FAQs for Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

FAQ – Electronic Travel Authorization

In this article, I will address a few popular questions and answers for individuals who require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. When a foreign national desires to come to Canada as a visitor, they either need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization in order to be authorized to enter. If the foreign national is from a visa-exempt country, they do not require a visitor visa and must then apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization. In order to discover more information about Electronic Travel Authorization, please continue reading this article. Essentially, the intention of this article is meant to clarify any questions or information you would like to know with regards to an Electronic Travel Authorization.

Q: What was the reason for Canada to introduce the Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: On March 15, 2016, Canada introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization as a mandatory entry requirement for air travellers from visa-exempt countries. The Electronic Travel Authorization allows the Canadian government to appropriately screen travellers for any risk which results in easier and quicker entry for low-risk travellers coming to Canada. Compared to before, foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries were not screened for admissibility until they had already arrived at a Canadian port of entry.

Q: What countries are considered to be visa-exempt?

A: There are several countries that are considered to be visa-exempt. Some countries that fall under this list of countries are Australia, Barbados, England, Germany, Norway, Spain, and the United States. In order to determine whether you country is visa-exempt, it is best to visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for the full list of countries.

Q: Are there any exemptions from obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: There are many exceptions from obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization in Canada, which include:

  • Any foreign nationals who hold a valid study or work permit and have visited the United States and are re-entering Canada
  • Any foreign national who already has a valid temporary resident visa in Canada
  • Nationals from the United States
  • Certain foreign diplomats
  • Commercial air crew
  • Any foreign national who holds a visa to enter the United States on a flight with a final destination of the United States, but in transit through Canada. The transit in Canada must only be for refueling.
  • Any foreign national that is in transit through Canada and have a valid visa for the final destination country.
  • Any foreign national who is carrying out official duties as a member of the Armed Forces of a country that is recognized in the Visiting Forces Act

Q: Does a permanent resident of the United States require a visa or an eTA in order to enter Canada? Can they just use their green card?

A: Permanent residents of the United States do not require a visitor visa in order to enter Canada; however, they do require an Electronic Travel Authorization in order to fly to Canada. When travelling to Canada, they must present their authorized status in the United States, which would be their valid green card and they must also present their valid foreign passport that was used when applying for the Electronic Travel Authorization. Upon entry into Canada, the Immigration officer will verify your Electronic Travel Authorization. On the other hand, if you are travelling to Canada by land or sea, then you do not need to show your foreign passport, you can present your green card.

Q: When should a foreign national apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: This is a very important question. Unlike a visitor visa, you do not have to wait long periods of time to find out whether the application is approved or not. The Electronic Travel Authorization is usually granted within minutes. The longest waiting period for an Electronic Travel Authorization is usually a couple of days at most. However, it is important to obtain your Electronic Travel Authorization prior to travelling to Canada. That way, when you travel to Canada, you will already have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization to provide to Immigration.

Q: What information is requested when applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: When applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization, Immigration Canada requires some personal information. For instance, they request your name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, address, nationality and passport information. In addition to the personal information, Immigration Canada also requires some information about the funds available for the duration of the applicant’s stay in Canada as well as their contact information in Canada.

Q: What is the validity period of an Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: Fortunately, an Electronic Travel Authorization is usually issued for a period of five years from the date of issuance. If not for the five years, the Electronic Travel Authorization would be valid until the day that the applicant’s passport expires; until the day that the Electronic Travel Authorization is cancelled; or, until the day a new Electronic Travel Authorization is issued.

Q: Is there a fee for an Electronic Travel Authorization?

A: Yes, there is a government fee of $7.00 CAD in order to process an Electronic Travel Authorization.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Should you have any further questions or need further information about Electronic Travel Authorizations, it is important to properly research and ask several questions before applying for one. By doing the appropriate research and asking several questions beforehand, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs). If you believe that you may be eligible for an Electronic Travel Authorization, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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