In order to travel to Canada, you need to prove that you have permission to enter the country. There are several ways to do this, including applying for a visa. For many travellers, however, the best option is to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA for short. This electronic document makes it easy for passport holders from some countries to enter Canada, saving time and money on the application process and time at the airport. To apply for an eTA, you need only a few things, but it’s important to have them all when you begin the process.
Who can apply for an eTA?
Before you even begin the eTA application process, you should check whether you’re eligible to apply for one. First, you need to see whether your country is one of the over 50 nations on Canada’s visa-exempt list. If your passport is issued by one of these countries and you’re not a Canadian permanent resident, you can apply for an eTA. Nationals of a small number of other countries are also eligible as long as they’ve had a Canadian or US visa in the past.
Once you’ve determined whether your country is eligible, you must consider your travel plans. Whether you can get an eTA depends not only on your nationality but on the way you plan to arrive in Canada. If you are flying into the country, you should apply for an eTA; if you’re arriving by land or sea, you won’t need one.
What do I need to apply for an eTA?
To complete the online application for an eTA, you will need a valid passport from an eligible country. Your eTA will be valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, so make sure that your passport is up to date and won’t expire soon. In addition to your passport, you’ll also need an email address which will be used to send you notifications regarding your application. Finally, you will need a credit card to pay the $7 application fee.
What additional documents will I need for an application?
You will definitely need a passport to apply for an eTA. For most applicants, this will be the only document needed for the application. However, in some circumstances, you may need to support your application with other documents. If this is the case, you will be notified after your application by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) using the email address you supplied with your application.
Documents IRCC may request during this process usually include supporting evidence for claims made during your application. For instance, if you were once a permanent resident of Canada, you may have to prove that you have abandoned your residency status. In general, though, most applications do not require any additional supporting documents.
Unlike a visa application, an eTA application doesn’t require you to send in your passport in order to have your visa added to it. You also won’t need to have your biometric data taken. As a result, the application process is quicker and simpler than applying for a visa.
What additional documents will I need to travel?
The convenient thing about travelling with an eTA is that you don’t need additional documents to enter Canada. When you present your passport at the airport, border services will automatically be able to see your authorization.
In some cases, you may need to present additional documents when entering Canada. Most travellers won’t need any additional documents, but there are some exceptions, especially for those travelling with children under 18 years old. If both of the child’s parents (or other responsible adults) aren’t present, you may need to show documentation showing that they have given their permission for their child to travel with you.
As with additional documents required to issue an eTA, you’ll be informed during the application process about any additional documents needed for your journey.
Travelling with an eTA
One of the things that makes eTAs so convenient is the lack of any additional documents. An all-electronic authorization process means that eTA applications are fast and affordable while travelling with an eTA is simple and efficient.
Requests for additional documents happen only in a small number of eTA applications. Most of the time, your application will be approved within 72 hours of submission. If you are asked to provide additional documentation, however, your application may take a little longer. You’ll need to locate and submit the additional documents, and IRCC will need to process them. Because this makes it hard to predict exactly how long your eTA application will take, you should wait until you have your eTA before finalizing your travel plans. Since your eTA will last for five years or until the expiration of your passport, you have some time to secure it well in advance of travel. Once you know that your eTA has been approved, you can schedule your trip and book your tickets.
Travelling with an eTA is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to visit Canada, and being prepared for the process will make your journey even smoother. In most cases, you’ll need nothing more than your passport, an email address and a credit card. In the few cases where you need something more, IRCC will let you know which documents you need to provide in order to complete your application.