Employer alert: Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) requirement mandatory as of November 10, 2016

28 September 2016

We have previously provided details on the new eTA system that Canada has introduced. The eTA system will require citizens of most visa-exempt countries (except U.S. citizens) to obtain an eTA prior to flying directly into Canada. If someone requires an eTA and does not have one, they will not be allowed to board the flight once eTAs become mandatory. 

The leniency period, which was to end September 29, 2016, was recently extended to November 9, 2016. During the leniency period, travellers who need an eTA may still board their flight to Canada without one. 

Whether a foreign national requires an eTA may be determined by using the online tool from IRCC. The application should be made well in advance of the trip to Canada, in case any issues arise during the application process.

In most cases, the eTA will be granted automatically within a few minutes; the eTA is tied electronically to the passport that was used in the eTA online application. The person must then use that same passport to travel by air to Canada. The eTA is valid for 5 years, or until the end date of the person’s passport if that end date is sooner.

If someone with an eTA obtains a new passport, note that a new eTA application would have to be made in order to have an eTA tied to that new passport.

Details on the eTA regime and requirements are available in our prior article available here: new entry requirement for VISA exempt travellers to Canada.

Further information on eTAs may also be found on the IRCC website, which includes IRCC’s eTA guideline (in several languages).


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