suitcase with passport on top - travelling by electronic travel authorization (eta)

eTA Requirements for Travel To Canada

Starting March 15, 2016, select visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The eTA program is a key commitment of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan and will allow Canada to screen travellers before they arrive. Before travelling to Canada, ideally even before purchasing a ticket to come to Canada, travellers are able to apply for an eTA through an online application process. In the majority of cases applications will be approved through an electronic processing system within minutes. However, some requests may need more time to process. If this is the case for your application, you can expect an email from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada within 72 hours advising you of the next steps. Applicants may be found to be inadmissible to Canada and have their applications denied due to existing immigration admissibility criteria, such as criminality or fraud.

How to Apply for an eTA

Although this new entry requirement is not mandatory until March 15, 2016, eligible travellers now have the opportunity to go online and apply for their eTA ahead of time. To apply, you must have a valid passport, a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or pre-paid Visa, MasterCard or American Express) and an email address. The cost is $7 CAD and the authorization is electronically linked to your passport. It is valid for five (5) years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. The eTA is valid for multiple trips for multiple purposes. To apply, please visit the Government of Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization website.

Study Permits / Work Permits

If your study or work permit was issued on or before July 31, 2015 you will need to apply for an eTA if you wish to enter or return to Canada by air on or after March 15, 2016. If you received your study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015 you were automatically issued an eTA with your study or work permit.


Please note that American citizens and travellers with a valid temporary resident visa are exempt from the requirement of an Electronic Travel Authorization.

For more information or assistance with your immigration requirements, please contact one of our professional Immigration Consultants today!