Complete guide to apply for the Canadian electronic travel authorization, eligibility criteria, FAQs

There are people from countries that have a good relationship with Canada and therefore do not require a visa to enter Canada. These people might not need the visa, but they will need some sort of document that they are approved and admissible to Canada.

What is the Canadian Electronic Travel Authority eTA?

The Electronic Travel Authorization is a travel document for people from countries that do not need a visa for Canada. It is a fast authorization to enter Canada and allows you to board a flight or other means of travelling. It is used instead of the Canada Visitor Visa, so it serves the same purpose.

With the eTA, you can enter Canada and visit family or friends, or just travel around. You are allowed to stay for a short period of time, 6 months or less. You are not allowed to try to stay permanently or apply for a Canadian citizenship. You are also not allowed to apply for any Canadian issued documents or claim Canadian benefits such as health benefits.

The eTA is a much faster version of the visa and it does not require as many documents as a visa does. So, if you qualify for the eTA, you cannot apply for a visa if you are using it for the purpose of just travelling. You will need a visa if you want to work, study, or stay permanently in Canada.

Who Can Travel to Canada With an eTA?

The countries that are exempt from needing to get a visa but need an eTA to enter Canada by air are as follows:

British citizenBritish National (Overseas)British overseas citizens
British Subject with a right of abode in the United KingdomBrunei DarussalamBulgaria
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
GreeceHong KongHungary
ItalyJapanRepublic of Korea
MonacoNetherlandsNew Zealand
NorwayPapua New GuineaPoland
PortugalRomania (electronic passport holders only)Samoa
San MarinoSingaporeSlovakia
SloveniaSolomon IslandsSpain
United Arab EmiratesVatican City State 

If you are travelling by car, train, bus, or ship you must check with the Canadian Consulate on whether you can enter with an eTA or need a visa. That is because the Canadian Government can have different rules depending on the means of travel and the country you are from.

What are the Requirements for the eTA Canada?

In order to be eligible for the eTA in Canada, you must meet a few criteria, such as:

  • You must be from one of the countries listed above.
  • You must be at least 18 years old and if you are less than 18 years old, a parent or guardian must apply on your behalf.
  • You must have enough funds to cover you stay in Canada.
  • You must not have been convicted of any crimes and must not have a criminal record.
  • You must have a valid passport issued from your government.
  • You must be healthy and without any dangerous medical problems which might make you seek medical treatment in Canada that you cannot afford. If you will be seeking medical treatment in Canada, you must state that and prove you have enough funds to cover your hospital visits and treatment.
  • You must intend to return to your home country and have strong ties to your home country;
  • You must not intend to study or work in Canada.

How to Complete a Canada eTA Application?

In order to apply for the eTA, you must meet the eligibility criteria and requirements.  You can start the application process by going to this link. This is the official Government of Canada website and the only place where you can apply for an eTA. If you are given other instructions or a different website to apply for an eTA, you should not follow it because someone might be trying to deceive you.

When you go to this link, you will then have to put the following information on the different fields:

  • Details whether you are applying for yourself or someone else;
  • If you are applying on behalf of someone else, you must put in your personal information;
  • The travel document with which you are applying for the eTA and the details on it such as:
    • Country that has issued it;
    • The number of that document (passport number);
    • Date when it was issued and date of expiry;
  • Other personal information such as:
    • Your first and last name;
    • Gender;
    • Date of birth;
    • Nationality;
    • Marital status;
  • Details of any previous visits in Canada or if you have ever had a visa;
  • Employment information;
  • Contact information (e-mail address);
  • Residential address;
  • Travel information such as:
    • Dates of travel to Canada;
    • Flight number (if you have already booked your travel);
  • Background questions such as:
    • Previous refused applications for a visa in Canada;
    • Criminal history;
    • Medical history;
  • Consent and declaration (date and signature).

You must make sure that you put in the right passport number and information. If you put the wrong details about your travel document, then you will not be able to board your flight even if your eTA was approved. You will have to start the application procedure again, pay the fee, and wait for processing.

Supporting Documents for eTA Application

The application for eTA is easy and fast, and you will only need these documents:

  • A valid passport issued by one of the countries mentioned above.
  • A valid e-mail address.
  • A debit, pre-paid card, or credit card issued by:
    • Visa, Mastercard, American Express.
    • Union Pay.
    • JCB Card.
    • Interac.

What Are the Canada eTA Fees?

Once you submit the application with the information required, you will be taken to a site to make your payment of the eTA. Each eTA costs CAD$7, so you will have to pay this fee before you submit your application. If you refuse to pay the fee, the application will not be processed from the Canadian Consulate.

Once you submit the fee, you will receive an email confirmation that your application was received and is being processed.

How Long is the eTA Processing Time?

 eTA applications are processed in a few minutes after you submit the application. You will just get an email stating that you were approved for the eTA.

However, there are cases when the processing of your eTA will take a few days, but it will not take more than 1 week. You will get the approval email and then you can make travel arrangements for Canada.

When you travel to Canada, you will only need to bring your passport with you and no other documents. Your passport has the eTA electronically and the officials will scan it to see whether you have been approved or not. That is why it is important to have the correct passport information on the eTA application. If the eTA and your passport details do not match, you will not be able to travel to Canada.

How Long is the eTA Valid?

Once you get the eTA, you will be able to travel to Canada and stay there for 6 months or less. However, the eTA can be valid for more than that. Most often, your eTA will be approved for up to 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Then it means that you can travel as many times as you want to Canada during that period, but you cannot stay for more than 6 months.

If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new eTA since it cannot be transferred from one passport to the next.

Can I Bring my Dependents With me to Canada With an eTA?

The eTA visa Canada is an individual travel document and it cannot be used by multiple people. It is automatically attached to the passport of the person and that is why each member of the family must have their own eTA.

So, your spouse or common law partner must apply for their own eTA, while either one of the parents or guardians can apply for the eTA of the children. The application process is the same as well as the application fee.

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