Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Starting from March 25, 2016, visitors flying into Canada from a visa-exempt country, will need an ETA – Electronic Travel Authorization. Thankfully there’s an easy way to check if you need an ETA by going to and selecting your country.

You can already apply for the ETA online, so if you’re planning to travel to Canada next year it makes sense to be organized well in advance. The application process doesn’t seem too arduous. You’ll need your passport details, credit card and email address and will have to enter the amount of money you expect to take with you into Canada. There’s a minimal processing charge of $7.00. The ETA is valid for 5 years, or until your passport expires and will be electronically linked to your passport.

The application form is available in both English and French, and help information is available in other languages at

In most cases it should only take a few minutes for your application to be authorized, but if you need to, you can check your application status at

There are a few exemptions from the ETA: 

*US citizens,
*anyone with an existing valid visa,
*people arriving in Canada by sea or land where the usual travel requirements apply.

So all in all, nothing too much to worry about here, but definitely something to be aware of if you’re planning a research trip or vacation to Canada in the near future.

The 6-month leniency period, due to end on September 29th, has now been extended to November 9th. Full details are available here.


2 Responses to Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): what you need to know

  • Hi, I’m flying to Canada in October 2015 – is there any reason to sign up for the eTA, given that it won’t be mandatory by this time?

    • Hi Rob,
      No, you don’t need to worry about it for your October trip. I have relatives visiting from England soon and went into a bit of a panic thinking they might have to arrange all the extra documentation before they could get here. But ETA doesn’t take effect till March next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *