Electronic Travel Authorization
About an ETA
As per subsection 11(1.01) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
and subsection 7.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), all visa- exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air must apply for an eTA through the electronic system before entering Canada.
This requirement does not apply to foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by land, sea or rail.
An eTA is valid for 5 years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever occurs sooner (section R12.05).
An eTA can be cancelled by a designated officer. Once cancelled, an eTA is no longer valid (section R12.06).
Who needs an eTA
An eTA is required for all visa-exempt foreign nationals, except United States (U.S.) citizens and certain other small groups.
Section R190 characterizes people who are
describes individuals who are excluded from the requirement to get a temporary resident visa. Thus an eTA is necessary for these individuals. Permanent residents of the U.S need an eTA when entering or flying through a Canadian airport. A passport as well as proof of a valid permanent resident status in the U.S must be present with them in order to board their flight. A valid green card or I-551 [ADIT] stamp in their passport are suitable proof.
Countries whose nationals require an eTA:
Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria
British overseas territories whose citizens derive their citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in that territory:
British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar
Turks and Caicos Islands Chile
Germany (Federal Republic of) Greece
Korea (Republic of)
New Zealand Norway
Papua New Guinea Poland
Romania (electronic passport holders only)
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (including British overseas citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
Foreign nationals who hold any of the following documents also require an eTA:
- A passport or travel document issued by the Holy See
- A national Israeli passport
- A passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British national (overseas), such as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British subject that contains the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom
- An ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual
eTA expansion eligibility:
Subsections R7.01(1) and (2) expand the eligibility criteria of the eTA requirement to allow certain foreign nationals who meet specific conditions to apply for an eTA.
These foreign nationals may only apply for an eTA if they are travelling to Canada by air and if, at the time of application, either of the following applies:
- they have held a Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV) in the past 10 years
- they hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa (NIV)
Individuals are not eligible to apply for an eTa if they do not meet the necessary criteria listed and is not a permanent U.S resident ( green card holder). In this situation a valid TRV is required by the individual to travel or through Canada.
Note: If a foreign national with an eTA on the basis of eTA expansion eligibility is travelling to or transiting through Canada by a means other than air, they must have a valid TRV.
Who does not need an eTA:
Subsections R7.1(2) and (3) describe individuals who are exempt from the eTA requirement. They include the following:
- individuals who hold a valid Canadian TRV or temporary resident permit (TRP)
- Her Majesty in Right of Canada and any member of the (British) Royal Family
nationals of the U.S.
- foreign nationals who hold a passport that contains a diplomatic acceptance, a consular acceptance or an official acceptance issued by the Chief of Protocol for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on behalf of the Government of Canada and who are properly accredited diplomats, consular officers, representatives or officials of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies or of any international organization of which Canada is a member
foreign nationals looking to enter and stay in Canada in the cases listed below:
- as an associate of a transportation mean that can be used for passage by air or to become a crew member
- To travel through Canada to work or after working as a associate of a mode that can be used for travel by air, if they have a ticket for departure dated 24 hours after landing in Canada.
- Citizens of France native to St. Pierre and Miquelon looking to enter Canada directly from St. Pierre and Miquelon
foreign nationals looking to arrive and stay in Canada solely to transit through Canada as a passenger on a flight stopping in Canada for the distinct intent of refuelling, in the following cases:
- where they have the necessary documents needed to enter the U.S and their flight is bound for that country
- Where they were legally given admittance to the U.S and their flight is coming from that country
- foreign nationals looking to enter and remain in Canada purely to travel through Canada as passengers on a flight that due to an emergency or any unexpected situation, makes an unscheduled stop in Canada
foreign nationals looking to enter and remain in Canada only to travel through Canada as passengers on a flight, as long as the following applies:
- they are transported by a commercial transporter and there is a memorandum of understanding referred to in subsection R190(4) in effect between the Minister and the commercial transporter regarding travels of passengers through Canada without a Canadian visa
- They are in possession of travel documents, or hold a passport issued by the same country that they are a national or citizen of, and the country is listed in the memorandum of understanding
- They hold any necessary visa needed for entry within the designated country
foreign nationals looking to enter and remain in Canada only to carry out official duties as members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of:
- the Visiting Forces Act, unless they have been designated under that Act as civilian components of those armed forces
foreign nationals looking to enter and remain in Canada only to re-enter Canada following a visit strictly to the U.S. or St. Pierre and Miquelon, if the points listed below apply:
- A work or study permit, issued before the departure of Canada is in possession on such a visit or authorization to enter and stay in Canada as a temporary resident was granted.
- They have come back to Canada by the completion of the initially authorized period of stay or any extension to it.
Foreign nationals looking to enter and stay in Canada only to conduct inspections of the flight operation procedures or cabin safety of a commercial air carrier operating international flights, if they are a civil aviation inspector of a national aeronautical authority and have the required valid documentation to that effect
foreign nationals looking to enter and stay in Canada only to participate as accredited representatives or as advisers to an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, if they hold the required and valid documentation to that effect