Frequently asked questions about electronic Travel Authorization.
Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an electronic Travel Authorization, also known as eTA, for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land, sea) have not changed.
The number of visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada on a temporary basis per year is significantly larger than the number of visa-required travellers. For example, visa-exempt foreign nationals, excluding U.S. citizens, represent approximately 74 per cent of foreign nationals who arrive by air in Canada.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.
To find out whether citizens of your country are visa-exempt, click here.
- nationals of the United States,
- individuals already in possession of a Canadian temporary resident visa,
- certain foreign diplomats,
- commercial air crew,
- citizens of France who are residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon,
- individuals in possession of a visa to enter the United States on a flight bound for that country in transit through Canada, where the sole purpose of the flight stopping in Canada is for purpose of refuelling,
- individuals transiting through Canada as a passenger on a flight who are in possession of any visa required to enter the country of destination;
- individuals carrying out official duties as a member of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act,
- study or work permit holders re-entering Canada following a visit solely to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, and
- Her Majesty in right of Canada and any member of the Royal Family.
When flying to Canada, you will need to present:
- proof of status in the U.S. (such as a valid Green Card), and
- your valid passport that you used to apply for your eTA.
The Canadian border services officer will verify your eTA when you arrive in Canada.
When travelling by land or sea directly from the U.S., you will only need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card).
- the day on which the applicant’s passport or other travel document expires, or
- the day on which the electronic travel authorization is cancelled, or
- the day on which a new electronic travel authorization is issued to the applicant.
If you are not sure how to submit the documents requested for your eTA application, follow these step-by-step instructions.
In terms of criminal inadmissibility, something as seemingly minor as an old DUI (Driving Under the Influence) going back a number of years can result in being rejected. Even if the crime was minor in nature, and even if the person’s criminal record has been clean since it took place, Canada still has the right to deny entry.
Some examples of convictions that could make you inadmissible to Canada include: DWAI, Theft, Petty Theft/Larceny, Assault, Drunk & Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of marijuana, cocaine or other controlled substances/drugs, and cautions (issued in the United Kingdom).
More serious reasons for refusal can include membership in terrorist organizations, espionage, participation in war crimes or crimes against humanity, international human rights violations, membership in organized crime groups, criminality, or issues endangering public health, such as tuberculosis.
In 2012–2013, the total number of visa-exempt foreign nationals who arrived in Canada and were deemed inadmissible for entry at air ports of entry was 7,055. This resulted in significant expense, delay and inconvenience for these foreign nationals, other travellers, the airlines and the Canadian government. As such, the eTA system has been brought into operation.