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Re-entering Canada without PR Card, only CoPR and passport - by plane

Discussion in 'Permanent Residency Obligations' started by donnanne, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. ETAs are never asked for by an airline. They are automatically linked to your passport electronically only. So an airline upon scanning your passport, will see immediately from the Canadian system if you have a valid and active eTA or not.

    When landing as a PR, eTA are not instantly cancelled, this process can often takes weeks or months. So the only reason you were able to travel back to Canada is that you were incredibly lucky they had not gotten around to cancelling your eTA yet. If they had, you would have been denied boarding.
  2. This was because your existing eTA had not yet been cancelled, not because Canada's performed a massive PR operation to tell the world they need documents they don't actually need.
  3. #33 axolotl, Feb 19, 2018 at 6:02 PM
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Not true. See the message that I received from the IRCC on 25/10/2017. (I got the ETA in July 2017 and became a PR on 15/10/2017.)

  4. The airline never scanned my passport. I got the boarding passes printed on a machine by typing in manually my passport number, expiration date, etc. (I did not have any check-in luggage.) When boarding, they only scanned my boarding pass.
  5. I just checked my ETA status here and got the following. Indeed my ETA was cancelled.

  6. Whether by scanning or entering manually, at some point your passport number is cross checked against the Canadian database. If your passport is not linked to an active eTA, then it will demand you present a PR card or the airline will get a "no board" notice for you.

    So on the date you traveled, the eTA must have still been active. They are not cancelled immediately upon landing as a PR.
    spousalsponsee and canuck_in_uk like this.
  7. Hi! Quick question-
    once I have my copr can I travel in to the us and back with it? I do not have a valid Canadian visa on my passport.

  8. Whether there is a particular explanation for your specific experience, or it is due to an anomaly, as others have made clear your experience is an exception, outside the routine.

    In general (with some exceptions), and by a big margin, in addition to a valid passport a Canadian PR needs to present a valid PR card or a PR Travel Document in order to be issued a Boarding Pass for a flight to Canada.

    Some exceptions are readily recognized. Travelers with a U.S. passport for example. Others may be very narrowly applicable exceptions.

    And sometimes one part of the system is out of sync with other parts. Among other possible anomalies.

    There is no reason to play guessing games about how or why, since both the rule and the usual (by a large margin) practice are well known: PRs need a PR card or PR TD to obtain permission to board flights to Canada, notwithstanding this or that rare exception.

    Thus, make no mistake, it would have been FOOLISH to risk trying to board a return flight to Canada without your PR card.

    Moreover, you state that it was "unnecessary" to have your PR card forwarded to you. That reasoning is flawed, kind of like driving a car without an insurance card in the vehicle. I have had to present an insurance card to authorities in less than one in a thousand trips (maybe one in five or ten thousand). To conclude it was "unnecessary" to have an insurance card all those times I was not compelled to present one is simply WRONG.
  9. Once you are a PR, you can enter Canada at a land border without a PR card or PRTD. You don't actually need your COPR, as your PR status can be determined by CBSA when swiping your passport.
    abcdmud likes this.
  10. I cannot argue against this!

    I'm not sure whether it has something to do with the airlines. My partner flew to Toronto from Amsterdam last year to activate her PR status. She flew with KLM, which did not ask for her ETA or COPR either. (She never applied for an ETA.) She had a lot of luggage and checked in through a human agent.

    Maybe Dutch or Icelandic airlines just don't take certain rules very seriously? When I flew to Canada for the first time from Singapore with Japan Airlines, as a temporary worker, they did ask about my ETA.
  11. An eTA is created and linked to passport automatically with issuance of COPR. It's not required to show COPR to airline, as the eTA is what gets you to Canada.

    Again, airlines do not ask for an eTA. The eTA is linked to your passport electronically, and the airline will simply see a board or no-board notice on their computer when they enter your passport info. eTA is not a physical thing you can show anyone.
  12. Thank you!! I'm always worried when crossing the border. They ask me questions for almost 20 minutes, and only ask my husband (Canadian) his citizenship. I get asked a lot of questions as I lived in the US for 4 years. I hope its easier with my COPR.
  13. Again, my ETA was cancelled on 25/10/2017.

    Japan Airlines DID ask for an ETA.
  14. #44 Rob_TO, Feb 22, 2018 at 1:29 PM
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    And I wonder what Japan airlines was expecting to see, since as mentioned eTA is something linked electronically, not something you can show.

    Airlines may inquire as to why they're getting a no-board for a passenger, so may ask for information purposes only if they were approved for an eTA or not. If not, then they can explain this to the passenger as to why they are not being allowed boarding.

    If your eTA was cancelled and you weren't asked to show a PR card, then this was a huge mistake made by the airline. They overrode the no-board notice that would have popped up if your eTA was not active, and didn't ask for your PR card or PR TD.

    As others have mentioned, this was an aberration and should not be relied on by anybody.
  15. How so? In what way?

    As @Rob_TO has explicitly and correctly pointed out, eTA is NOT a physical thing anyone can show to an airline. Visa-exempt travelers do not carry any document which states the traveler has eTA and, in particular, eTA is not something physically stamped in or attached to a passport.

    What eTA means is that when the passport number and traveler's identity information is submitted to the CBSA system, electronically, a "board" response (as opposed to a "no board" response) is generated. The airlines may infer the visa-exempt traveler has eTA based on a "board" response.

    Airlines may typically ask a visa-exempt traveler if they have eTA when there is a no board response, but that is their way of asking the passenger if they have obtained the necessary eTA (and to apply for it if not) or there is some other reason for the no board response. If the traveler has obtained eTA, again it is NOT as if the traveler has any physical thing to present which shows the traveler has obtained eTA.

    Note: airlines have discretion to allow a passenger to board a flight despite a no-board response from the CBSA system. There are certain protocols or procedures for the airlines to follow in making this decision. But the decision to allow boarding or not is ultimately for the airline to make. Of course, if the airline allows boarding and it turns out the traveler is not admissible to Canada, there are compensatory and punitive consequences for the airlines. So it is usually anticipated that airlines are reluctant to allow a traveler to board in the event there is a no-board response from the CBSA system.

    The "no board" response is NOT at all related to or akin to things like a "no fly" for security reasons list. Those are far more strict.

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