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

Understanding the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Understanding the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

What Do I Need to Visit Canada

Are you thinking about visiting Canada soon? If so, you need 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. In this blog, you will learn about the documents all travellers need to travel to Canada. This blog will also 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 is a document which is electronically linked to your passport, stating that you are permitted to board a flight which is heading for Canada. The eTA is only needed from individuals coming from a visa-exempt country because 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.

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 authorization. The process of applying for an eTA is much simpler than applying for a visitor’s visa. 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

• lawful permanent resident of the U.S.A.

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 $7. 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, travellers 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 travellers 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 traveller is essentially the same as it would be for a non-visa exempt traveller. 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. If 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. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs). Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates 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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