Electronic travel authorization (eTA): Who can apply


You either need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport. You only need one or the other, not both.

Who needs an eTA to travel to Canada?

You need an eTA if you’re a:

  • Visa-exempt foreign national and you’re flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
    • As a visa-exempt foreign national, you do not need an eTA (or a visitor visa) when arriving by car, bus, train or boat (including a cruise ship).
  • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and you’re flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
    • You must present a valid Green Card and the valid passport used to apply for your eTA at check-in.
    • you also do not need an eTA when arriving by car, bus, train or boat,including a cruise ship.

You may be eligible to apply for an eTA (instead of a visitor visa) if you’re a:

Canadian citizens

If you’re a dual Canadian citizen, you must travel with a valid Canadian passport.

American-Canadians can travel with a valid Canadian or U.S. passport.

Canadian permanent residents

You don’t need an eTA or a visitor visa if you’re a Canadian permanent resident. However, you must travel with a valid permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document.

Important – former residents of Canada: Permanent resident (PR) status does not expire. If you once lived in Canada, even if it was many years ago, you could still have PR status. Learn more to avoid travel delays.

Visa-required travellers

You don’t need an eTA if you’re visa-required, including alien’s passport holders and stateless individuals. You need to travel with a visitor visa.

Travellers who are exempt from the eTA requirement

U.S. citizens are exempt from the eTA requirement and must carry proper identification such as a valid U.S. passport.

See the complete list of eTA exceptions.

Basic requirements to enter Canada

To visit Canada, you’ll need to meet some basic requirements, such as:

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • have a valid eTA or visitor visa
  • be in good health
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • convince an border services officer (BSO) that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
  • convince an BSO that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • have enough money for your stay. (The amount of money you will need can vary. It depends on things such as how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.)


An eTA doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. When you arrive, a border services officer will ask to see your passport and other documents – for example, a U.S. Green Card. You must convince the officer that you’re eligible for entry to Canada.

Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime.

You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. Find out more about inadmissibility.

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