Are you a foreign national who is preparing to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada and are wondering how long you’ll have to wait for approval?
The Canada eTA processing time is fairly quick, however, in some cases, it may take longer to process if you have to submit additional documents. This is why you should never wait until the last minute to fill out an eTA application. You should complete it before you board your flight to Canada.
In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about what an eTA is, how to apply for an eTA, and how long it will take to get approved.
Why Is An Electronic Travel Authorization Needed?
If you’re a foreign national from a visa-exempt country and plan to visit Canada via air, you’ll need an eTA and show immigration officers that you’ve received approval. This is easily completed online. However, if you are arriving via car, boat or train, you will not need an eTA.
An eTA will not be an entry requirement if you:
- Have a valid visa to enter Canada
- Are part of the Armed Forces visiting Canada on official duty
- Are part of the flight crew/airline staff
- Have dual citizenship with a valid Canadian passport
- Are a permanent resident that has your PR card or other entry documents
- Are a U.S. citizen
- Just note that if you are a permanent resident or a green card holder in the U.S., you will require an eTA.
Does An eTA Expire?
Your eTA will be valid for up to five years or until your valid passport expires, whichever comes first. So, if you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA.
What Are Visa-Exempt & Visa-Required Countries?
For a full list of visa-exempt and visa-required countries on the Government of Canada website. Here are a select few as an example.
Remember: Foreign nationals arriving by air to travel to Canada must apply for an eTA. If you are arriving by car, boat or train, you will not be required to have one.
Remember: If you’re arriving by air, car, boat or train to travel to Canada from a visa-required country must apply for an eTA.
How Long Does It Take For An eTA Application To Be Approved?
Filling out a Canada eTA application is actually quite simple and does not take long to complete. In most cases, once complete, you may receive an email right away from the Government of Canada. However, processing times will vary depending on if you’re submitting supporting documents. In this case, it may take several days to receive an approval email.
To ensure the application process is as smooth as possible, have the following handy as soon as you apply:
- Your passport (and ensure you’re inserting the correct passport number and passport details to avoid any hassles at the airport)
- Your visa/debit card
- A valid email address
You won’t need to print out the approval email. Your approved eTA will be electronically linked to your associated passport automatically.
Filling out an online application form also won’t set you back a lot of money. It will only cost you $7 to process it. Again, it will be valid for five years, therefore, you can travel to and leave Canada as many times as you want within that time frame (except for if your passport expires – then you’ll need to reapply for a new eTA).
Do You Need An eTA As A Student or Worker?
Just having a work or study permit is not enough as those aren’t visas. You will also need to fill out an eTA application form or have a visitor visa, as well as a permit before traveling to Canada. Your eTA or visa will be emailed to you at the same time you apply for your study or work permit, therefore, you will not need to reapply or repay any additional fees.
We understand that this process can seem confusing, especially if you’re new to traveling to and from Canada. That’s why our Oro Immigration team that’s based in Toronto, Ontario is here to help you. No matter where you’re located in the world, we’ll ensure your traveling or Canadian immigration goals come true.
Contact Us If You Need Help
If you require a more thorough explanation of how eTAs work in Canada as a traveler, worker or student, contact our Oro Immigration team today. We’ll ensure you fully understand how to fill out an eTA form, and more.