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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

What Do I Need to Visit Canada?

Are you thinking about visiting Canada soon? Are you wondering what you might need to do to before you arrive at a port of entry and request to enter the country? It is important to make sure you have completed all the required steps to ensure your visit to Canada is successful. Depending on your country of origin, you will be subject to certain requirements before you are permitted to enter the country. Therefore, this article will provide more information on the documents all travelers need to travel to Canada, to help you understand the things you will need to take care of, depending on your circumstance.

What Is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is a document which is electronically linked to your passport, stating that you are permitted to board a flight which is heading for Canada. An eTA is similar to a visitor’s visa insofar as it allows individuals to enter the country for a period of up to 6 months at a time. Though, an eTA is different because it is only needed for individuals coming from a visa-exempt country if they are travelling by plane. Also, an eTA is valid for 5 years from the date of issue, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. With an eTA, because you are travelling from a visa-exempt country, you are permitted to leave and re-enter the country as many times as you would like, within the time your eTA is valid. However, you can only stay for 6 months at a time as mentioned.

Who Needs an Electronic Travel Authorization?

Anyone who wishes to come to Canada by plane from a visa exempt country needs an electronic travel authorization. Importantly, a visa-exempt country refers to any country whose citizens do not need a visitor’s visa (TRV) to come and visit Canada. Instead, individuals from a visa-exempt country need an electronic travel authorizaion. The process of applying for an eTA is much simpler than applying for a visitor’s visa, so it is important if you do not need to apply for a visitor’s visa, you do not waste valuable time and money attempting to apply for one. Following is a list of some visa-exempt countries. There are several more countries which are visa-exempt. 

· Australia

· Bahamas

· Barbados

· Belgium

· Britain

· Bermuda

· Bulgaria

· Chile

· Croatia

· Czech Republic

· Denmark

· Finland

· France

· Germany

· Greece

· Hungary

· Ireland

· Israel, must have a national Israeli passport

· Italy

· Japan

· Republic of Korea

· Mexico

· Netherlands

· New Zealand

· Norway

· Poland

· Portugal

· Romania

· Singapore

· Slovakia

· Slovenia

· Spain

· Sweden

· Switzerland

· United States, lawful permanent resident of

 

If you are from a visa-exempt country and are entering Canada by land or sea, you do not need an eTA, you only need a valid travel document.

Please note, being from a visa-exempt country does not guarantee you access into Canada. Canadian border service agents have complete authority to deny you entry into Canada if they suspect you are not being honest about what you intend to do while in Canada, or, if they believe you intend to stay longer than the 6 months you are allowed to be in the country. Therefore, it is a very good idea to prepare yourself for your arrival at the border, to ensure you are not turned away due to a miscommunication between you and a Canadian border service agent.

Citizens of the United States, not permanent residents, are the only group which is exempt from the eTA requirement when travelling to Canada.

How Do I Apply For An Electronic Travel Authorization?

It is very easy to apply for an electronic travel authorization. Generally, you can receive an approved eTA in your email just minutes after you apply for one. Also, the fee is only $7CAD. However, it is important to keep in mind that at any time an immigration officer may request more information from you, to better understand your intentions while you are in Canada. Because this could delay the processing of you eTA, it is recommended that you apply for an eTA, before you book you flight to ensure you will not have any issues booking your flight.

How Can I Stay in Canada Longer than 6 Months With an eTA?

Generally, travelers who enter Canada are permitted to stay for up to 6 months at a time, without needing to leave or apply for permission to stay longer. Though, if you wish to stay for longer than 6 months, both visa-exempt and non-visa exempt travelers are subject to the same requirements, and must apply for a temporary resident visa. The process of applying to extend your stay as a visa-exempt traveler is essentially the same as it would be for a non-visa exempt traveler. You must submit an application to extend your stay before the 6 month period which you are permitted to stay in Canada is over. If you apply before the 6 month term is up, you are permitted to wait for a decision from Canadian immigration services for as long as it takes them to process the application. While the application is being processed, you are legally permitted to stay in Canada on implied status. Though, once a decision is given, you are either permitted to stay in Canada for as long as the temporary resident visa is valid, or, you must leave the country immediately if your application is denied.

Contact Akrami and Associates

Before travelling to Canada, it is very important to make sure you have all the right documents to be permitted to enter the country. Especially if you are from a visa-exempt country, travelling to Canada should be a breeze! It would be a shame to be not allowed to board your flight because you don’t have an eTA. Should you have any further questions or need further information about Electronic Travel Authorizations, it is important to seek professional advice to ensure all of your questions are answered thoroughly and there are no misunderstandings which will hinder your ability to travel. 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 (eTA). 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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