Effective March 15, 2016 the Canadian government will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for some nationalities. US nationals will not require an ETA to enter Canada, they will still just require a valid passport or passport card. Nationals who hold a US green card will require this new ETA. The ETA covers multiple entries, and is valid for up to five year. You can apply anytime, even if you do not have trip confirmation.
The system is similar to the ESTA Visa (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) currently in use by the United States of America. Until now, visa-exempt foreign nationals seeking entry to Canada are not systematically screened for admissibility until they arrive at a Canadian port of entry, so this will be a game changer for a lot of people.
In addition to US citizens, the following groups are also exempt from obtaining the ETA
- Individuals already in possession of a Canadian temporary resident visa
- Certain foreign diplomats
- Commercial air crew
- 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.
For more information or to determine if you will need an ETA, contact Swift, we can ensure that you get your E-visa with minimal effort, and make the process trouble free.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.