The online Canada eTA application process

The Canada eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is a traveller verification system electronically linked to your travel passport, as an entry requirement for visa-exempt nations, while travelling to Canada by air. With this, you are allowed to go to Canada often for short stays of up to six months, though you don’t need eTA to travel throughout Canada. It expires after five years or till your passport’s expiry date. Although eTA confirms an individual’s eligibility to enter Canada, it doesn’t guarantee your admission into the country, and the border service officers will ask to see your documentation on arrival.

It is recommended that you apply for your eTA in advance of booking your flight – the process is often completed in minutes, but occasionally submission of supporting documents may be required. It is useful to read the application help document before you start which is available in a number of languages, and you will need your passport and a debit or credit card to complete the process. If you need to print out a receipt or any information during the application process it is important to do this at the time, as this information will not be saved or accessible after the application has been made.

You can only apply for an eTA one application at a time if you are applying as a family or other group. All correspondence about your application will go to your email address so it is also recommended that you check your junk mail as well as your main inbox so that you do not miss any communications. Once you receive your eTA approval, check that the passport number given matches the one in your passport, if it does not, you will need to apply for a new eTA.

Complete eTA Form

Submit online application form. Ensure passport details are available.

Confirm eTA Data

Check and confirm traveller data before processing.

Application Fee

Pay fee per applicant. Multiple application submissions are accepted.

Approved for Flight

Approvals are sent via email usually within 5 minutes.

Types of Travellers who need eTA

Citizens from foreign nations, exempt from requiring a Canadian visitor visa, will need eTA to travel or transit through Canada by air, meaning that they don’t need to use it while using a bus, train, boat, or car. Lawful permanent residents of the USA may also need eTA to enter Canada and must provide a valid passport or green card during check-in on flight to Canada. However, the USA natives are exempt from the eTA requirements and can continue to travel to Canada using a valid U.S passport.

As a traveller from a visa-exempt country, you should have an approved eTA if you are planning to visit Canada for tourism or business purposes for up to six months. Also, Brazillian natives with a US non-immigrant Visa or who held a Canadian visa within the past ten years are eligible to apply for eTA while travelling to Canada by air. Visitors from the following nations will need an eTA to enter Canada.

Andorra Australia Austria
Bahamas Barbados Belgium
British citizen,
Overseas British National,
British overseas citizen,
British overseas territory citizen,
British Subject with indefinite leave to remain
Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria
Chile Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany
Greece Hong Kong (Hong Kong SAR passport) Hungary
Iceland Ireland Israel
Italy Japan Republic of Korea
Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Malta Mexico
Monaco Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Papua New Guinea Poland
Portugal Romania Samoa
San Marino Singapore Slovakia
Slovenia Solomon Islands Spain
Sweden Switzerland Taiwan
United Arab Emirates United States (lawful permanent residents) Vatican City State

eTA-exempt Travellers

If you are a Canadian national, including dual citizens, you won’t need eTA, but instead, you need a valid Canadian passport. If you are a permanent Canadian resident, you need a permanent resident card or permanent residents’ travel documents. For the former Canadian residents, it’s good to note that your residence status doesn’t expire. If you once lived in Canada many years ago, you could still maintain your permanent residence status.
US natives are also exempted but need to carry proper identification documents such as valid US passports. Additionally, French citizens residing in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, crew members, and visiting members of the armed forces coming to carry out official duties don’t need eTA while entering Canada.

Visa-Required Travellers

All other visitors wishing to travel to Canada and aren’t from visa-exempt countries need to apply for a relevant Canadian Visa. All eTA ineligible travellers will need a Canadian visitor’s visa while travelling to Canada for more than 48 hours and when transiting through the country in less than 48 hours by plane. You will also need a visitor visa while travelling to the country via train, bus, and cruise ship or boat.

You will need a Canadian transit visa if you are not eligible for an eTA or you don’t have a valid visitor visa, and you are on a flight that will stop in Canada for 48 hours en-route to another country. Travellers from the following countries need a visa to travel to Canada either by air, land or water.

AngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentina
Bosnia-HerzegovinaBotswanaBritish subjects
Burkina FasoBurma (Myanmar)Burundi
CambodiaCameroonCentral Africa Republic
ChadRepublic of cape Verde China
CubaCosta RicaDjibouti
DominicaEast TimorEcuador
EgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial Guinea
IranIraqIvory Coast
KenyaKiribatiNorth Korea
MacedoniaMalawiMaldives Islands
Marshall IslandsMauritaniaMauritius
Palestinian AuthorityPanamaParaguay
RussiaRomania Serbia
RwandaSaudi ArabiaSeychelles
Sao Tomé e PrincipeSenegalSierra Leone
SomaliaSouth AfricaSwaziland
Sri LankaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. LuciaSudanSurinam
Trinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkey

eTA Application

Unlike the visa, you make the travel authorization application online where you fill in essential details in an application form. You are required to indicate your contact information and date of arrival, your passport details, employers’ information, and answer some background questions to assess the eligibility of your entry to Canada regarding safety and law enforcement.

Additionally, you need to indicate your birth date, the country, city of birth, issue date, and passport expiry date. Note that it’s possible to submit an application form for someone else or multiple travellers, such as a parent or guardian. Step two consists of payment and revisions to ensure that your document doesn’t contain any error before uploading. Once you complete the form, wait for validation, which takes little time so you can apply a few days to your travel date. However, it would be wise if you apply early enough since some requests may require more time to process. During application, you will need a valid passport from a visa-exempt country and an authentic email address. Please note that you can only apply and pay for one person at a time and make sure you print your receipt immediately.

Important notes about the eTA application process

Many eTA applications are approved within minutes, but where further information is needed this request will be sent to your email address with instructions within 72 hours.

Your eTA is automatically linked to your passport when approved, so when you arrive at the airport you should present your passport so that the airline staff can check that you have a valid eTA. However, if you already have a valid Canadian visa you do not need to apply for an eTA but will need one for any subsequent journeys when your visa has expired.

It is important that you check the rules that apply to your country before you travel by air in case you need to provide any other form of evidence in addition to your passport and valid eTA. As an example, this may include documentation such as a Green Card for those holding this item who are travelling from the U.S.

eTA System Benefits

The eTA system aims at assisting Canada to achieve its shared vision with the USA to improve border security and develop economic competitiveness. It aims at providing eligible people with a convenient way of obtaining travel authorization to Canada. The Canada eTA also eases the process of identifying inadmissible travellers and extensive criminal records to prevent these individuals from entering the country. It gives IRCC sufficient data to track different travel patterns for considerable security enhancement.