What is an eTA and Do I Need It?

Finally, it’s time to start travelling again as most borders are opening and things are slowly returning to how they used to be. One destination that should definitely be on your list is Canada!

The country offers something for everybody, from icy lakes and snowy mountains to thousands of miles of forests and plenty of historical sites to see. And if you’re from a certain country, you’re in luck as the travel visa process will be easier since you’ll only need an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

If you’re asking “What is an eTA and do I need it?”, then continue reading below.

What is an eTA for Canada?

The electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a standard requirement for foreign nationals who are from visa-exempt countries and want to travel to Canada. The eTA is electronically linked to your passport.

You’ll be able to stay in Canada for up to six months at a time as well as enter Canada with multiple visits. However, your eTA is valid for five years or until your passport expires. Your validity depends on whichever scenario comes first.

In the case of your passport expiring first, you can apply for another eTA. If approved, your eTA will be electronically linked to your new passport.

Please note that by simply having an eTA, it doesn’t mean that you are 100 percent guaranteed to enter Canada. This will be at the border officer’s discretion.

Who is Eligible for the eTA?

Below is a list of the eligible countries that require an eTA:

Working Holiday Visa Participants
Andorra Australia Austria
Bahamas Barbados Belgium
Anguilla Bermuda British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Gibraltar
Montserrat Pitcairn Island Saint Helena
Turks and Caicos Islands Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria
Chile Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany
Greece Hong Kong Hungary
Iceland Ireland Israel
Italy Japan Republic of Korea
Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Malta Mexico
Monaco Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Papua New Guinea Poland
Portugal Romania Samoa
San Marino Singapore Slovakia
Slovenia Solomon Islands Spain
Sweden Switzerland Taiwan
United Arab Emirates United States Vatican City State

How Do I Apply for an eTA?

The answer is simple, online. This not only makes it convenient but a very simple process too. Should you need assistance with your eTA application, there is a document available that will deem very helpful to you. It’s also available in several languages, making it understandable to most.

What documents do I need to complete the eTA application?

  • valid passport from a visa-exempt country;
  • valid email address; and
  • credit or debit card.

Good to know!

Once you start your eTA application you have to complete it in that sitting. This is because it’s a time-sensitive application and needs to be done within the given time frame. You can, however, request additional time on your application session. To do so, simply click on the ‘continue session’ button.

Once completed, and if successful, you would generally receive your approved eTA status via email. In the email, you will receive your eTA number. This should take only a few minutes. Please note that this won’t always be the case and you may have to submit additional documents before receiving an approved eTA. If this is the case, you will get instructions within 72 hours of completing your eTA application.

For this reason, it’s smarter to apply for your eTA and then only book your flight tickets. One eTA application applies to one person, so a family will need todo one application per person.

Don’t forget!

Check that your passport number is the same as the passport number stated in the email. This is because the eTA is electronically linked to your passport. Fault on this end could lead to you not being able to board your flight to Canada.

How Can I Travel to Canada as a Foreigner?

Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is a great way to travel all over Canada while earning money too! Not only that, but you’ll also gain plenty of Canadian work experience and even improve your skills or gain new skills. You may even want to test a few different career paths before permanently settling, and this would be the way to do so.

What are the requirements for the WHV?

You’ll need the following to be eligible for WHV:

  • Valid passport;
  • Be a part of the 35 participating countries;
  • $2,500 to cover initial expenses;
  • Health insurance;
  • Police clearance certificate;
  • Round-trip ticket or sufficient funds to cover one; and
  • No dependents.

What countries are participating in the WHV?

Below is a table of all the countries that are participating in the Working Holiday Visa program:

Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program
ChileCosta RicaCroatia
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
Hong KongIrelandItaly
JapanKorea, Rep.Latvia
NetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
PolandPortugalSan Marino
UkraineUnited Kingdom

Top Sites to See in Canada

1. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is possibly Canada’s most famous tourist attraction, and for good reason. The giant waterfall is an incredible sight to see. There are even cast-iron railings along the waterfall's edge, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2. Jasper National Park

Banff is a great place to visit if you’re an avid skier and enjoy the slopes. Ski resorts such as Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village Ski Resort are two of Canada’s most popular ski resorts among visitors. For those who aren’t too keen on winter or snow, the summer in Banff does offer great hiking trails and markets to enjoy.

3. Whistler

Whistler is a great place for snowboarding, bungee jumping and even bobsled rides. Summertime is great for strolling through Whistler Olympic Plaza market or visiting the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and experiencing the 230-foot-tall waterfall.

4. Revelstoke

Revelstoke is a treasure as it’s mostly unknown to tourists, this means you can peacefully enjoy the slopes or heli-skiing in the Purcell Mountains. The nightlife is also known to have grown over the years and there are several great places to attend after a full day of snow activities.

FAQ - Canada eTA

FAQ 1: Can I live in Canada with eTA?

You can live in Canada for a period of six months at a time only, if you would like to live in Canada permanently you will need to apply for the appropriate visa to do so.

FAQ 2: What happens if you stay in Canada longer than 6 months?

You may lose your travel authorization and not be eligible to use your eTA for future trips. This is why it’s extremely important to extend your eTA if you need to stay longer in Canada as a visitor.

So now that you know the answer to the question, “What is an eTA and do I need it?”, you can start your process and soon start exploring Canada.