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Information about an Electronic Travel Authorization
Electronic Travel Authorization
Are you from a country that does not require a visa to enter Canada? Have you tried to apply for an eTA but could not get approved and not sure why? If you are interested in learning more about the electronic travel authorization, this blog may provide you with some useful information.
What is an Electronic Travel Authorization
An electronic travel authorization or eTA is an entry requirement used by persons from visa-exempt countries to travel to Canada by air. The person must be a citizen of that country to be eligible to apply. You must have a valid passport to apply, as well as a valid credit or debit card and an email address.
How Can I Get an Electronic Travel Authorization
You can apply for an eTA through the immigration Canada website. The first thing will be to determine whether you come from a visa-exempt country. Some visa-exempt countries include the United States, Italy and Mexico. If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you will be asked a series of questions as your passport number, country code, the type of travel document you will use to enter Canada, etc. If approved, the eTA will be linked to the passport that you used for your application. It is important to remember that like a visa, an eTA does not guarantee entry into Canada. The eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport time that your passport expires, whichever is earlier. It will allow you to travel to Canada for short stays up to a maximum of six months. Those who come from a visa-required country may apply for a visitor visa. These are countries such as Bangladesh, South Africa and Benin.
An Electronic Travel Authorization vs. Visitor Visa
Like a visa, an eTA does not guarantee entry into Canada. You will still be required to satisfy the border officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada. A valid eTA will permit your travel to Canada for short stays for up to six months whereas the length of stay on a visa will be left to the discretion of the border officer. In both cases, you will need to have your documents reviewed by the border officer in order to be granted entry. Some of the questions on the eTA will assess your admissibility into Canada. Therefore, like a visa, your application for be refused for reasons such as medical or criminal inadmissibility. For those who are criminally inadmissible, you may need to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada. There are also different processing times for an eTA and visa. eTAs take a few minutes to complete and if approved, will be issued immediately. For those who are asked to submit supporting documents, it may take a few days to process and be issued a decision. In the case of a visitor visa, the processing time may take months, depending on the visa office that is processing the application. The cost of an eTA is also cheaper than a visa. It costs $7 to apply for an eTA whereas a visitor visa is approximately $100. It is advisable to get an eTA before you book your flight into Canada. Otherwise, if during your application you are determined to be ineligible for reasons of inadmissibility, you can avoid traveling and getting turned back at the border.
Who Needs an Electronic Travel Authorization to Travel to Canada
Whether you will need an Eta to travel to Canada depends on the type of travel document you will travel with, the country that issued your travel document, your nationality and your mode of travel to Canada. For example, if you are travelling to Canada by flight or will transit through a Canadian airport and are from a visa-exempt country, you will require an Eta to travel to Canada. You must have a valid passport or travel document. You will not require an Eta if you are from a visa-exempt country and will travel to Canada by car, bus, train or boat. In other cases, a person from a country that requires a visa for legal entry into Canada may be eligible to apply for an Eta in place of a visa to travel to Canada by air. However, if they will be travelling to Canada by boat, cruise ship or car, they will be required to apply for a visa.
Arriving at the Border
When you arrive at the border, you should be ready to answer the border officer’s questions about your travel into Canada. Like a visitor visa, you will not be authorized to work or study while in Canada. Therefore, if during questioning, the officer concludes that you have reasons other than visiting for seeking entry into Canada, under the officer’s discretion, you may be turned back to your home country. Although the Eta may be issued for five years or the duration of your passport’s validity, you will only be permitted to visit Canada for up to six months after which time you will need to exit. You can re-enter again, but each visit may not exceed six months.
What if I want to Study or Work While in Canada
If you want to study or work while you are in Canada on a visitor visa, you may be able to apply for a work permit or study permit. You will still need to meet the requirements of eligibility for a work permit or study permit.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Electronic Transfer Authorizations may be straightforward applications but for some applicants with inadmissibility issues, it may require a professional with experience and qualifications to help in the process. At Akrami & Associates, we have helped many clients with these types of applications and we can also help you. If you need help applying for an eTA to travel to Canada as a visitor, you can contact our office at 416-477-2545. If you simply want to learn about the application process, you can also book a consultation with one of our immigration professionals for more advise.
At Akrami & Associates, there is always a way