The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a travel document for people from countries that do not need a visa. 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, usually 6 months or less.
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.
Canadian eTAs are available only to some travellers. Depending on your citizenship, you may not be eligible for an eTA, or you might not need one at all.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you don’t need an eTA. You don’t need a visa, either. You only need a passport, and you can enter Canada, provided border security allows you in. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you do not need an eTA. You will need a permanent resident travel document to travel into Canada.
If you are a citizen of a country that is visa-exempt in Canada, then you are eligible for an eTA and you will need one in order to get into the country.
The list of eTA eligible countries are listed in the table below:
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Korea (Republic of)
Papua New Guinea
If you are from a country that is not on the visa-exempt list, then you cannot apply for an eTA.
In order to be eligible for the eTA in Canada, you also must meet a few other 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 your 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.
Validity of eTA
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.
Reasons for rejection of eTA
Even if you are eligible to apply for an eTA, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be eligible to receive an eTA. There are many reasons why your eTA application could be rejected.
First, your application can be rejected if you have committed a serious human rights abuse, or if you are connected with any groups that do.
Secondly, your application can be rejected if you have been convicted of a crime. This includes the obvious, like homicide and other serious crimes, but you may be surprised to learn that you can also be ineligible for an eTA if you have a DUI on your driving record.
Third, having a health condition might keep you out of Canada. The eTA application contains many health questions, including questions about your exposure to tuberculosis.
Finally, you may not be eligible for an eTA if you have been removed from a county in the past, or if you have overstayed a visa. If you have been removed from Canada or have overstayed a previous visa or eTA, it is very likely that you will not be allowed back in the country. Depending on the country and situation, you may find that your application is rejected because of an overstay in or removal from another country.
Non-eligible applicants of eTA
If you are not eligible for an eTA, you may be eligible for a visa or other travel documentation. Most people who are ineligible for an eTA will need to get a visa.
Other ways to enter Canada
An eTA is obviously not the only way to enter Canada. If you are not eligible for an eTA, you are most likely eligible for a different travel document. Here are a few you can look into:
· Tourist visa
A Canadian tourist visa is a travel option for citizens of countries not visa-exempt in Canada. The downside to needing a visa is that the application is longer and more expensive than an eTA application. The upside is that it is valid for twice as long.
· Work visa
“Visa-exempt” status only applies to tourist visas, not work or study visas. If you plan to work in Canada, you should not apply for an eTA, since this document does not give you the right to work a job. Instead, you will have to apply for a work visa.
· Student visa
An eTA also does not grant you the right to study in Canada, either. If you would like to attend school in Canada, you must apply for a student visa.
· Business visa
If you plan to travel to Canada for business rather than pleasure, you need to get a business visa. This is different from a work visa in that it does not permit you to hold a job in Canada, only conduct business in Canada.
· Transit visa
If you are just passing through Canada, you can get a transit visa rather than a tourist visa.