Canada to launch major new entry requirements for travellers

On 15th March, the Canadian Government will implement significant new entry requirements for those arriving in the country by air.

Currently, citizens of several countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) to enter Canada, while citizens of visa-exempt countries may arrive at a Canadian border or airport without first applying for the TRV.

Beginning 15th March, though, most travellers, even from some visa-exempt countries, who are flying into or transiting through Canada will require an Electronic Travel Authorisation (“eTA”) prior to boarding a flight to the country. Travellers of all ages will require an eTA when they fly into Canada, including young children.

To apply for an eTA, individuals must have a valid passport, a credit card, a scanner, and an email address. In addition to biographical data, the online application form will gather information regarding criminal history, employment information, marital status, and confirmation of funds available for each individual’s stay in Canada. All applications are submitted online through an individualised MyCIC account created by the applicant. The Government of Canada will gather the information to pre-screen travellers’ admissibility to Canada.

The eTA application requires an online fee payment of CDN$7. The eTA will electronically link to the passport and, once granted, will remain valid for a period of five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant unless the individual’s passport or travel document is set to expire, the eTA is cancelled, or the individual applies for and receives a new eTA valid for a longer duration.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website projects that most applicants can expect to receive an email response “within minutes” of applying.

The only people who will not require an eTA to enter Canada are:

– US Citizens;

– Travellers with a valid TRV;

– Canadian permanent residents; and

– Travellers from visa exempt countries entering Canada by land or sea.