April 11, 2024

Step-by-Step Guide on Applying for an eTA

Whether you’re visiting for tourism, business, or transit purposes, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a mandatory requirement for travellers from visa-exempt countries who plan to visit Canada by air. It is required for various purposes such as tourism, business trips, or transit through Canadian airports. 

This mandatory requirement was implemented by the Canadian government to enhance border security and streamline the entry process. Travellers must apply for an eTA before leaving for Canada, ideally well in advance of their planned travel date, to ensure they have obtained valid eTAs before departure. Obtaining an eTA is necessary for anyone planning to enter Canada by air, regardless of the purpose or length of the visit. Whether you’re visiting for tourism, business, study, or transit, you’ll need an eTA, in addition to other necessary documents specific to your travel purpose. However, for travellers entering Canada by land or sea, an eTA is not required. 

As an electronic document, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is linked directly to your passport number; the Government of Canada does not issue a physical document for this purpose, so you do not need to worry about a special document.

Benefits of an eTA

An eTA goes beyond being a simple mandatory requirement for air travel, and also offers several benefits. It simplifies the entry process, reducing wait times at Canadian airports. Having an approved eTA gives you the confidence that you have met the necessary entry requirements before you begin your journey, although it does not guarantee entry. Finally, it allows for smoother transit through Canada, facilitating onward travel to other destinations. In general, it provides convenience and efficiency for travellers visiting Canada.


Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before you begin the application process, ensure that you are eligible for an eTA. Most travellers from visa-exempt countries are eligible, including citizens of the United States. However, certain exceptions apply, such as individuals holding a valid Canadian visa or those travelling by land or sea. Visit the official Government of Canada website to confirm your eligibility.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Ensure you have all necessary documents before starting your application. You will need a:

  • Passport that is valid for the duration of your stay in Canada
  • Valid email address to receive notifications regarding your application
  • Credit or debit card for the application fee payment.

Step 3: Access the eTA Application Form

You can apply directly via the official Government of Canada eTA application website. Navigate to the “Apply online” section and start the application process. Be cautious of third-party websites, as they may charge additional fees.

Step 4: Complete the Application Form

Carefully fill out the eTA application form with accurate information. The form will ask for personal details such as your full name, date of birth, passport information, contact details, and travel itinerary. Double-check all entries to ensure accuracy and avoid delays in processing.

Step 5: Review and Confirm

Before submitting your application, review all the information provided to ensure it is correct. Once you are satisfied with the details, confirm your submission. Errors or discrepancies could lead to delays or rejection of your application.

Step 6: Pay the Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay the processing fee via credit or debit card. Currently, the fee is $7 CAD.

Step 7: Wait for Processing

After submitting your application and payment, you will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of your application. Processing times vary but typically take a few minutes to a few days. If you have to submit supporting documents, the processing time will be longer.

Step 8: Receive eTA Approval

Once your application is approved, you will receive an email notification with your eTA confirmation. This confirmation is electronically linked to your passport and remains valid for up to five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You will not be required to present a physical copy when travelling.

Step 9: Travel to Canada

You are now ready to travel to Canada. You will need your valid passport that your eTA has been linked to, as well as any other required travel documents for your trip. Upon arrival in Canada, present your passport to the immigration officer for verification.

Step 10: Follow All Canadian Regulations

While in Canada, make sure to follow all laws and regulations. Familiarize yourself with local customs, currency, and emergency contact information. 

Step 11: Renew Your eTA

If you have obtained a new passport or your eTA expires, you will need to apply for a new eTA. 

smiling african american airport worker checking-air ticket passport ticket

Oro Immigration provides expert assistance for those planning to visit or immigrate to Canada. Our experienced team can help you determine whether you need an eTA or visa, guiding you through the application process and ensuring you have all necessary documentation, including for those who are coming to Canada for work or study purposes. We aim to make travel and immigration to Canada simpler and straightforward.



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