If you plan a trip to Edmonton, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that it’s the capital of the Alberta province in Canada. So if you would like to visit Edmonton, you have to abide by all the legal entry requirements for Canada. That means you will either need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or a visa.
Travellers from visa-exempt countries who would like to fly into Edmonton (or any other destination in Canada) need to apply for and get an eTA before the time. Countries that are on the visa-exempt list include the United States and the United Kingdom.
Upon issue, an eTA is valid for 5 years or until Your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can, however, apply for a Canadian eTA as many times as you want, provided you stay in that country for a maximum of 6 months each time.
Important: If your country is on the visa-exempt list mentioned above, you do not have to submit an eTA application if you enter Canada by car, land, or sea. It’s only required if you will be entering by air.
How do I apply for a Canadian eTA?
Fortunately, the application process is quick and easy because it’s online. In the vast majority of instances, you will have an approved eTA within a matter of a few minutes. However, if the authorities need additional documentation, the process could take a couple of days to complete.
The application process starts with a visit to the eTA application page of the Canadian government. Ensure you have a valid email address, debit or credit card, and passport. Before you start, visit the official ‘help’ page.
- Start by entering the information requested on the application form.
- Once you’ve filled out the form, make sure to pay the necessary amount.
- You will receive an email to confirm that your application has been received.
- The approval should be in your inbox within a matter of minutes unless more info is required.
- If you have to provide additional supporting documentation, expect the eTA approval to take a few days.
Keep the following in mind:
- You can not apply for multiple persons at the same time; you will have to apply for each one individually.
- You should print the payment receipt the moment you receive it.
- The Canadian authorities will communicate with you about your application via email, so make sure your email address is working.
What is a Canadian eTA, i.e. an Electronic Travel Authorization?
The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA was developed to streamline the process of travelling to Canada by air for purposes like business, tourism, or transit. Travellers who would like to visit Canada for 6 months or less for any of these purposes, or to get medical treatment, will qualify for an eTA if their country is on the list of nations that are exempted from applying for Canadian visas.
Once issued, the eTA is valid until your passport expires or for 5 years, whichever happens first.
For what purposes can I use a Canadian eTA?
A Canadian eTA can be used for a fairly large number of uses, from being one of the guest speakers at a Canadian business conference to attending a family wedding and of course, for normal tourism purposes. There are, however, a couple of limitations, i.e. things you can’t do with an eTA. If you do use it for any of these purposes, your eTA can be revoked. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that you fully understand what is allowed with an eTA and what isn’t.
Although a Canadian eTA is primarily meant as authorization for travel purposes, it can also be utilized for certain business purposes.
An eTA, for example, allows you to visit Canada in order to attend meetings with your business colleagues in that country. You can also settle a business contract or an estate. Note: If you are visiting Canada for one or more business meetings, you could be requested to provide more information, either when you apply for the eTA or when arriving at the Canadian border. You will most likely be asked to prove that your main income source is not from within Canada and/or that your employer is not based in that country.
With an eTA, you can also attend one or more business conferences during your visit to Canada. In that case, you could, for example, be asked to prove that you are not already working in Canada or looking for work in that country.
Tourism and related purposes
It will not be a problem at all if you use your eTA for tourism-related purposes like sightseeing or visiting your family and friends in the country.
It is also possible to utilize a Canadian eTA when you transit from that county to another one, e.g. if you want to switch planes in Edmonton or elsewhere in Canada. At the same time, you are on your way to another country.
eTA uses that are not authorized
There are quite a few things you can not do with a Canadian eTA though. You will, for example, not have the right to work in that country. While using it for approved business purposes is fine, you can under no circumstances try to find or hold employment with your eTA.
It does not matter whether you are looking for temporary or full-time employment in that country – you can not do it with an approved eTA. You will have no other option than to apply for a Canadian work visa, even if you want to look for a job there. You can also not legally attend a university, college, or school in Canada using only an eTA. You will have to get a Canadian student visa for any of these activities.
What must I do if I don’t qualify for a Canadian eTA?
As mentioned earlier, only those lucky people from visa-exempt nations or the United States qualify for a Canadian eTA. The rest of us have to apply for a visa to visit not only Edmonton but anywhere else in Canada.
Canadian tourism visa
You can apply for a Canadian visa, sometimes called a TRV or Temporary Resident Visa, online. If you prefer the old-style paper-based application process, that is also fine. You will have to provide more info than in the case of an eTA application, and the approval process will typically take longer.
Edmonton tourist information
The amazing beauty of Canada, from its stunning glaciers to its awe-inspiring mountains, lakes, and forests, can only be matched by the friendliness of its people.
Canada is a tourist paradise, from the vibrancy of its cosmopolitan cities to its great natural beauty. Whether you, therefore, like to explore this country’s great cities with their multicultural vibrancy and great food or focus on the allure of the countryside and its many outdoor activities, Canada is a must-see destination. And Edmonton, Alberta, is the perfect place to kick off your visit.
Top 5 things to do while visiting Edmonton
- Visit Fort Edmonton Park and explore this historical site, preferably by horse carriage. This riverside rendition of the log fort built by Hudson’s Bay Company will instantly transfer you back to a trading post in the 1840s.
- Learn about the rich history of this region at the Alberta Aviation and Royal Alberta Museums.
- Experiencw at least one unforgettable show at either the Edmonton Symphony, the Fringe Theatre, the Citadel, or the Winspear Center.
- Make some time for shopping at the designer boutiques (as well as the local shops) along Whyte Avenue – and don’t forget the West Edmonton Mall.
- Visit William Hawrelak Park, TELUS World of Science, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, and the Elk Island National Park.
And don’t leave Edmonton before enjoying the incredible food at Packrat Louie Kitchen and Bar off Whyte Avenue. You can enjoy mouth-watering dishes such as wild mushroom wine, chorizo fritters, and amazing pizza here.