Countries that once denied access to the general public, unless meeting a strict criterion, have opened their borders in the past few years. Among them, Canada has a new easier and faster application process through the Electronic Travel Authorisation form, also known as eTA Canada. The travel document can be easily obtained online, on the Government of Canada’s official website, for visitors traveling to Canada by air or passengers who only transit Canadian airports on their way to other destinations.
The Canadian law requires that applicants requesting the electronic document have a valid passport and an email address. The application process is fast, simple and the cost of CAD $7 can be paid with a debit or a credit card. The questionnaire is rudimentary, short, and it is comprised of personal and elementary information about the traveling document. Once submitted, the applicant can wait anywhere between minutes to a few days for travel approval. Unless the applicant has a complicated background, which requires further check, the approval email can take up to a few hours.
Once obtained eTA grants you entry as many times intended for short periods of time (up to six months at a time) for up to five years. Upon approval, the Travel Card is electronically linked to the passport replacing any physical document needed in the past. When boarding the plane, the crew will scan the passport in order to ensure the eTA is valid and in accordance with passport number.
The eTA grants entry in Canada solely to nationals traveling from visa-exempt countries.
The new entry requirement is not applicable to the U.S. or Canadian citizens who can travel only with their passport. This doesn’t apply to American or Canadian permanent residents, who need the eTA to accompany their Green Card or Permanent Resident card in order to enter Canada.
The visa holders in possession of the former visa needed for Canada, obtained before 2015 might be needed to apply for an eTA, in accordance to the new legislation.
Traveling to one of the countries with the strictest immigration legislation has never been easier.