Canada is known for its student exchange programs and a complaisant environment for skilled and non-skilled workers. Owing to its multicultural society, Canada has become an international preference for travel, tourism and immigration.
However, like any other nation, it too has certain entry formalities, which may not be as stringent as the USA or the UK.
Filling up a Canadian ETA application form online is simple and hassle-free. However, it first important to understand what exactly is an ETA.
What is an ETA?
ETA or Electronic Travel Authorization is required to travel to or within Canada. However, not all are required to apply for Canadian ETA. US citizens and people with a valid Canadian visa need not fill the online application, if they are not travelling by air.
Permanent residents of Canada and dual citizens cannot apply for an ETA. If you are a refugee or possess documents issued to the stateless or non-citizens, you need to apply for a visa to visit the country, just an ETA would not help in that case.
How to apply for an ETA online?
The application procedure for Canadian ETA comprises of 4 steps, which include:
- Reading the help document thoroughly while keeping the passport and credit card handy
- Saving the information in a separate document as the online application form cannot be saved, but has to be submitted immediately after opening
- Paying $7CAD for your ETA right after you complete filling up the form
- Getting an E-mail confirmation within 72 hours. However, in some cases you may have to submit a few documents before approval is granted to your form. In that case, you will be sent an email with instructions.
Ideally, an application is approved within minutes of submission. However, in some cases, the nod is given only after the supporting documents are verified. It is always recommended to get an ETA before a flight to Canada is booked.
Things to know about the ETA
Before filling up a Canadian ETA application form, it is important to stay updated about the know-hows about entry into the country and the processes leading to it. Here are a few points to know about the ETA:
- Travelers from visa-exempt countries apply for an ETA.
- It is an entry requirement for travelers from visa-exempt countries, trying to fly to Canada or travelling within the country
- It is valid for 5 years or till your passport expires
- It allows multiple travels to Canada and lets you stay there for 6 months. In fact the immigration officer will let you know how long you can stay
- You cannot apply for ETA using with a Refugee Travel Document, Organization of American States (OAS) Travel document. You need a visa for it.
- UN Laissez Passer is also not acceptable
- You can only apply for one person at a time. This means, each individual in your family will have to submit a separate form.
- Payment via debit card cannot be made
- Ensure that you take a print out of the receipt right away as print out cannot be taken later. Also, no copy of the receipt will be sent via mail.
- Since November 10, 2016, dual Canadian citizens, travelling by air, will need a valid Canadian passport to board a flight to Canada.