Citizens of certain countries are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). For these individuals, the government of Canada has introduced what is known as electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Before the eTA system was introduced, visa-exempt foreign nationals seeking entry to Canada were not systematically screened for admissibility until they arrived at a Canadian Port of Entry
The new eTA system aims to provide stress-free travel for visa-exempt individuals by requiring them to complete an online form before departure.
Note: The eTA is now mandatory for most visitors from countries whose citizens do not require a TRV who are entering Canada by air.
Citizens of visa-exempt countries intending to travel to Canada by air are expected to have applied for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before their departure to Canada. Exceptions to this include citizens of the United States, who do not require a TRV or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), and Green Card holders in the United States, who need an eTA to come to Canada, regardless of their nationality.
The Canadian pre-approval system is only required for TRV-exempt individuals seeking to enter Canada by air to visit on a temporary basis. To know more eTA-related questions and answers, Ask From Our Experts.
Individuals requiring an eTA in order to visit Canada are asked to fill out some personal information and answer a few basic questions relating to criminality or medical issues.
To complete the online form, you need:
- a valid passport from a visa-exempt country,
- a credit card to pay the $7.00 CAD fee,
- a valid email address, and
- access to the internet and a few minutes of your time.
The eTA will be valid for a period of five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant or until the earliest of the following days, if they occur before the end of that period:
- the day on which the applicant’s passport or other travel document expires,
- the day on which the electronic travel authorization is cancelled, or
- the day on which a new electronic travel authorization is issued to the applicant.
The eTA includes the applicant’s name, date and place of birth, gender, address, nationality, and passport and/or travel document information. If the applicant is unable to make the application by means of the electronic system because of a physical or mental disability, it may be made by another means, including a paper application form.
A number of exemptions from the requirement to obtain pre-approval to travel are in place, including:
- Nationals of the United States.
- Her Majesty the Queen of Canada and any member of the Royal Family.
- Citizens of France who are residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon who seek to enter Canada directly from St. Pierre and Miquelon.
- Visitors, students and workers, who seek to re-enter Canada after solely visiting either the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, providing that they return to Canada by the end of the period initially authorized for their stay or any extension to it.
- Foreign nationals who are passengers on a flight stopping in Canada for the sole purpose of refuelling and
- possess proper documents to enter the United States and their flight is bound for that country, or
- They were lawfully admitted to the United States and their flight originated in that country.
- Foreign nationals who are passengers on a flight that, owing to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances, makes an unscheduled stop in Canada.
- Foreign nationals seeking to transit through Canada under the Transit Without Visa or China Transit Program.
- Foreign nationals who hold a passport that contains a diplomatic acceptance, a consular acceptance or an official acceptance issued by the Chief of Protocol for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on behalf of the Government of Canada and are properly accredited diplomats, consular officers, representatives or officials of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies, or of any international organization of which Canada is a member.
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely:
- As a crew member of a means of transportation that may be used for transportation by air or to become a member of such a crew, or
- To transit through Canada after working, or to work, as a crew member of a means of transportation that may be used for transportation by air, if they possess a ticket for departure from Canada within 24 hours after their arrival in Canada.
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to carry out official duties as a member of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act, unless they have been designated under that Act as a civilian component of those armed forces.
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to conduct inspections of the flight operation procedures or cabin safety of a commercial air carrier operating international flights, if they are a civil aviation inspector of a national aeronautical authority and possess valid documentation to that effect.
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to participate as an accredited representative or as an adviser to an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, if they possess valid documentation to that effect.
Country Checklist: Electronic Travel Authorization
eTAs are required for citizens of certain countries. The chart below outlines which individuals require an eTA and which individuals need a TRV in order to enter Canada.
*Note: As of May 1, 2017, certain citizens of Brazil are able to fly to Canada without first obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, also known as a visitor visa). Instead, these individuals must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before boarding their flight. The measure applies to citizens of one of the three countries who have held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States (U.S.) Nonimmigrant (visitor) visa. Individuals who do not meet these criteria, or are travelling to Canada by car, bus, train, or boat, will still need a TRV. On December 1, Canada lifted the visa requirements for all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens.The government has not stated if or when the same policy may be implemented for Brazilians.