One cannot enter Canada without a valid entry document. Canada exempts citizens of some countries from Visitor Visas. The visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air need electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). You will not even require an eTA if you reach Canada from the US. US citizens can enter Canada with only a passport. 

Air passengers entering Canada need to present their passports and eTA on arrival. They will also have to comply with other rules regarding identification like biometrics. The requirements also depend on the country of origin. Reputed immigration consultants offer complete guidance to individuals who are traveling to Canada. 


Visitors traveling to Canada by air or passing through Canada to other destinations need to ensure proper documentation for entering Canada legally. These documents can be in the form of a Visitor Visa or electronic Travel authorization. Visitors from visa-exempt countries should obtain Electronic Travel Authorization. Citizens from visa-exempt countries need electronic Travel Authorization as a security measure. It enables visa officials in Canada to check the details of visitors from visa-exempt countries before they arrive in Canada. 

Applying for an eTA

The application for an ETA is made online. The applicant needs to share personal information and pay the processing fee. The eTA consists of the address and details of the applicant’s passport. You will fill out an online form to apply for the ETA and wait for the approval. The eTA has a link to your passport. If you have multiple passports, carry the one linked to your ETA while traveling.

Your eTA has your details like:

  • Details of the passport
  • Date of issuance of the eTA
  • Name 
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Nationality 
  • Other information about travel documents

Validity of the ETA is for five years or till the expiration of the passport, whichever happens, earlier. 

Exemptions to eTA requirements

In addition to citizens of the US, the following exemptions are applicable:

  • Government of Canada accredited diplomats of foreign countries
  • Citizens of France staying in Miquelon and St Pierre do not require eTA. They need to fly from these cities to Canada to avail eTA exemption.
  • China Transit Program and Transit without Visa Program allow foreign nationals to transit through Canadian airports without eTA.

The China Transit Program helps Chinese citizens fly to or from the US through Canada without an eTA. The facility is only available for participating airlines and airports. Travelers who are transiting from the US do not require an eTA. 

Things to remember

One should not board the flight to Canada before receiving the approved eTA. The electronic Travel Authorization alone is not a guarantee to gain entry in Canada because the authority to allow an individual in Canada is entirely at the discretion of a visa officer. There are additional documents and eligibility criteria to enter Canada. 

It may take a few minutes to receive the approved eTA after the application and payment of fees. One may use a smartphone or other internet-enabled device to apply online for the eTA. However, avoid last-minute applications as there may be a delay because of a technical issue. 

AN electronic Travel Authorization or a Temporary Resident Visa provides ease of traveling to Canada. SunnySpire has vast experience in helping aspiring immigrants complete the application process. Our knowledgeable immigration consultants recommend the right immigration solution by understanding your priorities. Contact us now to experience our prompt and reliable immigration services. 

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