The Canadian government is required to use the money from eTAs to fund immigration and border services. It cannot use the money for any other purpose, for example, general government spending.
How is the money allocated?
In 2021, it collected $74.5 million in eTA fees. This money was used to fund the following:
Processing eTA applications: The government uses part of the money that is collected via eTA fees to process eTA applications, which includes verifying the information provided by applicants and checking for any security or criminal concerns.
It has a dedicated team of immigration officers who process eTA applications. These officers use a variety of tools to verify the information provided by applicants, including biometrics, travel history, and criminal records.
The government also uses the money to develop and maintain the online eTA system that allows applicants to submit their eTA applications in a secure online system. This system also enables the Canadian government to track the status of each eTA application and to make sure that eTAs are only issued to eligible travellers.
Managing the border: The Canadian authorities also use the eTA funds to manage the border. This includes inspecting travellers and their luggage and enforcing immigration and customs laws. The government has a large number of border officers who inspect travellers and their belongings at airports, land borders, and seaports. These officers use a variety of tools to inspect travellers, including biometrics, luggage searches, and travel history. The government also uses the money to build and maintain border infrastructure at airports, land border crossings, and seaports.
Providing information and services to travellers: The authorities also use the money collected with eTA fees to provide information and services to travellers, for example, providing the facilities to check their eTA status and apply for a visitor visa. The Canadian government has a website that provides information about eTAs and other travel requirements. It also runs a call center where travellers can get help with eTAs and related issues.
More questions and answers related to eTA
1. What is an eTA?
An eTA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, is an electronic travel permit enabling visa-exempt foreign nationals to travel to Canada by air. It is a requirement for all visa-exempt foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
eTAs are intended to improve security and efficiency at the Canadian border. They allow the government to pre-screen travellers before they arrive in Canada, which helps to identify potential security risks and to prevent people who are not authorized to enter Canada from entering.
2. Who has to submit an application for an eTA in order to visit Canada?
All visa-exempt foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents need an eTA to travel to Canada by air. This includes citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the majority of European countries. A full list of visa-exempt countries is available on the IRCC website.
3. What information do I need to provide when applying for an eTA?
When applying for an eTA, you will need to have the following information ready:
- Your passport number
- Your passport expiry date
- Your citizenship
- Your date of birth
- Your gender
- A valid email address
- Your trip information (i.e., the dates you will be travelling to Canada and the reason for your visit)
4. How much does an eTA cost?
The current (December 2023) cost of an eTA is CAD $7. This fee can not be refunded, even if your application is unsuccessful.
5. For how long is an eTA valid?
An eTA remains valid for five years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
6. Can I renew an eTA?
No, you cannot renew an eTA. If your eTA expires, you will have to submit an application for a new one.
7. What happens if I do not have an eTA when I travel to Canada?
If you are not in possession of an eTA when you travel to Canada, you will unfortunately not be able to board your flight. Even if you make it to the Canadian border, you will be denied entry to Canada when you arrive there.
If you are denied boarding, you might have to change your travel plans and, e.g. buy a new plane ticket. If you are denied entry at the Canadian border, you might have to return to your home country. You could also be banned from entering Canada for a period of time.
8. What if I am unsure whether or not I need an eTA?
If you are unsure whether you need an eTA, you can check the IRCC website for a list of visa-exempt countries. You can also call the IRCC call center for help. Unless there are technical issues, it is online 24/7.
9. What are the benefits of having an eTA?
There are many benefits to having an eTA, including:
- It is a quick and easy way to travel to Canada by air without having to go through the much more cumbersome procedure of applying for a visa.
- It will help you avoid long wait times at the border.
10. What if my eTA is denied?
In case your eTA application is unsuccessful, you will be notified by email. The email will also explain why your application was denied. If you believe that your eTA was denied in error, you can contact the IRCC call center to appeal the decision. Your only other option is to apply for a visa.
11. What if I need to change my travel plans after I have submitted an application for an eTA?
If you need to change your travel plans after you have submitted an application for an eTA, e.g., you have to postpone your departure for a week or two, you do not have to reapply for an eTA. Your eTA will remain valid for the original travel dates. However, if you need to travel to Canada outside of the dates on your eTA, you will be required to apply for another eTA.
12. What should I do if I lose my eTA?
If you lose your eTA, all you will need to do is to print a new copy from the IRCC website.
13. What if I need to travel to Canada for a purpose that is not covered by an eTA?
If you need to travel to Canada for a purpose that is not covered by an eTA, you will be required to fill out an application for a visitor visa. You can, for example, not use an eTA to work in Canada.
14. What should people who want to travel to Canada do if their country is not part of the eTA program?
If you have citizenship in a country not part of the eTA program, you must apply for a visitor visa before you travel to Canada. To do so, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your passport information
- Your travel information
- Your personal information
- Proof of ties to your home country (e.g., a job, a home, etc.)
- Proof of funds to support your stay in Canada (e.g., a bank statement, a credit card statement, etc.)
The processing time for a visitor visa varies, but it can take several weeks or even months. You should, therefore, apply for a visa well in advance of your travel date.
Once you have your visitor visa, you will be able to travel to Canada by air, land, or sea. You will need to present your passport and your visitor visa when you arrive in that country.
If you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the eTA program, you should also be aware of the following:
- You may be required to provide additional documentation when you arrive in Canada.
- You might be subject to additional screening and questioning by immigration officials.
- You could also be prevented from entering Canada if you do not meet the entry requirements.
15. Can I use an eTA to run a business or start a job in Canada?
No, you cannot use an eTA to do any of these. An eTA is an electronic travel authorization that allows visa-exempt foreign nationals to travel to Canada by air for tourism or business purposes. It does not allow you to work or live in Canada permanently.
If you want to work or live in Canada permanently, you will have to submit an application for a work permit or a permanent residency visa. The requirements for these visas vary depending on your occupation and your skills. If you are interested in working or living in Canada, you should contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate for more information.
Here are a few of the options available to you if you want to work or live in Canada:
Work permit: A work permit allows you to work in Canada for a specific period of time. You are allowed to apply for a work permit once you have a job offer from an employer in Canada.
Permanent residency visa: A permanent residency visa allows you to live and work in Canada permanently. You can apply for a permanent residency visa if you meet the requirements set by the Canadian government.