Canada announces new travel initiatives

The Canadian Government yesterday announced the introduction of its new Travel Smart app and the implementation of Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).

This new app makes it easier for travellers to access real-time information, including entry and exit requirements, border wait times, passport validity and more.

Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs), and Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, met with Canadian travellers at Pearson International Airport to give more details about the app.

Representatives of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and airlines were also on hand to underline how good planning and preparation can reduce the stresses associated with air travel.

The day also marked the implementation of Canada’s new entry requirement, the eTA. This requirement applies to foreign nationals, from countries whose citizens normally do not need a visa to travel to Canada – including the UK – who are travelling to or transiting through Canada by air.

“As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said, Canada is working to enhance border security while continuing to welcome people to our country,” said Virani. “Canada’s new entry requirement does just that. Electronic Travel Authorisation allows us to check that visa-free travellers are admissible before they board their flight. At the same time, the fast, easy online process ensures travelling to Canada remains easy and stress-free.”

From now until fall 2016 a leniency period is in place to allow travellers without an eTA to board their flights as long as they have appropriate travel documents. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens and Canadian permanent residents do not need an eTA.

Article by David Fuller