What is an Electronic Travel Authorization?

Foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries arriving in Canada by air are required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to their trip. This is a requirement whether they want to visit the country or only to pass through in transit.

Do I need an Electronic Travel Authorization?

You need an eTA if you are travelling to Canada by air from a visa-exempt country.

The following are exempt from requiring an eTA:

  • Those who have already obtained a valid visa to enter Canada.
  • Anyone entering by land or sea.
  • Armed Forces visiting Canada on official duty.
  • Flight crew, civil aviation inspectors, accident investigators.
  • French citizens who live in and are travelling from St. Pierre and Miquelon.
  • Persons entering from the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, while holding valid status in Canada (visitor, student or worker).
  • Accredited diplomats.
  • Canadian citizens and dual citizens (provided you are travelling on a Canadian passport)
  • Canadian permanent residents (you need your PR card or point of entry documentation)
  • US citizens and permanent residents.

How do I get an Electronic Travel Authorization?

You can apply for an eTA through the Canadian federal government website.

Before you apply, you will need:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid email address
  • Credit card to pay the $7 fee

When should I apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization?

The Canadian government advises you to apply as soon as you know your travel itinerary.

However, an eTA can be obtained at the last minute via a smartphone. All you need is an internet connection. The email authorization often only takes a few minutes to come through. However, some requests can take several days to process if supporting documents are requested.

There is no requirement to print an eTA. It is electronically linked to your passport or travel document.

How long is an Electronic Travel Authorization valid for?

An eTA is valid for five years or until your passport or travel document expires, whichever comes first.

There is no limit on the number of entries to Canada, as long as the eTA is valid.