From mid-March 2016 you will need to have your Canadian Permanent residents card or Permanent Residents Travel Documents whenever flying to Canada otherwise you may not be permitted to board the flight.
If you don’t have a Permanent Residents card at the moment then find out how to go about applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document.
When visiting Canada, it is necessary for you to always carry proper travel documentation and identification for both yourself and any children who may be travelling with you.
It is the responsibility of transport companies, including airlines, to ensure that you have all the proper, valid travel documentation you need. If not, then you may be delayed or will not be allowed to board the plane.
The following travel documents are not considered reliable and cannot be used to enter Canada:
How long am I welcome in Canada as a visitor?
The Border Services Officer at the Canadian port of entry (POE) will determine how long you are allowed to stay in the country. Most visitors are welcome for a duration of six months from their date of entry, however if the officer only authorizes a shorter period, the date that you must leave Canada by will be indicated in your passport.
If you would like to stay for longer than the period that was authorized then you will need to apply for an extension no less than 30 days BEFORE you are required to depart.
What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
eTA is a new entry requirement for foreign nationals with visa exempt status who are planning to travel to Canada by air. The authorization is linked electronically to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Do I need an eTA or visa for Canadian travel?
Depending on which country you are a citizen of you may not need a visa, however you will probably need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).
Transport companies such as airlines, are responsible for ensuring that you have all the proper, vaid travel documentation for entry to Canada. If you do not have these documents, including an eTA or visitor visa, you may be delayed or not allowed to board.
Visitors of following countries do not need a visa to visit Canada (but will need an eTA) :
How do I apply for an eTA?
The application is a simple online process that takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. You will need your passport, contact, employment, travel details and a debit or credit card to pay the eTA application fees. An approved eTA will be valid for up to five years, or the date of passport expiry, whichever comes first. Eligible applicants are advised to apply for eTA a few weeks before their departure to Canada, as processing delays may occur.
Is a visa still required if I am simply passing through Canada without stopping?
If you’re a citizen of a country that does not have visa exempt status for Canada then you will need a transit visa in order to pass through Canada without stopping or visiting. This is required even if your transit will take less than 48 hours, however there is no fee for a transit visa. Fill out the application for a visitor visa (Temporary Resident Visa) and select transit visa from the list of options on the form.
If you hold a passport from a visa-exempt country, then you can apply for an eTA to visit Canada.
You may not need either a transit visa or an eTA if you are travelling to or from the United States. If certain foreign nationals meet specific requirements then the Transit Without Visa Program (TWOV) and the China Transit Program (CTP) allows them to transit through Canada on their way to and from the United States without a Canadian transit visa.
If you are a Canadian Permanent Resident then you will need to show your permanent resident card when you return to Canada via commercial vehicle such as airplane, boat, train, or bus. If you are returning with a private vehicle such as a car registered in your name, then there is other documentation that would be valid.
If you’re planning on leaving Canada for any reason then check to make sure that your permanent residency card won’t expire before you return. Most cards are valid for five years but still check to avoid any possible issues at the border.
Some people who want to travel to Canada are considered inadmissible. Such activities that would deem a potential applicant as inadmissible include extensive or recent history with involvement in criminal activity, human rights violations and participation in organized crime. You can also be denied entry to Canada based on security, health or financial reasons.