eTA for Canada - Visa Free Travel for Passport holders of 13 More Countries
Canada, a popular destination for tourism, business, and family reunions, has expanded its electronic travel authorization (eTA) program to include 13 additional countries. The Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced this expansion, which allows eligible travelers from these countries to apply for an eTA instead of a visa when traveling to Canada by air.
The countries included in this expansion are:
Antigua and Barbuda
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
This change is effective immediately and applies to travelers from these countries who have either held a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or who currently hold a valid United States non-immigrant visa.
The introduction of visa-free air travel is expected to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for thousands of travelers to visit Canada for up to six months for either business or leisure. This move is anticipated to stimulate Canada’s economy by facilitating more travel, tourism, and international business, and by strengthening Canada’s relationships with these countries.
This decision will also divert thousands of applications from Canada’s visa caseload, allowing for more efficient processing of visa applications, which will benefit all visa applicants.
Individuals who already have a valid visa can continue to use it to travel to Canada. Those who are not eligible for an eTA, or who are traveling to Canada by means other than air (for example, by car, bus, train, and boat—including by cruise ship), will still need a visitor visa.
The eTA is a digital travel document that most visa-exempt travelers need in order to travel to or transit through Canada by air. The eTA application is used by Canadian officials to conduct light-touch, pre-travel screening of air travelers. It costs CAN$7 to apply, and most applications are automatically approved within minutes.
Within the next year, Canada expects to receive 200,000 (or 20%) more visitors from these 13 countries. Within a decade, increased travel from these countries is expected to bring almost $160 million in additional tourism revenue.
What is an eTA - Electronic Travel Authorization?
An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a digital travel document that most visa-exempt travelers need in order to travel to or transit through Canada by air. It is linked electronically to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
How it Works and How to Obtain an eTA for Canada
The eTA application is used by Canadian officials to conduct light-touch, pre-travel screening of air travelers. To apply for an eTA, you need a valid passport, a credit card, an email address, and access to the Internet. You can apply online through the official Government of Canada website. The application process is straightforward and involves filling out some personal information and answering a few basic questions. The application fee is CAN$7. Most applications are automatically approved within minutes, but some may take several days to process.
Who is Exempt from Applying an eTA
Canadian citizens, dual Canadian citizens, and Canadian permanent residents do not need an eTA to travel to Canada. Instead, they need to travel with a valid Canadian passport or a valid Canadian permanent resident card respectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need an eTA to travel to Canada?
A. If you are a foreign national from a visa-exempt country and you are traveling to Canada by air, you will likely need an eTA. However, if you are a Canadian citizen, a dual Canadian citizen, or a Canadian permanent resident, you do not need an eTA.
Q. Who is eligible for an eTA?
A. Foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries who are traveling to Canada by air are eligible for an eTA.
Q. How quickly can I get a Canadian eTA?
A. Most eTA applications are automatically approved within minutes. However, some applications may take several days to process.
Q. How long can you stay in Canada with an eTA?
A. An eTA allows you to stay in Canada for up to six months at a time.
Q. Which countries can visit Canada without a visa?
A. There are over 50 countries whose citizens do not require a visa to visit Canada. The full list can be found on the official Government of Canada website.
Q. What documents do I need to go to Canada?
A. You will need a valid passport and, depending on your country of citizenship, you may also need a visa or an eTA.
Q. What happens if I travel to Canada without a visa?
A. If you are from a country that requires a visa to enter Canada and you attempt to enter without one, you will likely be denied entry.
Q. Can I travel to Canada without PR?
A. Yes, you can travel to Canada without Permanent Residency (PR). However, depending on your country of citizenship, you may need a visa or an eTA.
Q. What is the meaning of eTA visa?
A. An eTA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, is not a visa. It is a digital travel document required by most visa-exempt travelers to travel to or transit through Canada by air.
Q. Do I need a visa if I have a PR card?
A. No, if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you do not need a visa to enter Canada. You should travel with your valid PR card.
Q. Can I travel with my PR card?
A. Yes, if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you should travel with your valid PR card when traveling to Canada.
Q. Can I travel while waiting for PR approval?
A. Yes, you can travel while waiting for PR approval. However, you should ensure that you meet the entry requirements for your specific situation and nationality, which may include having a valid visa or eTA.