Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a requirement for all visa-exempt foreign nationals entering Canada by air. The eTA is issued by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are no changes to enter Canada if you are travelling by land or sea.

This new requirement is similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to enter the United States.

Visa-exempt foreign nationals who got their study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015, are automatically issued an eTA with their permit.

Note: *US citizens are not required to apply for an eTA or a visa but do need to provide proper identification at the border:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization
  • Or a Certificate of Indian Status with photo identification

If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry your U.S. Permanent Resident Card with you.

Requirements to visit Canada as a tourist

Students studying in Canada for less than 6 months can enter Canada without a study permit as a tourist.

Basic requirements:

  • Valid passport (the longer the validity, the better)
  • Be in good health
  • Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • Ensure an immigration officer that you have a tie and obligation to go back to your home country, such as a job, home, financial assets, or family.
  • Ensure an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • Have a sufficient amount of money for the duration of your stay. (The amount of money you need may vary. It depends on how long you will stay, and where you will stay such as in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.

You may also need:

  • Medical examination
  • Letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada

How to apply?

  1. Determine whether you need an eTA, visit Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  2. Apply for your eTA
  3. Answer the eligibility questionnaire
  4. Once completed, pay for your application

Processing Time:

Most eTA applications are approved within minutes of applying.

However, some requests may take more time to process. If this is the case for your application, you can expect an email from IRCC within 72 hours that instructs what subsequent steps you need to take.

You will be notified by email when your eTA is approved.

Change of email address

If you change your email address after applying for an eTA, you must update your address with IRCC online. You can do this with the case-specific enquiry form.

After receipt of eTA

Your eTA is linked to the passport you used in your eTA application. You will need to present this passport to airline staff each time you board a flight to Canada.

Your eTA authorizes you to visit Canada for up to six months or until the date prescribed by a border services officer on your arrival to Canada. If you need to stay longer in Canada, you must apply to extend your stay.

Your eTA will be valid for up to five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Note: A valid eTA and passport will facilitate your entry to Canada. When you arrive at the border, a border services officer will ask to see your passport or travel documents and question your purpose of travel into Canada. The officer will then decide if you can enter. 

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