Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): After you apply

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After you apply

We process your application

In most cases, you will receive an email from us within minutes. However, some requests may need several days to process. If this is the case for your application, you can expect an email from us within 72 hours of applying. This email will tell you what your next steps are.

Check the junk mail folder of the email address you provided on your eTA application form. Some spam filters may block automated emails from us.

You receive your eTA

You’ll be notified by email when your eTA is approved. The approval email includes your eTA number.

If you change your email address after you apply for an eTA, you must update your address online. You can do this with this web form.

Check your passport number

Image of approval letter and passport information page

Check that the passport number included in the eTA approval email matches exactly the number in your passport. If it's not the same, you need to apply again with the correct passport number.

If you entered the wrong passport number, you may not be able to board your flight to Canada.

  • You may only find out at the airport if you made a mistake.
  • You’ll have to reapply for an eTA.
  • Depending on your situation, it may not be possible to get an eTA at the last minute.

Before you travel to Canada

Your eTA is linked to the passport you used to apply. You need to present this passport when you check-in to your flight to Canada. You don’t need to print out any special document.

The airline staff will scan your passport to confirm that you have a valid eTA. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to board your flight.

You arrive in Canada

Identity check

While a valid eTA allows you to board your flight to Canada, when you arrive, we’ll check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

  • If you enter Canada at one of 10 major Canadian airports
    • Your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk.
    • The system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted.
  • If you enter Canada at smaller airports and all land ports of entry
    • Your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints.

Have your documents ready

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll be greeted by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The officer will ask to see your passport and travel documents.

Minor children

Children under 18 must travel with appropriate documents and meet the same entry requirements as adults. The BSO may ask minor children to present other documents depending on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone. Find out about the specific requirements for minor children.

You enter Canada

If you pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer may stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You’re normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.

In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada to cover the planned purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.

You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. You must convince the officer that:

  • you’re eligible for entry into Canada
  • you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved stay

If you don’t obey the conditions of your eTA or other status document, we’ll ask you to leave Canada. Most people asked to leave Canada have the right to a fair hearing to review the decision.

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