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CANADA - New Electronic Travel Authorisation Effective 15 March 2016

On 15 March 2016 the Canadian government will enforce the new Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) program. The eTA process went into effect in August 2015 but will not be mandatory until 15 March.

What is the eTA?

The eTA is an online registration system that travellers access online. eTAs are valid for five years, or until the expiration date of a passport, whichever comes first.

Who Needs an eTA?

The eTA requirement applies to travelers who do not need a visa to enter Canada and who are planning to arrive by air. Visa exempt countries include the UK, Japan, Australia, Korea, countries in the European Union and more.

The eTA requirement does not apply to citizens of the US and it is not required if a person is entering at a land or sea port of entry.

A list of nationalities requiring an eTA is available here.

Nationals of certain visa-required countries (Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico or Romania) who hold a current US non-immigrant visa, or who have held a Canadian visa in the past ten years, will be allowed to enter Canada with an eTA instead of a visa. This special visa exemption may not, however, be in place by 15 March 2016.

What is the eTA Application Process?

The eTA process involves entering a traveler’s personal details and passport information into an online portal and paying a fee of $7CAD. Every traveler must obtain an eTA – including children.

In most cases, CIC will approve the eTA within minutes of applying. In situations where an immediate decision is not given, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will follow up with applicants with requests to obtain more information.

Action Items

  • Ensure that visa-waiver nationals (other than US nationals) travelling to Canada register for an eTA before travelling.

This alert was prepared using information provided by VRV Global.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.