Electronic travel authorization (eTA): COVID-19 program delivery

Pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements are now in place for all individuals 5 years of age or older who are travelling to Canada by air. Processing of travel exemptions will proceed as usual. Clients can be directed to consult How COVID-19 is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services for the latest information before making any travel plans and again before departing for Canada.

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

These program delivery instructions align with the Ministerial Instructions (MIs) that are in effect from October 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Under the current MIs, applicants will continue to submit electronic travel authorization (eTA) applications online and the manual processing of eTA applications that drop out for officer review will continue, to the extent possible. This will assist IRCC in dealing with the expected increase in applications once the travel restrictions are lifted and ensure that future processing times aren’t significantly impacted.

Expedited processing

IRCC will expedite the processing of eTA applications that drop out for manual review for those who meet the exemption criteria for the current travel restrictions. Individuals who are eligible are directed to self-identify and submit documentation to show how they meet the exemption criteria through an IRCC Web form submission.

Officers must wait until all of the supporting documents have been received through the Web form submission before they proceed with prioritizing a foreign national’s eTA application. Applicants must also comply with all requests for the usual supplementary documentation, for example a police certificate, before a final decision is rendered.

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