For a trip to Canada, you need a valid entry permit. Learn how to find the right Canada visa and get help with the application process.
eTA is an electronic travel authorization for Canada. It allows all nationals from participating eTA countries to enter Canada quickly and visa-free for up to 6 months at a time for tourism or business purposes. The eTA countries currently include:
|eTA Visa Canada: eligible countries|
|British Virgin Islands||Brunei Darussalam||Bulgaria||Cayman Islands|
|Denmark||Estonia||Falkland Islands (Malvinas)||Finland|
|New Zealand||Norway||Papua New Guinea||Pitcairn Islands|
|Poland||Portugal||Republic of Korea||Romania3|
|Slovenia||Solomon Islands||Spain||St. Helena|
|Sweden||Switzerland||Taiwan2||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|United Arab Emirates||United Kingdom1||Vatican City|
1 British citizens (including British Overseas Territories) by birth, descent, naturalization, or registration with a right of entry or residence in the United Kingdom
2 Taiwanese nationals are required to have a passport with a personal identification number.
3 Romanian citizens can only apply for an eTA Canada with an e-passport (electronic passport with a chip).
The following individuals are also eligible to apply for an eTA to Canada:
You may apply for an eTA if you
You must apply for a visa because you are not eligible for an eTA if you
You do not need a visa or eTA if you
Applying for an eTA or visa does not affect a work or study permit in Canada. However, if you apply for a work or study permit for a period of fewer than six months, then an eTA travel authorization is automatically included.
Since the introduction of eTA, Canadian travel has become much easier for citizens from eTA countries. The differences between visa-free travel with the eTA and travel with a classic visa are:
|eTA Canada||Classic visa|
|Costs||$7 CAD||$75 CAD - $500 CAD|
|Documents||Passport||Passport, evidence documents (e.g., contracts, deeds), health certificate, passport photos, police clearance certificate|
|Application||Online||In person at the Canadian embassy or consulate|
|Processing time||24 hours||15 - 200 days|
In addition to being a citizen of one of the visa-exempt eTA countries, you must meet some other requirements to obtain an eTA Canada travel authorization. These relate to your travel intent, intended length of stay, and some personal characteristics.
You only need to apply for an eTA if you are entering the country by air.
You are eTA eligible if you are from one of the participating eTA countries. If your country is not on the eTA country list, you will need to apply for a visa for your Canada trip (unless you are a US citizen or have a Green Card.)
An eTA entitles you to stay in Canada for tourism or business purposes. However, an eTA permit is not the same as a work permit. For an eTA for business purposes, you must present a letter inviting you to Canada from the company.
With an eTA, you may stay in Canada for a maximum of six months at a time. However, you may travel to the country as many times as you wish within the validity period of five years from the date of approval.
You may only enter Canada with an eTA if you meet the physical, mental, and biographical requirements. The following conditions apply:
If you meet all of these criteria and are from one of the eTA countries, then there is probably nothing standing in the way of your eTA travel authorization to Canada.
To apply for an eTA travel authorization, you need a passport valid for at least the duration of your trip. The confirmation of your eTA approval must match the number in your passport. Always carry both documents with you when entering Canada.
Suppose you are a business traveler entering the country at the invitation of a Canadian company. In that case, you must present a letter of invitation at the border, including contact information for the company in question in addition to your eTA.
You may also need to prove the following facts:
Therefore, always carry copies of the documents that can prove sufficient attachment to your home country in case of doubt.
All foreign travelers require an eTA or visa when arriving in Canada by air. Children and infants are not excluded from this requirement. So you will need to apply for a separate eTA for each child traveling with you.
Suppose you are a single parent or relative traveling to Canada with a child under 18. In that case, have documents such as adoption papers, powers of attorney, birth certificates, or custody orders ready.
You can get your eTA travel authorization for Canada on the eTA application page of our partner iVisa within just a few minutes. To do so, have your biographical information, passport, home address, and valid email address ready.
You will be asked questions about your health, immigration history, and any criminal record, among other things, during the approximately 5-minute application process. Answer them truthfully and then apply.
After an automatic check, you will receive your eTA approval by email, which usually arrives after a few minutes. However, some applications may take several days to process and may require additional documents to be submitted.
After eTA approval, thoroughly check all data in the confirmation email, including your passport number. If you discover an error, you must submit a new application.
With an eTA permit, once you enter Canada, you are allowed to:
With an eTA permit for business travel, you are allowed to:
To take up professional employment or study in Canada, you need a "Work permit" or "Study permit" for Canada.
Once approved, the eTA travel authorization is valid for a total of five years but no longer than the expiration date of your passport. If your passport expires and you apply for a new one, you must also apply for a new eTA.
In rare cases, an eTA may be denied. The most common reasons for an eTA rejection include incorrect information in the application (including spelling errors) and past criminal offenses by the applicant.
If your eTA has been rejected, you will not be allowed to travel to Canada for the time being. You now have the following options:
The Canadian authorities are not obliged to tell you the exact reasons for the rejection. However, reapplying for an eTA is only useful if you know the reasons for the rejection and eliminate them beforehand.
Intentionally providing false information in the eTA application may result in a permanent ban from the eTA program. After that, you will only be able to travel to Canada with a visa.
When you arrive at the Canadian border, a CBSA border official will make the final decision on whether you are allowed to enter Canada. Normally, a scan of your passport is sufficient for this. However, further inquiries are possible.
Find out about the exact import regulations for Canada before you enter the country. There are strict rules for bringing food, plants, animals, medicines, luxury goods, weapons, ammunition, and vehicles.
The ArriveCAN platform allows you to submit important health data to the Canadian government. Until September 2022, ArriveCAN was mandatory for Canadian travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since October 1st, 2022, participation in ArriveCAN is voluntary.
If you submit your information within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Canada, you will be shown and emailed a receipt.
On the Declaration Card, you declare if you are bringing cash or goods into Canada that must be cleared through customs or whose introduction would violate Canadian laws.
Your entry to Canada is done in three steps:
In some cases, Canadian border officials may need to search travelers' luggage to ensure the protection of Canada's security, economy, and environment. Do not be put off by any searches or additional questions, and remain friendly.
Also, be prepared for border officials to ask for copies of the eTA permit or additional answers or documents that may prove, for example, a bond with your home country.
Do you have further questions about the Canada visa? Then, hopefully, you will find what you are looking for in our FAQ:
eTA applications for Canada travel are usually approved within 24 hours. In rare cases, it may take longer. Therefore, apply for the eTA as early as possible, preferably when booking your flight. In emergencies, you can use an express processing service.
If you own an eTA travel permit for Canada, then you can stay in the country for a maximum of six months at a time. If during your stay in Canada you find that you need to stay longer, you can apply for an extension ("Visitor Record") no later than 30 days before your permit expires.
If the validity of your eTA permit is about to expire, you can still enter Canada because an eTA only needs to be valid on the day of your arrival. Therefore, you can wait for your current eTA permit to expire before submitting a new application.
However, keep in mind that your eTA approval is linked to your passport electronically at all times. So if you apply for a new passport, you will have to apply for a new eTA as well because your old eTA approval will become invalid.
You can apply for permanent residence in Canada if you meet certain requirements. The different types of permanent residence visas for Canada include:
You do not need a visa or eTA approval to enter Canada if you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident in Canada, US citizen, or Permanent Resident in the USA (holder of a Green Card). In addition, you can enter an eTA country by car, bus, train, or boat without having to apply for an eTA or visa (a valid passport is sufficient).
If you want to work in Canada, you must apply for a Work Permit. Exceptions are made for journalists, certain lawyers, athletes, artists, event speakers, researchers, and a few other professionals with an approved Business eTA.
Upon approval of a Work Permit, you will automatically receive a visa or eTA approval.
Canada offers a special working holiday program called International Experience Canada (IEC) for travelers, young professionals, and interns. All information about the program can be found on the Canadian government's website.
If you want to work in Canada, then you must apply for a study permit. Exceptions apply to students who want to study in Canada for less than six months within a program, e.g., for an exchange semester.