Canadian eTA Requirements

Earlier this week Moving2Canada‘s Alan Regan (2015) reported that the ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’ (eTA) will soon become mandatory. A similar system is currently used in the USA, which has been mandatory for the last 6 years. For a cost of CA$7 or roughly £3.50 you can apply for one through the Canadian Government‘s website.

It is only necessary for people entering Canada via air travel. From 15th March 2016 work permit holders who received their permit on or before 31st July 2015 will need to get an eTA if they plan to leave Canada and return by air (CIC spokesman, Regan, 2015).

Should you bother applying?

Although the eTA is not mandatory yet, for the sake of the cost of a pint of beer it is an extra piece of paper that will only make getting into Canada easier. The way it works is once the application is made and approved, when boarder control scan your passport on arrival it will come up on the screen as being pre-approved. This should hopefully mean speeding up the process of going through boarder control. As the eTA is valid for 5 years (unless your passport expires in less than 5 years) I would say it is completely worth it and saves having to remember to do it if you leave Canada and plan to return after 15th March 2016.

Processing Times

I applied for mine the other day and the online form took no more than 6 minutes to fill out and my eTA came through in less than 5 minutes. For a system that is so quick that saves ever having to do it again for another 5 years I would say it is completely worth it.

Update

Since originally writing this article eTA’s are mandatory. Still the cost remains low and it lasts for 5 years. Do not forget to get yours before you travel to Canada by air.

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Sources:

Regan, A (2015), [online], available at: http://moving2canada.com/immigration-to-canada/canadian-eta/ [accessed 28/08/15].

Government of Canada (2015), [online], available at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp [accessed 28/08/15].

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