What is an eTA?
eTA is the short version of an Electronic Travel Authorization. It is a new requirement for visa-exempt foreign citizens flying to Canada. The authorization electronically links to the traveler’s passport and is valid for five years or on expiry of the visa.
Who needs Canada eta? To get one, visit www.kanada-eta.de
Foreign nationals intending to fly or transit via Canada must obtain an eTA. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced the directive in December 2013 in a bid to establish a standard screening approach for visa-exempt foreign nationals. It was after CIC discovered that the number of visa-exempt foreign citizens traveling to Canada temporarily was larger than that of visa-required travelers. The program entered into force as at 15th March 2016 as part of harmonization with the US travel security department systems. eTA applies to all air passengers from visa-exempt countries whether traveling on students or tourist permits.
Foreign nationals traveling by land or sea don’t need an eTA. Other groups exempt from the Canada eta requirement include a member of Royal family, visitors with valid visas, commercial aircrew members, French nationals who are residents of Miquelon and St. Pierre and travelers who arrive on flights that stop in Canada due to an emergency. However, if a Canadian officer deems a traveler inadmissible, he is bound to cancel an Eta.
Applying for eTA
The application process is a straightforward and inexpensive (costing $7) online process that takes a few minutes to complete. Applicants must have a valid passport, an e-mail address, and a credit card. Canadian’s Immigration department had introduced a leniency period (up to 29th September 2016) to prevent any travel disruptions. During the period, border officers admitted foreign travelers arriving in Canada without an eTA as long as they were admissible. On expiry (of the leniency period) passengers arriving at the airport without Canada eta will experience delays in their travel.
The purpose of eta
Eta allows authorities to pre-screen travelers before they arrive at the Canadian airport. Canadian officials can now access a traveler’s basic personal information before arrival. The eta system aims at enhancing data-gathering capacity, enforce a visa program and improve intelligence. Until the introduction of Canada eta visa-exempt foreign nationals were not pre-screened for admissibility until arrival at the Canadian airport. The lack of pre-screening denied a majority of travelers permission to enter the country on arrival. However, eTA allows authorities to permit or deny entry to the country after booking a flight.