Significance of the Canada eTA Program

Published on: Sep 25, 2015 | Tags: Canada eTA, Canadian eTA, Canada Electronic Travel Authorization, Canada Entry Requirements, Canada eTA Eligibility

Amendments made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act through the Jobs and Growth Act enhance the safety and security of Canadians and strengthen the integrity of the immigration program by introducing the requirement that foreign nationals obtain an electronic travel authorization (eTA) before entering Canada.

The eTA program is a key component of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan and is exactly like the current U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program to ensure a common approach to screening visitors from outside the North American perimeter.

Before visiting Canada, ideally before ever purchasing a ticket to visit Canada, tourists are required to apply for an eTA through an online application process. These applications will most likely be approved in matter of minutes for the vast majority of cases. The beauty of this system is that visa exempt foreign nationals, who until now underwent no screening, may be found to be inadmissible due to any number of non-compliances with immigration criteria, including criminality and fraud.

These changes have the following purposes:

Adopt the eTA as a requirement for entry to Canada from certain foreign nationals. The new regulation will also indicate which foreign nationals will be excluded from eTA requirements (e.g. US citizens)

Provide details on how an eTA application will be submitted and how they will be processed.

Indication of business impacts

It is believed that the changes will impact the following stakeholders:

  • Visa-exempt foreign nationals
  • Travel and tourism sectors

In addition to the eTA, Canada also plans to develop an Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) system that will screen all passengers on international flights to Canada prior to boarding. This will allow the Government to colloborate with airlines (i.e. commercial transporters) about whether tourists requiring an eTA have the proper documentation to travel to Canada and to prevent those who don’t from ever boarding the plane, thus saving costs across the board.

Eligible Countries For eTA Canada

Andorra

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

Austria

Bahamas

Barbados

Belgium

Bermuda

British citizen

British overseas citizen

British Virgin Islands

Brunei Darussalam

Cayman Islands

Chile

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Falkland Islands

Finland

France

Federal Republic of Germany

Gibraltar

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Republic of Korea

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

Montserrat

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Papua New Guinea

Pitcairn Island

Poland

Portugal

Saint Helena

Samoa

San Marino

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turks and Caicos Islands

 

 

 

Determine your eligibility – What you need to visit Canada as a tourist

Basic requirements

To visit Canada, you will need to meet some basic requirements, such as:

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
  • be in good health,
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions,
  • convince an immigration officer that you have a reason—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—to return to your home country,
  • convince an immigration officer that you will be leaving Canada on the date you indicate, and
  • have enough funds for your stay. (The amount of money you will need can vary depending on how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.)

You may also need a:

  • medical exam and
  • letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.

Entry documents

In addition to the basic requirements, most visitors need a valid entry document which could be either an eTA or a visa.

  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • Visitor visa

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eTA is a required travel authorization for travelers visiting Canada for tourism, business or transit purposes.

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