The enforcement of the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) requirement will begin on September 29, 2016. As of this date, all air carriers will use the Canada Border Service Agency’s (CBSA) Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) to verify that foreign nationals seeking to travel to or transit through Canada by air have a valid eTA, before issuing a boarding pass.
In the interim, visa-exempt foreign nationals (except US citizens) who do not have an eTA are eligible to board their flight, as long as they possess appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.
Automatic Issuance of eTA
Visa exempt foreign nationals who received a work permit or study permit after July 31, 2015 will have automatically been issued an eTA.
Applying for eTA
An eTA can be made online. Basic personal information, such as full name, valid passport number and email address will be requested. Additional information required include: occupation and previous travel; and concerns relating to health and criminality.
eTA Processing Fee
The processing fee for an eTA is $7 CAD and is paid at the time of online submission of the application.
While most eTA applications are approved within minutes of applying, some do take up to 72 hours, if further processing is required. In the latter cases, the applicant will be notified and provided instructions It is therefore advisable that foreign nationals who require travel authorization apply for their eTA at least a few days before their scheduled departure.
eTA Validity Period
An eTA is valid for five years from the date of issue, or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first. It is important to note that an eTA can only be linked to one passport at a time. In other words, a new eTA is required if a new passport is obtained.