News report | | 03-02-2018 | ±2 minutes reading time

The ESTA and the eTA are electronic travel authorisations. All travellers headed to Canada are required to apply for an electronic travel authorisation beforehand. It is important that you check before your trip to Canada which authorisation you need to apply for. Try to arrange this at minimum a week before your flight to Canada, so you will not need to make use of the urgency procedure. Both the ESTA and the eTA can be applied for online and are sent to you by e-mail.


The eTA or ESTA for Canada

ESTA is an abbreviation and stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. eTA stands for electronic Travel Authorization. Although these two travel authorisations strongly resemble each other, they serve completely different purposes. If you are travelling to Canada, you will need an eTA at the very least. This is issued by the Canadian government and can be applied for through this website. The ESTA is not required for Canada, unless you also plan to visit the United States during your trip. Many people mix up the eTA and the ESTA, which, considering the names, is not surprising. The ESTA is for a trip to the USA, the eTA for your trip to Canada.

ESTA required for transfer to Canada

If you are flying through the United States to Canada, you need to apply for both an ESTA as well as an eTA. Both travel authorisations can be applied for through this website: ESTA application and eTA application. You already need to possess an ESTA before getting on the plane to the USA, and the eTA is checked for when you board the second plane (after the transfer) to Canada.

ESTA required for transit through Canada?

Is Canada not your final destination, but you are instead flying through Canada to the USA? Then you likewise need both the eTA and ESTA. Even if you do not leave the airport in Canada. The only exception is if you are on transit through Canada and you will not get off the plane; for instance if the plane makes a short refueling stop. In this (fairly exceptional) case, you only need to apply for an ESTA.

Application forms

There are two different forms; there is an ESTA form which you need to fill in for your authorisation to travel to the USA, and there is a different form with which to apply for the eTA to travel to Canada. Both the eTA and the ESTA are generally approved within an hour of filling in the required form. As these two authorisations are not physical documents, you do not need to print them. The airline can check in the database with approved ESTAs and eTAs whether a travel authorisation was issued to you.

Please note: this news article about the ESTA for the USA is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the ESTA for the USA. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the ESTA USA. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an ESTA directly with the immigration service (21 USD per ESTA, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 21 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 30,52 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous ESTA USA was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.