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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Information about Electronic Travel Authorizations

Information about Electronic Travel Authorizations

FAQ’S About Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA’s)!

Though this regulation was brought in in early 2016, many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of an electronic travel authorization, otherwise known as an eTA. Many individuals would not have had to apply for an eTA if the last time they boarded a plane headed for Canada was before 2016. If this is the case for you, and you’re from a visa exempt country, prior to 2016, you did not have to obtain any special documents to travel to Canada, other than your travel document or passport. Though, you now must obtain an eTA to travel to Canada if you are from a visa-exempt country. If you are from a non-visa exempt country, the requirements for you remain the same; you must have a valid visitor’s visa to enter Canada. So, if an eTA is something you’ll have to think about for your nest trip to Canada, continue reading this article to learn about all the common questions individuals usually want to ask, when applying for an eTA.

Q: Is an eTA just like a Temporary Resident Visa/ Visitor’s Visa?

There are some similarities, and some differences. The biggest similarity is that both authorize you to travel to Canada for a temporary period of time. Though, the application process for an ETA is much different than that of a Visitor Visa. The entire application process for an eTA will take no more than a couple of hours, and you should receive an approval via email within 48 hours of applying, though this is not always the case. A visitor visa application can take several days to complete, and several weeks to receive an approval.

Q: Why Do I need an eTA?

Since there has become a need to increase airport and aviation security around the world, Canada has created a system to keep Canadian airports and airplanes safe. Therefore, every individual who boards a Canadian flight will pass a background check, by applying for an eTA. Ultimately, if you wish to board a flight headed for Canada, you must apply for an eTA.

Q: What do I Need for an eTA?

In order to apply for an eTA, you must provide some simple specific documentation and information, such as:

  • A valid e-mail address
  • A valid passport from a country that is visa-exempt
  • A valid form of payment (debit, credit, etc.) in order to pay for the processing fee
  • The processing fee of $7.00 CAD

Please note that if you cannot complete the application electronically due to physical or mental disability, fortunately, there is a paper application that you may fill out. The application forms will require you to disclose information pertaining to their name, birthplace, birthdate, gender, address, nationality, and passport.

Q: Do I bring my eTA to the Airport with Me?

No. Luckily, the ETA will be linked electronically to the applicant’s passport for the CBSA officers to scan once the individual arrives at the airport. There is still no documentation other than a passport you need to remember when travelling to Canada by plane.

Q: Do I need an eTA if I am not flying to Canada?

No. You only require an eTA if you plan on travelling to Canada via plane. If you are crossing at a land port of entry, you do not require an eTA, if you are from a visa exempt country.

Q: How long is an eTA Valid?

The authorization to enter Canada with an ETA is valid for a maximum of 5 years or until the applicant’s passport expires. Also, if the applicant cancels the ETA or is granted a new ETA, the previous eTA is invalidated.

Q: How Can I get an eTA if I am Criminally Inadmissible?

An individual who is inadmissible as the result of a previous criminal conviction will have to provide additional information with their ETA application. Information regarding the details of their convictions and the completion of their sentences will be required. These are necessary for immigration to determine these individuals should in fact be permitted to enter the country. It is important to know, If you are criminally inadmissible to Canada, you will likely need to apply for a temporary resident permit, before being allowed to enter the country. As a result, the application process for an ETA may be longer for individuals with inadmissibility issues.

Q: Are there any Exemptions from Having to Obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization?

There are many exceptions from obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization in Canada, this includes:

  • 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

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration before you attempt to enter Canada with inadmissibility. If you are inadmissible to Canada and would like to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation, it is important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients with inadmissibility gain entry into Canada as visitors. If you believe that you may be eligible for a Criminal Rehabilitation, 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 advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!


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