Canada extends eTA deadline

The Canadian government has announced that it is extending the leniency period for the Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) requirement until 9th November 9.

The government says it is extending the deadline to give travellers and airlines more time to prepare for changes when flying to or transiting through Canada.

All visa-exempt travellers (except United States citizens) will need an eTA to board their flight. However, Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation and must instead continue to show their valid permanent resident card when travelling to Canada. Starting on 10th November, Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, will need a valid Canadian passport to board their flight to Canada otherwise they will experience delays.

In March 2016, Canada introduced the eTA requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada temporarily by air. eTA was a key commitment under the Canada-US Beyond the Border Action Plan to develop a common approach to pre-screening air travellers coming to either country.

A six-month leniency period was put in place so that travellers who are unfamiliar with eTA could still board their flight to Canada. The leniency period was originally set to end on 29th September.

“In consultation with airline partners, we’re taking further steps to minimize any travel disruptions,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We are extending the leniency period and doing another major information blitz in Canada and abroad to encourage affected travellers, including dual Canadian citizens, to plan ahead and get the necessary travel documents before they book a flight to Canada.”

Although eTA is a new requirement for travellers, applying for one is a simple online process that costs CDN$7. It is best for travellers to apply for this prior to booking a flight to the country.

An eTA is valid for five years or until the traveller’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

Article published 21st September 2016