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What is ETA Visa and How to get one?

    On March 15, 2016, The Canadian government has officially introduced Electronic Travel Authorization [ETA] for eligible travelers that don’t need to obtain a temporary resident visa [TRV] to enter Canada.  

    Canada ETA Eligibility

    Similar to the United States’ ESTA [Electronic System for Travel Authorization], the ETA follows suit when it comes to digital verification and pre-approval for admission into the country for qualifying travelers. 

    What is ETA Visa?

    A digital verification system that confirms a foreign national’s eligibility to travel to Canada. Similar in function to a visa, the main benefit of the ETA is that it expedites the travel of eligible individuals to Canada. Qualifying travels can apply and be approved to travel online in advance of their trip, while inadmissible travelers are screened immediately, saving the government the hassle and expense of sending them back upon arrival.  

    Who is required to apply for ETA?

    The ETA system is only required for foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air from countries that are visa-exempt. This includes certain European countries, as well as travelers from New Zealand and Australia.

    Who is exempt from ETA?

    • United States citizens
    • Individuals already in possession of a Canadian temporary resident visa
    • Foreign diplomats
    • Commercial aircrew
    • Citizens of France who are residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon

    Individuals in possession of a visa to enter the United States on a flight bound for that country in transit through Canada, where the sole purpose of the flight stopping in Canada is for purpose of refueling,

    • Individuals transiting through Canada as a passenger on a flight who are in possession of any visa required to enter the country of destination
    • individuals carrying out official duties as a member of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act
    • study or work permit holders re-entering Canada following a visit solely to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon
    • Her Majesty in right of Canada and any member of the Royal Family

    How to apply for ETA?


    You can file an application for the ETA online on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website by submitting your personal information. This includes the applicant’s name, date and place of birth, gender, address, nationality, passport/travel document information. There is a processing fee of CAD $7.00. Once received, ETA will be valid for five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant or until the earliest of the following days, if they occur before the end of that period.

    What if I’m not eligible for the ETA?

    If you are not eligible to apply via the ETA system, you can always apply for the Quebec Investor visa and get Canada citizenship by investment.

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    Vicky Katsarova

    A citizen of the world in every sense of the phrase, Vicky has done her fair share of traveling. Born and raised in Bulgaria, she spent 10 years living and working in Abu Dhabi before settling down with her family in Nova Scotia, Canada. And it’s only fitting for the CEO and founder of High Net Worth Immigration to be an avid globetrotter—her extensive travels have given her deeper insight and understanding into her clients’ needs.

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