How Long Can You Stay in Canada Without a Visa?

Canada is one of the greatest places in the world. There's so much to explore, from the breathtaking beauty of Niagara Falls to the wide-open spaces of Alberta, and more. If you're planning a trip, it's important to start your preparations as soon as possible to make sure that you have everything you need before you go.

One of the most crucial things to remember is your visa. So how long can you stay in Canada without a visa? let’s take a look.

Can I Stay in Canada Without a Visa?

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This will depend on if you're coming from a country that requires a visa for Canada. If you aren’t on the eligible list then yes, you'll need one before you can enter the country. For those coming from visa-exempt countries, you can stay in Canada for up to six months without a visa. Below is a list of countries that don’t require a visa to come to Canada.

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • British citizen
  • 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, must have a national Israeli passport
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania (electronic passport holders only)
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vatican City State, must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican.

So, how can you stay in Canada without a visa? 

In order to travel to Canada legally without the requirement of a visa, you’ll need to apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

What is an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

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If you're not a Canadian citizen, but you have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country, you can apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada by air. An eTA is an electronic document that shows you meet the entry requirements for Canada and will be electronically linked to your passport. Your eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, it depends on whichever comes first.

Good to know!

You don't need an eTA if you're entering Canada by land or sea, unless you plan to take a connecting flight within Canada to fly back home.

How Can I Apply for an eTA?

When you apply for an eTA, you must submit biographical information and an acceptable payment method that includes, Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. The application will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

If you have any trouble completing the form, there is a video that shows you exactly what to do and it’s available in several languages. The processing fee is $7 CAD and the authorization is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

The eTA requires that you have a valid email address in order to receive your confirmation email. If you are approved, the confirmation email will also contain details on how to view and print your eTA.

Please note if you have already applied for an eTA and would like to review the status of your application, please visit the eTA Check Status page.

Places to Go in Canada as a Tourist

1. Niagara Falls

Did you know Niagara Falls is actually three separate waterfalls? The largest, Horseshoe Falls, is found on the Canadian side. From that vantage point, you can see both American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls across the river in New York.

You can enjoy a lovely boat cruise to the base of the falls and for an aerial view, you can go via the Skylon Tower. This is a great place for both single travels and as a family.

2. Whistler

Whistler is a ski town in British Columbia, Canada. It's about two hours north of Vancouver by car and just over three hours by bus or train. Whistler Blackcomb tends to attract the world's best skiers.

Summer sports include mountain biking and hiking, as well as water sports on lakes near the town. Whistler also has several events throughout the year that attract visitors from around the world.

There are many great restaurants in Whistler serving a variety of foods from all over the world. There are also plenty of fast food outlets such as Subway, Quiznos and Mcdonald's if you're on a budget or short on time.

3. Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is the best-kept secret in Canada. Located on the west coast, it's just a short ferry ride from the mainland. Spanning more than 30,000 square kilometers and nearly 500 km in length, it has plenty of room for you to roam.

The largest island off of North America's west coast, there are more than 4,000 provincial parks and marine areas for you to explore. And depending on where you go, you'll find a different climate than mainland British Columbia. There is no one way to experience Vancouver Island; there are many ways which include kayaking, strolling on the beach or swimming in the salty rivers at Rathetrevor Beach.

4. Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is about as beautiful as natural scenery gets. With its towering cliffs, sandy beaches and numerous lakes, Gros Morne National Park has something for everyone. In fact, this national park was actually named after the second-highest mountain in eastern Canada.

The national park is home to several different types of wildlife, including moose and black bears. There are also several hiking trails here; if you're lucky, you may even see some caribou!

One of the most popular things to do in Gros Morne National Park is to visit Western Brook Pond. This stunning body of water is located at the end of a fjord that cuts through the mountains. The fjord was formed by glaciers during the ice age thousands of years ago.

If you’re a citizen of the above list, this means you can stay in Canada without a visa. So the next thing to do would be to start your eTA application process.

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

You should try and avoid this from happening if possible. This is because you could lose your travel authorization and will not be allowed to utilize the eTA for future trips. If you need to stay longer in Canada, it would be best to extend your eTA.

How can I extend my stay in Canada as a visitor?

You can apply to extend your stay in Canada online or through a paper application via courier or mail. However, applying online is much quicker and the IRCC will receive your application immediately.

How many times can I travel to Canada on an eTA?

You can travel to Canada as many times as you like within a 6-month timeframe. You can do so until your eTA or passport expires, whichever comes first.