Canada eTA Requirements Overview
· British citizens can apply for an eTA
· Canada eTA is necessary for arrival by air only
· The UK was a launch member of the Canada eTA program
· Applicants must have a machine-readable electronic passport
· An eTA can be used for tourism, business, transit, or medical visits
· You must be over 18 to apply for an eTA otherwise need a parent or guardian to apply for you
What is the Canada eTA?
The Canada Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) The eTA program is a mandatory, electronic travel authorisation that allows Canada to screen foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries, such as the United Kingdom, before they arrive in Canada. All eTA applicants will be screened against law enforcement and security databases to determine whether they pose a threat to Canada. Foreign nationals from countries that are not visa-exempt will still need a valid visa to travel to Canada. It is important to understand that visa-exempt foreign nationals can still be considered inadmissible to Canada even with an approved eTA. Inadmissibility issues apply to both foreign nationals with valid visas and foreign nationals without a visa.
Why was the Canada eTA launched?
In a response to an increase in global terrorist activities, the eTA program was launched in 2016 to screen travellers arriving from overseas. The Canada eTA program was initially approved by the Canada Government in 2012. It took four years to create a seamless screening tool that had the necessary systems to tie in with existing immigration databases and additional security data.
The eTA program screens and identifies foreign nationals at the time they are trying to enter Canada. The eTA program is a mandatory, electronic, travel authorisation that allows Canada to screen foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries before they arrive in Canada. ETA screening will help Canada identify and prevent inadmissible foreign nationals from entering Canada, including individuals who pose a threat to Canada’s national security or public safety. Applicants for eTA will be asked to provide personal information, including their name, date of birth, country of residence, and passport number. Additional questions will be asked about the applicant’s criminal history, including any previous convictions for war crimes, crimes against humanity, terrorism, or organized crime.
Why do British Citizens need an eTA?
If you are a British citizen and wish to enter Canada on a short-term basis (fewer than 90 days) then you must apply for a Canada eTA visa. One of the many reasons you may be applying for this includes general tourism, business, transit, or medical purposes.
You must complete this electronic visa application before you board an airplane heading for Canada if you’re a citizen from Great Britain or part of the other European Union members. You should note that it also encompasses travellers who plan to stop in Canada en route to other international locations.
If you’re a British citizen that wants to enter Canada and stay for longer than 90 days or for a different purpose than outlined under the eTA program, then you must apply for a different visa.
What about British Nationals and British Overseas Territories?
British Nationals are eligible for an eTA, as are British Overseas Nationals. If you are a British overseas territory citizen, you will be eligible for an eTA if you gained citizenship in one of the following British overseas territories:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Pitcairn Island
- Saint Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Are British Subjects eligible for an eTA?
Yes, British Subjects with permanent right of abode, such as through Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), in the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for an eTA to enter Canada.
When should I apply for an eTA?
All British citizens looking to take advantage of the eTA program must apply and complete the application at least 72 hours before their departure date. Further details can be found by visiting eTA requirements or Canada eTA FAQs. It’s in your best interest to read over these pages before beginning an eTA application to avoid an eTA being refused or delayed.
One requirement for applying for a Canada eTA is that you must be a full UK citizen. If a traveller holds a different status such as British subject, British overseas citizen, or British protected person, the person will need to apply for a full Canada visitor visa and not an eTA.
The approval process is quick. British citizens can plan to have an eTA application processed and to be approved in roughly five minutes. An authorization will be sent in the form of a PDF document via email. The eTA is stored electronically in the Canada Immigration system. Therefore, it’s not necessary to print or present any documents when arriving at the airport.
What is the Canada eTA Application Process?
Unlike other countries, Canada does not require a visa prior to entry. Canadian immigration laws require all foreign nationals to have eTA before entering Canada. The Canada eTA program is a mandatory, electronic travel authorisation that allows Canada to screen foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries before they arrive in Canada. The eTA program is a tool that helps Canada screen foreign nationals against Canadian law. All applicants will have been screened against law enforcement and security databases to determine whether they pose a threat to Canada.
Foreign nationals from countries that are not visa-exempt will still need a valid visa to travel to Canada. It is important to understand that visa-exempt foreign nationals can still be considered inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissibility issues apply to both foreign nationals with valid visas and foreign nationals without a visa.
A visa is only a document that allows a foreign national to travel to Canada. The visa on its own is not a guarantee that a foreign national will be admitted to Canada. An inadmissible foreign national will need an eTA before they can travel to Canada.
Step 1: Apply for an eTA
An eTA is a unique, electronic authorisation to travel to Canada. Applicants must fill in an online application form, pay the fee, and receive an authorisation to travel to Canada prior to boarding a flight or ship to Canada. Applicants will be required to provide their passport information, including their passport number and place of issuance, as well as their citizenship and gender. Applicants will also be required to provide personal information to support the application, including their address, telephone number, and email address. Applicants must ensure that they enter their information correctly and honestly.
Once an applicant has completed the process, they can print a receipt of their application. Applicants should be sure to keep a copy of this receipt for their records.
Step 2: Check Your Application Status
After submitting an online application, applicants will receive an email regarding their application. This email will contain instructions on how to check the status of the application. Applicants will be asked to provide their passport information, including their passport number and place of issuance, and their citizenship when checking their eTA application status. Applicants that are approved to travel on an eTA will receive an email from the Government of Canada that indicates their application is being processed. An approved eTA is issued for a period of five year or until the date of passport expiry, which ever date comes first. Once this email has been received, applicants can proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Arrive in Canada
Upon boarding a plane to Canada, an applicant will have their passport details checked to ensure they have an approved eTA and are authorised to travel. Also, applicants have their passport and eTA checked again when they enter Canada.
If the eTA application is denied, the applicant will need to contact the Government of Canada to learn more about the reason for the denial.
How can I appeal an eTA Denial?
When a foreign national is denied an eTA, they will be given a reason for the denial. If the applicant disagrees with the decision, they have the option to appeal. Applicants must fill in an online form to appeal their denial. Applicants will be asked to provide their passport information, including their passport number and place of issuance, as well as their citizenship along with a reason for the appeal.
If the applicant’s appeal is successful, they will receive an eTA approval number. Applicants must enter this number in their eTA application before proceeding to step 3.
Alternatively, if applicants have made a mistake on their eTA applications, such as a typographical error, they can submit a fresh application for approval.
How can I apply for a Canadian Visa if I am denied an eTA?
If a foreign national is denied an eTA, they have the option of applying for a Canadian visitor visa as an alternative travel authorisation for entering the country. They should apply for a visa as early as possible in order to ensure that they can travel to Canada as scheduled.
A visitor visa is a temporary resident visa that allows non-Canadian citizens to visit Canada for tourism, business, or visiting family and friends. A visitor visa is not a guarantee that a foreign national will be admitted to Canada. The decision to allow a non-Canadian citizen to enter Canada is up to the individual border service officer. The officer will assess the foreign national against Canadian law.
If a foreign national is allowed to enter Canada, they will be granted a temporary resident visa. This visa will allow the foreign national to apply for entry to Canada for a limited time. The foreign national must exit Canada before the visa expires. A temporary resident visa is not a visa to live in Canada. If a foreign national wishes to live and work in Canada, they will have to apply for a work visa.
Once an applicant has confirmed that they have an eTA or a valid visa, they can travel to Canada. They should travel to Canada with their valid passport and their eTA.