Canada’s mandatory new pre-screening system for visa-exempt visitors has been further extended until November 9, 2016. The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system was to become fully implemented for visitors to Canada from certain countries on September 29, 2016. Immigration authorities have agreed to further extend this deadline to give travelers and airlines more time to prepare.
“In consultation with airline partners, we’re taking further steps to minimize any travel disruptions,” said John McCallum, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We are extending the leniency period and doing another major information blitz in Canada and abroad to encourage affected travelers, including dual Canadian citizens, to plan ahead and get the necessary travel documents before they book a flight to Canada.”
The new requirement came into effect on March 15, 2016, but the Canadian government introduced an initial period of leniency until September 29, 2016. This has now been further extended until November 9, 2016.
After that date, all those travelling by air to Canada from a visa-exempt country will require an eTA.
For more information on the eTA, click here.
The requirement applies to both those directing visiting Canada and those passing through in transit.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and US citizens do not require an eTA. However, US permanent residents, or green card holder, do require the online authorization.
A full list of visa-exempt countries is available here. If you are flying from one of these countries, you require an eTA.
Those applying for an eTA need a valid passport or travel document if coming from the US. You also need a credit card to pay the $7 fee and a valid email address. You can apply by clicking here.
A number of fake eTA websites have sprung up since the Canadian government introduced the new requirement, asking for several times more money to process the application.
Travellers are advised to use only the official Canadian government website.
The eTA was introduced as part of Canada’s harmonization of its travel security with the US. The two countries recently agreed to share entry and exit information. It means Canadians need to be a bit more careful how long they spend in the US.
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