Applying for an eTA Canada is only permitted if you meet all the requirements on this page. For example, you can only travel to Canada with an eTA for a holiday, a business trip, to study or for a transfer to another country. In addition, your passport must meet a number of requirements. Finally, you cannot pose any risk to the safety of the country.
The purpose of your trip to Canada
The first requirement of the eTA Canada is that your destination falls within one or more of these descriptions:
- You are making a tourist trip, such as a holiday or a visit to family or friends
- You are going on a business trip, for example for a business meeting, trade fair or conference
- You are taking a study programme that does not last longer than six months
- You are making a transfer in Canada, where you can leave the airport in between if you like
Are you going to work in Canada?
An eTA allows you to fly to Canada for a business trip. For example, you can visit business partners, such as (potential) customers and suppliers. You can also attend a trade fair, conference or other business event. Are you going to practice a specific profession? Or are you going to do manual labour? If so, you may have to take additional requirements into account.
Read more about working in Canada
Are you going to study in Canada?
Then you may already have heard about the Study Permit. This is a special permission to study in Canada. If your study programme lasts less than six months, you do not need a Study Permit. In that case, applying for an eTA is sufficient. Are you going to study in Canada for more than six months, or do you also want to look for a (side) job in addition to your studies? If so, you will probably have to apply for a Study Permit.
Read more about studying in Canada
The maple leaf - the national symbol Canada
Your passport and nationality
Your eTA Canada is always linked to the passport used to fill out the application form. When you travel, you will need to bring this same passport with you. It must be valid throughout your stay in Canada. Is that not the case? Then you need to first apply for a new passport and then submit a new eTA application.
Nationalities with which an eTA can be applied for
Your passport states your nationality. Applying for an eTA is only possible if you do not need a Canada visa because of your nationality. Travellers who are British or Irish nationals do not require a visa, but must apply for an eTA. This also applies to travellers with the Australian nationality, Norwegian, Swiss, and any other country on this list, including any country in the European Union.
If you have ever lived in Canada
Have you ever lived in Canada? Then you may still be registered there as a citizen or resident. Applying for an eTA Canada is not possible in that case. However, you can make use of these alternatives. To avoid unpleasant situations, it is wise to check well in advance of your departure whether you are still registered as a citizen or resident, and whether you need to apply for new travel documents as a result.
You cannot pose a risk to safety
The Canadian immigration service introduced the eTA in order to stop unwanted and dangerous travellers. This refers to travellers who may pose a risk to safety, health or law enforcement in Canada. A detailed description of the characteristics of undesirable travellers can be found in Section 33-43 of the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The most important requirements are:
- You are not expected to disproportionately burden the security or health services in Canada
- You do not have active tuberculosis or syphilis and you have not been in close contact with anyone who does
- You are not expected to have to deal with sudden (physical or mental) incapacity
- You do not usually exhibit unexpected or aggressive behaviour
- You have never violated a visa related law of Canada or any other country
- You have no criminal record, you are not being prosecuted for a crime and you have never committed any crime, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, theft, assault, abuse, identity fraud, trafficking in or illegal possession of drugs or other controlled substances
- You are not associated with espionage, terrorism, a coup d'état, war crimes, human rights abuses, human trafficking, money laundering or being part of a group in which these activities take place or took place
- In addition to yourself, all your family members also meet the above requirements of the eTA
Do you meet the requirements of the eTA Canada?
Do you not meet the requirements of the eTA? Then you can apply for a visa. This is more expensive, complicated and time-consuming than applying for an eTA. Read more about the Canada visa application procedure.
Checks on arrival in Canada
During the passport control on arrival, a small proportion of passengers are randomly selected for short interviews. An official of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) then checks whether the conditions of the eTA are met. It is important that you are able to prove at least the following:
- You intend to leave Canada within six months
- You do not intend to violate an immigration or visa related law
- You have sufficient financial resources to pay for your stay and return trip
- You have a source of income outside Canada, which allows you to support your family and yourself
Letter of invitation
Are you travelling to Canada for an appointment with a (potential) business partner? Then it is wise to carry a letter of invitation from that business partner, as well as written confirmation from your employer. This way, you can easily prove that your travel purpose meets the conditions of the eTA. Ask your business partner if he or she would like to be contacted by telephone when you arrive in Canada. This will enable the CBSA to easily check whether everything is in order.