Reminder: Canada New Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Program
In 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) introduced an Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) Program. The eTA program objective is to establish a uniform process to screen visa-exempt foreign nationals prior to travel to Canada, in order to identify security threats prior to arrival in North America. The eTA program is modelled after the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”), which applies to foreign nationals who enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. The government-authorized transition period that allows travelers to board their flight without an eTA ends November 9, 2016.
Effective November 10, 2016, the eTA will be required for visa-exempt nationals who fly to Canada. Entry requirements will not change for entries made by land and sea. The following foreign nationals will need an eTA prior to entering Canada:
- Visa-exempt foreign nationals
- Foreign nationals who are U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.
- Foreign nationals who are currently in Canada under a work or study permit must apply for an eTA.
- Foreign nationals applying for a work or study permit after August 1, 2015 will automatically be granted an eTA.
Importantly, U.S. citizens are exempt from the eTA requirement and do not need a visa to enter Canada.
Before traveling to Canada, foreign nationals must apply for an eTA through an online application process. An eTA will be issued within minutes and will be valid for five years or for the validity of the underlying passport, whichever comes first.
For information and application procedures, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp.
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