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Immigration Law Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All Visa-Exempt Foreign Nationals Visas Must Now Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Entry Into Canada

The Canadian government is now mandating that all visa-exempt foreign nationals, including U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, who fly or transit to Canada must apply for and receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to their trip. Exceptions include U.S. Citizens and travelers who have a valid Canadian visa. Until September 26, 2016, travelers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.

Travelers can apply for an eTA online on the Canadian government’s official website. In order to apply, travelers will need: a valid passport from a visa-exempt country (U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can also apply using a U.S. Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571) or a valid Permit to Reenter the U.S. (Form I-327)); a credit card (a regular or prepaid Visa, MasterCard, or American Express); and a valid email address. Applications cost $7 CAD and most applications are approved within minutes of applying. If a traveler’s application is not approved immediately, they will receive an email within seventy-two (72) hours advising them of next steps.

An approved eTA authorizes travelers to enter Canada for up to six months or the date prescribed by a border services officer upon arrival. Once approved, an eTA is valid for up to five years or until the passport used to apply expires. Travelers will be notified by email when their eTA is approved and the eTA will be automatically linked to their passport. Separate forms must be filed for each member of a family or group traveling together and travelers can check the status of their applications online.

To determine whether they require an eTA or other travel document to travel to Canada, travelers can select their country of nationality and U.S. immigration status on the Canadian government’s official website for specific instructions. The website also provides a link for obtaining help with the application.


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