While permanent residents and temporary residents who hold a valid Canadian visa are exempt from the eTA system, expats who have not yet met these requirements may need to apply for an eTA. See below for a list of those who need an eTA.
The eTA, which stands for Electronic Travel Authorization, is an entry requirement for certain categories of foreigners, managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It does not, however, guarantee you entrance into Canada; it is possible to be denied entry upon arrival at a Canadian airport.
A granted eTA is valid for up to 5 years or until your passport expires.
Why does it exist?
The eTA was created to give Canadian authorities the capacity to preemptively screen visitors flying into Canada from countries that are visa-exempt. A full list of those countries can be found below. Before the introduction of the eTA, the large number of passengers from those countries could not be screened until they landed in Canada.
Who needs an eTA?
Citizens of the following countries are required to apply for an eTA if entering Canada by air: Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, British citizens, British overseas territory citizens, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and U.S. Permanent Residents.
How do I get one?
You can get an eTA if you meet all the following requirements:
- You are a citizen of a country that is exempt from having to obtain a visa to travel to Canada, or are a lawful permanent resident of the United States with a valid alien registration card (Green Card)
- You are traveling by air to Canada (note that it is not necessary to apply for an eTA if traveling by land or sea)
- You have sufficient funds to cover your stay in Canada
- You have a valid passport
- You have no criminal or immigration-related convictions