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).
You may be eligible to apply for an eTA (instead of a visitor visa) if you’re a:
- Citizen from select visa-required countries and you’re travelling to Canada by air.
- However, you still need visitor visa (not an eTA) when arriving by car, bus, train, or boat, including a cruise ship.
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
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.
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.
As of April 26, 2022, lawful permanent residents of the United States are also exempt from the eTA requirement and must show these documents for all methods of travel to Canada:
- a valid passport from their country of nationality (or an equivalent acceptable travel document) and
- a valid green card (or equivalent valid proof of status in the United States)
Complete list of acceptable status documents for lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
You need an official proof of status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., such as one of the following:
- valid permanent resident card (Form I-551)
- foreign passport with an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp (also known as an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication [ADIT] stamp)
- foreign passport with a temporary I-551 printed notation (“Upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year”) on a machine-readable immigrant visa upon endorsement with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection admission stamp
- expired permanent resident card (Form I-551) with Form I-797 (Notice of Action) for pending Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) or Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status)
- expired permanent resident card (Form I-551) with Form I-797 (Notice of Action) for pending Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card [Green Card])
- valid re-entry permit (Form I-327)
- Form I-94 with an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp (ADIT stamp) and a passport-style photo
See the complete list of eTA exemptions.
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 a border services officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
- convince a border services officer 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. 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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