilians, Romanians and Bulgarians who have held a Canada visa in the last 10 years, or currently hold a US visa, do not require a visa to travel to Canada by air.
Citizens of all three countries do need an eTA to travel to Canada by air.
Citizens of all three countries still require a Canada visa to cross the border by car, bus, train or boat.
Special Case: Mexican Nationals
Mexicans were granted the right to travel to Canada without a visa as of December 1, 2016. They therefore require an eTA to travel by air.
Mexicans with a visa still valid from before December 1, 2016 do not require an eTA.
How do I get an Electronic Travel Authorization?
You can apply for an eTA through the Canadian federal government website.
Before you apply, you will need:
- Valid passport
- As a US permanent resident, you can apply with:
- Valid US refugee travel document (I-571)
- Valid permit to re-enter the US (I-327)
- Credit card to pay the $7 fee
- Valid email address
To apply for an eTA click here.
When should I apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?
The Canadian government advises you to apply as soon as you know you travel itinerary.
However, an eTA can be obtain at the last minute via a smartphone. All you need is an internet connection. The email authorization often only takes a few minutes to come through.
There is no requirement to print an eTA. It is electronically linked to your passport or travel document.
How long is an Electronic Travel Authorization valid for?
An eTA can be valid for five years, or until your passport or travel document expires.