If you recently checked your Canadian eTA and with a shock noticed that it has expired because it was issued more than 5 years ago (or because your old passport expired and you now have a new one), you are probably wondering whether an eTA can be renewed.
The truth is that it’s sometimes difficult to find directions online about how to renew travel documents such as the Canadian eTA. And even if you do find them, they are often extremely confusing to someone who doesn’t do this kind of thing every day. Below is everything you have to know about replacing or renewing a Canadian eTA.
It is possible to renew a Canadian eTA?
This is probably your most urgent question. Unfortunately, the answer is no. An existing eTA can not be renewed. You can also not apply for an extension. The Canadian eTA is valid for a period of 5 years and after that, you must submit an application for a new eTA.
Even if it’s less than five years since you got your current eTA but your passport has since expired, the eTA has expired with it. The reason for this is that the Canadian eTA is automatically linked to the number of the passport you had when you applied. An eTA is not a physical document, it’s electronic. And it can not be carried over to a new passport number.
How does one keep a Canadian eTA status up to date once it has expired?
Apart from applying for a new eTA, there is nothing you can do. Even if you have been through the whole process before, you have to submit a new eTA application.
The good news is that, although it’s not possible to renew a Canadian eTA, you will be able to get a new one without too much hassle.
Start by ensuring that you have your passport and all relevant travel documents ready before you start filling out the eTA application form. This includes your flight ticket if you have already bought one. Doing that makes the whole process so much easier. If everything goes according to plan, you can have an approved eTA in your mailbox within an hour.
Is there any way to avoid having to frequently reapply for a Canadian eTA?
A Canadian eTA is normally valid for a period of 5 years. There is one exception though: if your passport should expire within that period, the eTA will expire with it. Even if your passport expires after six months, your Canadian eTA will no longer be valid.
The only way you can prevent that from happening is to make sure that your passport is also valid for 5 years before you apply for the eTA. If your passport is on the verge of expiring, apply for a new one before you apply for an eTA.
On the other hand, if your passport is still valid for let’s say 4 years it might not be worth all the effort and costs to apply for a new one now. When it expires four years from now, just apply for a new eTA. After all, in most instances, it takes less than an hour to get a new eTA and it’s much cheaper than a new passport.
If you, however, have a good reason why you do not want to apply for a new eTA when your passport expires, it might be better to get a new passport before you apply. Let’s, for example, say that you suffer from a major health issue or you have a criminal record. Every time you apply for an eTA you have to submit additional documentation and the processing time is much longer than normal. In that case, rather make sure your passport is valid for a full five years before applying for the Canadian eTA. Then you know that your eTA will be valid for five years as well.
There is no way to have a Canadian eTA extended beyond the five-year period. You have to submit a new application. Luckily, as you will probably still remember from the first time, the whole process does not take very long. You can use the same information you entered on the previous application, as long as you remember to update your passport number and expiration date and any other details that have since changed.