Under Canada’s eTA program, citizens from countries other than the United States, who do not need a visa to enter Canada, will need to obtain an online authorization before flying to Canada, unless otherwise exempted.

This new entry requirement is not mandatory until March 15, 2016. However, beginning on August 1, 2015, eligible travellers will have the opportunity to go online and apply for their eTA. The earlier travellers get their eTA, the sooner they will benefit from knowing they have been pre-screened to enter Canada.

A fee of $7 is payable for processing an application for an electronic travel authorization. An application for an electronic travel authorization must be made by means of an electronic system that will be made available by the Department ,Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for that purpose.

An electronic travel authorization is valid for a period of 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:

(a) the day on which the applicant’s passport or other travel document expires,

(b) the day on which the electronic travel authorization is cancelled,or

(c) the day on which a new electronic travel authorization is issued to the applicant.

Also the Economic Action Plan 2015, released yesterday, announced that Canada is proposing to expand the Electronic Travel Authorization to low-risk travellers from Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico and Romania. This will also make it easier and faster for legitimate travellers from these countries to come to Canada too. The expansion of the eTA program to these four additional countries will follow after eTA is successfully implemented in March 2016 for travellers from other countries who are currently visa exempt.

Should you have any questions concerning the eTA program, you can contact CIC directly at CIC-ETA-AVE@cic.gc.ca

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