With technology, time and changes in society, change must also come in how Canada processes the documentation and tracking of foreign visitors to their country. I want you to know beforehand what these changes are, what they mean to you and how you need to be prepared ahead of time. Your visit to Canada is important to us; let us help you understand the process as it will apply sooner than later.
The ETA (Electronic Traveling Authorization) is an application process for residents of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, the information obtained on the application allows for a quick verification of an individual’s eligibility to enter Canada. Individuals who are convicted of crimes or who are on no fly lists may not eligible for an ETA or for entry into Canada. The ETA can be considered an additional gatekeeper for a country to secure their borders from illegal aliens, individuals intent on conducting illegal activities or those seeking to hide out from other governments looking to prosecute them among many other legal and or security issues.
Experience the Ease in Traveling to Canada with an Electronic Traveling Authorization
An ETA will provide an individual with access to a country’s airport waiting area but not beyond its customs area. It will allow you with up to 90 days to stay in a country with roundtrip tickets. It is up to the country’s customs department to determine your final eligibility to lawfully enter their country with your passport and other documents if necessary. These documents are NOT covered by or under the ETA.
Beginning August 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada or (CIC) will begin accepting applications from visa-exempt nationals through the Electronic Traveling Authorization or (ETA) for travels into Canada. Mandatory compliance with the program will not be enacted until March 15, 2016. You must have your ETA before booking your travel plans. There have been instances where ETA’s have been turned down for various reasons and paper versions have had to be submitted. Always apply as far in advance as possible. While it is not the norm, it is a rare possibility. American born citizens wanting to travel to Canada do not require an ETA.
Foreign Nationals who are listed below will need to obtain an ETA before traveling into Canada.
- Visa-exempt foreign nationals
- Foreign nationals who are Legal residents of the United States.
- Foreign nationals already in Canada with a study or work permit MUST obtain an ETA to remain in Canada.
- After August 1, 2015 Foreign Nationals who seek a work or study permit will automatically be issued an ETA with their permit approval.
These changes and subsequent changes in the way Canada deals with foreign national visitors under the Visa Waiver Program are a necessary precaution to the security of its country and its borders. Canada wants to ensure that those who wish to visit us with the pure intent of working, learning and enjoying themselves in our beautiful country will be able to do so in a peaceful manner.
If you are looking for information on countries eligible for this authorization, I have included links for you here.
Happy Travels and even Happy Times await you.