Electronic travel authorization
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is required for most visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air.
On this page
- About an eTA
- Who needs an eTA
- eTA expansion eligibility
- Who does not need an eTA
- How eTA applications are assessed
- For more information
About an eTA
As per subsection 11(1.01) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and subsection 7.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), all visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air must apply for an eTA through the electronic system before entering Canada.
This requirement does not apply to foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by land, sea or rail.
An eTA is valid for 5 years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever occurs sooner (section R12.05).
An eTA can be cancelled by a designated officer. Once cancelled, an eTA is no longer valid (section R12.06).
Who needs an eTA
An eTA is required for all visa-exempt foreign nationals, except United States (U.S.) citizens and certain other small groups.
Section R190 describes individuals who are exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa. These individuals therefore require an eTA.
U.S. lawful permanent residents require an eTA when flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport. They must present their passport at the time of travel, along with proof of their valid lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. (such as a valid green card or a valid I-551 [ADIT] stamp in their passport) in order to board their flight.
Countries whose nationals require an eTA
- Brunei Darussalam
- British overseas territories whose citizens derive their citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in that territory:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Pitcairn Island
- Saint Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Czech Republic
- Germany (Federal Republic of)
- Korea (Republic of)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom (including British overseas citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
Documents of individuals who require an eTA
Foreign nationals who hold any of the following documents also require an eTA:
- A passport or travel document issued by the Holy See
- A national Israeli passport
- A passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British national (overseas), such as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British subject that contains the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom
- An ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual
eTA expansion eligibility
Subsections R7.01(1) and (2) expand the eligibility criteria of the eTA requirement to allow certain foreign nationals who meet specific conditions to apply for an eTA.
These foreign nationals may apply for an eTA only if they are travelling to Canada by air and if, at the time of application, either of the following applies:
- they have held a Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV) in the past 10 years
- they hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa (NIV)
If such an individual does not meet the eligibility requirements listed above and is not a U.S. lawful permanent resident (that is, a green card holder) they are not eligible to apply for an eTA. They must then be in possession of a valid TRV to travel to or transit through Canada.
Note: If a foreign national holding an eTA on the basis of eTA expansion eligibility is travelling to or transiting through Canada by a means other than air, they must have a valid TRV.
Who does not need an eTA
Subsections R7.1(2) and (3) describe individuals who are exempt from the eTA requirement.
They include the following:
- individuals who hold a valid Canadian TRV or temporary resident permit (TRP)
- Her Majesty in Right of Canada and any member of the (British) Royal Family
- nationals of the U.S.
- foreign nationals who hold a passport that contains a diplomatic acceptance, a consular acceptance or an official acceptance issued by the Chief of Protocol for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on behalf of the Government of Canada and who are properly accredited diplomats, consular officers, representatives or officials of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies or of any international organization of which Canada is a member
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada in either of the following cases:
- as a member of a means of transportation that may be used for transportation by air or to become a member of such a crew
- to transit through Canada after working, or to work, as a member of a means of transportation that may be used for transportation by air, if they possess a ticket for departure from Canada within 24 hours after their arrival in Canada
- citizens of France who are residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon who seek to enter Canada directly from St. Pierre and Miquelon
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to transit through Canada as a passenger on a flight stopping in Canada for the sole purpose of refuelling, in the following cases:
- where they are in possession of documents required to enter the U.S. and their flight is bound for that country
- where they were lawfully admitted to the U.S. and their flight originated in that country
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to transit through Canada as passengers on a flight that, owing to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances, makes an unscheduled stop in Canada
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to transit through Canada as passengers on a flight, as long as the following applies:
- they are transported by a commercial transporter and there is a memorandum of understanding referred to in subsection R190(4) in effect between the Minister and the commercial transporter concerning the transit of passengers through Canada without a Canadian visa
- they hold a passport or travel document that was issued by the country of which they are a citizen or national, and that country is listed in the memorandum of understanding
- they are in possession of any visa required to enter the country of destination
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to carry out official duties as members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act, unless they have been designated under that Act as civilian components of those armed forces
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to re-enter Canada following a visit solely to the U.S. or St. Pierre and Miquelon, as long as the following applies:
- they held a study permit or a work permit that was issued before they left Canada on such a visit or were authorized to enter and remain in Canada as temporary residents
- they return to Canada by the end of the period initially authorized for their stay or any extension to it
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to conduct inspections of the flight operation procedures or cabin safety of a commercial air carrier operating international flights, if they are a civil aviation inspector of a national aeronautical authority and possess valid documentation to that effect
- foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to participate as accredited representatives or as advisers to an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, if they possess valid documentation to that effect
How eTA applications are assessed
Most eTA applications are processed automatically in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).
For more information
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