On March 15, 2016, The Government of Canada will implement significant new entry requirements for those arriving by air. Currently, citizens of several countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) to enter Canada and can apply for the TRV through a Canadian Consulate, while citizens of visa-exempt countries may arrive at a Canadian border or airport without first applying for the TRV. Beginning March 15, 2016, most travelers, even from some visa-exempt countries, flying into or transiting through Canada will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) prior to boarding a flight to Canada. Travelers of all ages will require an eTA when they fly into Canada, including young children.
Who Will NOT Require an eTA to Enter Canada?
Travelers with a valid TRV
Canadian Permanent Residents
Travelers entering Canada by land or by sea
Who Will Require an eTA to Enter Canada?
U.S. lawful permanent residents (“green card holders”) entering by air
Canadian work permit holders traveling by air
Visitors to Canada traveling by air
How To Apply for an eTA
To apply for an eTA, individuals must have a valid passport, a credit card, a scanner, and an email address. In addition to biographical data, the online application form will gather information regarding criminal history, employment information, marital status, and confirmation of funds available for each individual’s stay in Canada. All applications are submitted online through an individualized MyCIC account created by the applicant. The Government of Canada will gather the information to pre-screen travelers’ admissibility to Canada.
The eTA application requires an online fee payment of $7.00 CAD. The eTA will electronically link to the passport and, once granted, will remain valid for a period of five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant unless the individual’s passport or travel document is set to expire, the eTA is cancelled, or the individual applies for and receives a new eTA valid for a longer duration. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”)’s website projects that most applicants can expect to receive an email response “within minutes” of applying.
Seyfarth Shaw strongly recommends applying as soon as an individual becomes aware he or she will travel to Canada by air after March 15, 2016, as application processing may lead to unforeseen delays. Following submission of the eTA application, IRCC reserves the right to request an in-person interview or additional documentation. In addition to the eTA, all individuals entering Canada must continue to meet general admissibility requirements and will continue to be interviewed by a Canada Border Services Agency officer prior to being granted entry to Canada.