Since Thursday November 10th 2016 many people need an eTA before flying to Canada. eTA stands for Electronic Travel Authorization and its purpose is to pre-screen visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to (or through) Canada by air. It’s caught a lot of people out including Robin Ince, presenter of BBC programmes The Infitinate Monkey Cage and Book Shambles, who was travelling to Toronto for a charity gig. I read his blog and twitter feed live from Heathrow as he hoped against hope that his eTA would arrive by email in time to board a flight. It didn’t.
To apply for an eTA, you need to visit the visa website. The application fee is $7 and it says on the website that the eTA will be granted by email within minutes of submitting the application, unless of course you actually need it within a few minutes. Then it takes just long enough to miss the last possible flight…such is life.
The website does warn that if additional documents are required the process can take up to a few weeks.
Who needs an eTA?
Examples of visa-exempt foreign nationals who require an eTA include citizens of:
most of Western Europe,
You can check if you need one HERE:
Who doesn’t need an eTA?
Canadian permanent residents,
foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Canada (such as citizens of India, China, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa, Russia)
some people who have a work or student permit (but double check)
I felt for Robin Ince at the airport, checking his phone every few minutes…been there, done that (or a version of it).