Canada set to lift UAE visa requirement tomorrow morning

Ottawa, June 4, 2018 — Emirati citizens will no longer need a visa as of 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on June 5, 2018 to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for business, to visit family and friends, or for tourism.

However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, Emiratis will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. An eTA allows officials to screen travellers for potential inadmissibility before they board their flight to Canada.

Applying for an eTA?

You will be able to apply for an eTA as of 5:30 a.m. ET (1:30 p.m. GST) tomorrow, June 5, 2018.

You should only apply for your eTA at the official Government of Canada website, Canada.ca/eTA. Applying is a simple, inexpensive ($7 CAD) online process. All you need is a valid passport, a credit or debit card, and a valid email address.

It is best to get your eTA before booking a flight to Canada. An eTA is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you will need to get a new eTA.

Already have a valid Canadian visa or valid eTA?

If you already have a valid Canadian visa, you can keep using it to fly to Canada until it expires. You do not need to apply for an eTA until your visa expires.

If you have a valid eTA, for example, you got one as a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you do not need to apply for a new eTA until your current one expires or you get a new passport.

Studying or working in Canada temporarily?

In most cases if you are coming to study or work in Canada for more than six months, you still need a study permit or work permit, even after the visa requirement is lifted.

It is important to note that a valid study or work permit is not a travel document. To travel to or re-enter Canada, you must have a valid visa or valid eTA, along with your valid permit and valid passport.

As of June 5, 2018, an eTA will be automatically issued to you when your study or work permit is approved or extended.

Important reminders

  • If you are a Canadian citizen, including a dual Canadian-UAE citizen, you need a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada
  • If you are a Canadian permanent resident (PR), you need a valid PR card or PR travel document to travel to Canada by commercial vehicle, including plane, bus, train or boat, including cruise ship.
  • If you are a former resident of Canada, keep in mind that PR status does not expire, unless you have voluntarily given it up. If you once lived in Canada, you could still have PR status. See options available to avoid travel delays.

For more information, consult the backgrounder: Canada is changing its entry rules for citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

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