If you plan to visit Canada for tourism, business, or transit, you may need to apply for a Canada eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) before you board your flight. An eTA is a digital document linked to your passport and allows you to enter and stay in Canada for up to six months. This article will explain what an eTA is, who needs one, how to apply for one, and what to do if your eTA is refused or expired.
What is a Canada eTA?
An eTA is a visa waiver introduced by the Canadian government in 2016 to facilitate the travel of visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada. An eTA is not a visa and does not guarantee entry into Canada.
You still need to meet the basic requirements for admission, such as having a valid passport, being in good health, having enough money for your stay, and having no criminal or immigration-related convictions. A Canada eTA is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can use it for multiple trips to Canada if each trip is less than six months.
Who needs an eTA?
You need an eTA if you are a citizen of one of the 60 visa-exempt countries eligible for an eTA. These include most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. You can check the complete list of eTA-eligible countries on the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You also need an eTA if you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States with a valid Green Card.
You do not need an eTA if you are a Canadian citizen, a dual Canadian citizen with a valid Canadian passport, a Canadian permanent resident with a good PR card or travel document, or a citizen of the United States with a valid U.S. passport. You also do not need an eTA if you travel to Canada by land or sea.
How to apply for an eTA?
You can apply for a Canada eTA online through the IRCC website. You will need a valid passport, a credit or debit card, and an email address. The application process is simple and takes only a few minutes. You must fill out some personal information, such as your name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, contact details, and travel plans. It would help if you also answered questions about your health, criminal history, and immigration status. You will then need to pay $7 and submit your application.
You will receive an email confirmation within minutes of submitting your application. Most applications are approved within minutes as well. However, some applications may take longer if they require further review or additional documents. In that case, you will receive an email with instructions on proceeding. You should apply for your Canada eTA at least 72 hours before departure to avoid delays or complications.
What to do if your eTA is refused or expired?
If your eTA application is refused, you will receive an email with the reason for refusal and information on how to appeal or reapply. You may be able to reapply if your situation has changed or if you can provide additional evidence to support your application. You may also be able to apply for a visitor visa instead of an eTA if you are eligible.
If your eTA has expired or will expire soon, you will need to apply for a new one before you travel to Canada again. You can check the status and validity of your eTA online through the IRCC website. It would be best to always travel with the passport you used to apply for your eTA.
A Canada eTA is a convenient and affordable way to visit Canada for short-term visits. However, it is not a substitute for a visa and does not guarantee your entry into Canada. You still need to meet the basic requirements for admission and comply with Canadian laws and regulations. To avoid any problems or delays at the border, you should apply for your eTA well in advance and make sure it is valid and linked to your passport.
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