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2024년 2월 29일
Guide to Canada

Apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Embark on your Canadian journey with ease! Discover how to secure your eTA in our guide—your key to a smooth, hassle-free visit to Canada.

Apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

For those planning a trip to Canada, one critical piece of the puzzle is the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). We aim to demystify the eTA, providing you with a comprehensive overview of what it is, who needs it, and how to apply it.

What is an eTA?

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) serves as a necessary condition for visa-free international travelers flying to Canada. It is digitally connected to the individual's passport and remains valid for a maximum of five years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first. Acquiring a new passport necessitates obtaining a new eTA.

What does a Canadian eTA allow?

A Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) allows visa-exempt foreign nationals to fly to Canada for short visits, generally up to six months at a time. It facilitates multiple entries into Canada within its validity period, which is up to five years or until the traveler's passport expires, whichever comes first.

The eTA is electronically linked to the traveler's passport, streamlining the entry process at Canadian airports. An eTA is not required for domestic travel within Canada.

However, it's important to note that an eTA does not guarantee entry into Canada. Upon arrival, travelers must pass through customs where a border services officer will review their passport and other necessary documents. It is your responsibility to prove to the officer that you meet the criteria for entry into Canada. The officer will determine if the traveler meets the requirements for entry into Canada.

Who can apply?

You qualify to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you satisfy three specific conditions:

  1. You have either obtained a Canadian visitor visa (temporary resident visa) within the past decade or currently possess a valid nonimmigrant visa for the United States.
  2. Your visit to Canada is for a brief period, either for tourism or business purposes, typically not exceeding six months.
  3. You are traveling to or through a Canadian airport with a valid passport from a country that requires a visa but is eligible for an eTA.

Should you not fulfill these criteria, you will require a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) for your journey to Canada.

Countries Eligible for Visa Requirements

The following countries are eligible for an eTA when their citizens meet the above criteria:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • Morocco
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Seychelles
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay

Who needs an eTA to travel to Canada?

There are four distinct groups of travelers concerning the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada:

  1. Travelers Required to Have an eTA:

    Visa-exempt foreign nationals are required to have an eTA to fly to or transit through any Canadian airport. These individuals do not require an eTA for entry into Canada via car, bus, train, or boat, including cruise ships.

  2. Travelers Who Might Qualify for an eTA:

    Citizens from certain visa-required countries might have the option to apply for an eTA for air travel to Canada, in lieu of a traditional visa. However, these individuals must obtain a visitor visa if entering Canada by car, bus, train, or boat, including on a cruise ship.

  3. Travelers Ineligible for an eTA and Require Alternative Documentation:

    • Canadian citizens, including those with dual nationality, must possess a valid Canadian passport. Dual citizens with American citizenship can travel using a valid Canadian or U.S. passport.
    • Canadian permanent residents are required to have a valid permanent resident card or travel document.
    • Note for former Canadian residents: Permanent resident status remains indefinitely. If you were once a permanent resident of Canada, you might still hold this status. It's essential to verify this to avoid travel disruptions.
    • Individuals requiring a visa, including holders of an alien's passport or stateless persons, fall into this category.

  4. Travelers Exempt from the eTA Requirement:

    • U.S. citizens do not need an eTA but must carry appropriate identification, such as a valid U.S. passport.
    • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. are also exempt from the eTA requirement, provided they hold valid U.S. status. They should carry proof of their status and a valid passport from their country of nationality or an equivalent travel document.

Who needs a visitor visa instead of an eTA to enter Canada?

To enter Canada via car, bus, train, or boat, you require a visitor visa (temporary resident visa), regardless of whether your passport is from a country eligible for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This includes:

  • Driving into Canada from the U.S. in a car. Arriving by bus, train, or boat, including on a cruise ship, even if you do not plan to disembark.
  • For Travelers with a Valid Canadian Visa: If you currently hold a valid Canadian visa, there's no need for an eTA to fly to Canada. You should continue to use your existing visitor visa until its expiration.
  • Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens, including those with dual nationality, are ineligible for an eTA and must possess a valid Canadian passport for air travel to Canada.
  • Canadian Permanent Residents: Similarly, Canadian permanent residents are not eligible for an eTA and must have a valid permanent resident card or a permanent resident travel document for travel.

How do I apply for an eTA?

To apply for a Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), ensure you use the official Government of Canada website for your application.

The process to apply for an eTA is straightforward and digital, usually taking only a few minutes to complete. The majority of applicants will receive their eTA approval via email shortly after submission. Nonetheless, be aware that some applications may require additional processing time, particularly if further documentation is needed. It's advisable to secure your eTA prior to purchasing your airline tickets to Canada.

The application fee for an eTA is 7 Canadian dollars (CAD $7), and the system is set up to handle applications for individuals one at a time.

For the application, you'll need to have your passport, a credit card, and an email address ready. Additionally, you'll be prompted to answer several straightforward questions.

Key Advice to Prevent Application Errors

A frequent mistake in the eTA application process involves entering an incorrect passport number. This error can lead to issues when attempting to travel to Canada. To avoid this, ensure you use the passport number located at the top of the information page in your passport—the one with your photograph.

Upon approval, your eTA will be electronically linked to the passport you used during the application. This is the passport you must present at airline check-in for your flight to Canada.

Airline personnel will verify your eTA by scanning your passport. Without a valid eTA, boarding the flight will not be permitted.


  • How long is the ETA valid after traveling to Canada?

    The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada is valid for up to five years from the date of issuance or until the passport it is linked to expires, whichever comes first. It's important to note that the validity of the eTA allows for multiple entries into Canada during its validity period. The eTA remains valid for travel to Canada within its validity period, even after you have traveled to Canada and left.

  • What is an electronic tourist visa for Canada?

    Canada does not specifically offer an "electronic tourist visa." Instead, what might be referred to as an electronic tourist visa is likely the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), which is a requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air for short visits, including tourism.

  • How long does it take to get an eTA for Canada?

    The processing time for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada is usually very quick. Most applicants receive their eTA approval within minutes of submitting their application online. However, it's important to note that some applications may require a few days to process if you're asked to submit supporting documents or if further review is necessary.

    To avoid any travel disruptions, it's advisable to apply for an eTA well in advance of your planned travel date. Even though the process is generally fast, applying early can help ensure that any potential delays do not affect your travel plans.

  • How much does an eTA cost?

    The cost of an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada is 7 Canadian dollars (CAD $7). This fee is charged when you submit your application online through the official Government of Canada website. Payment is typically required via a credit card.

  • Is an eTA required if I have a valid study or work permit?

    If you have a valid study or work permit for Canada, you were likely issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) automatically when your permit was approved, provided you are from a visa-exempt country. This eTA is linked electronically to the passport you used in your application. It allows you to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport.

    It's important to note that this automatic issuance only applies to study or work permits approved on or after May 1, 2017. If you received your permit before this date and you are from a visa-exempt country, or if your passport has changed since your permit was issued, you may need to apply for an eTA separately.

  • Is it permissible for another individual to fill out an eTA application on my behalf?

    Yes, it is possible for someone else to complete an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) application on your behalf. This could be a family member, friend, or any other individual you trust. However, the applicant is responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of all the information submitted in the application.

    It's important to ensure that whoever completes the application on your behalf has access to all the necessary personal information and documents. Additionally, the consent section of the application must be filled out, indicating that the person has permission to apply for an eTA on behalf of the applicant.

  • As a U.S. Green Card holder, do I need a visa or an eTA for a trip to Canada?

    If you are a U.S. permanent resident (Green Card holder), you do not need a visa to visit Canada. However, you are required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you plan to travel to Canada by air. Your U.S. Green Card, along with your eTA, allows you to board your flight to Canada. It's important to also carry your passport from your country of nationality. If entering Canada by land or sea (for example, driving from the U.S. or arriving on a cruise ship), you do not need an eTA, but you must present your Green Card and passport at the border.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an essential tool for visa-exempt foreign nationals looking to explore Canada. As we've explored, understanding whether you need an eTA, how to apply for it, and its validity can significantly streamline your travel preparations.

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