As of this March, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) will require citizens from visa-exempt countries (such as Australia, the UK and France, to name a few) to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to entering Canada by way of air travel. Travellers from visa-exempt countries who have a valid visa to enter Canada will not be required to obtain an eTA.
Under this new program, US citizens will not be required to obtain an eTA, but US permanent residents (i.e. individuals with green cards) will be required to obtain one when traveling to Canada by air.
The US currently uses the ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, for individuals eligible to travel to the US as part of the VWP (visa waiver program). The ESTA application is designed to collect biographic information of the individual. The ESTA is valid for two years or until the expiry of the individual’s passport, whereas the eTA is valid for five years or until the expiry of the passport.
It is important to note that eTAs are not required for travel by land or sea; only air. This includes individuals transiting through Canada. The cost of the eTA is CAD$7.00.
For more detailed information regarding the eTA, check out my latest article in the Aikins Law Newsletter.
*This blog post was co-written by Leanne Verreault, immigration legal assistant