Visiting Canada next year? Travellers with Australian passports heading to or through Canada in 2016 will need to obtain an online authorisation before entering the country by air. Similar to USA’s ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization) visa waiver certificate, the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) program will come into effect from March 15, 2016, however eligible travellers will be able to go online and apply for their eTA from August 1, 2015.
What is the eTA and do I need one?
While Australians do not require a visa to visit or transit through Canada, Aussie passport holders who are boarding flights to Canada as of March 15, 2016 will need an eTA.
The eTA is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. Overland travel and travel by sea are exempt. The authorisation is electronically linked to your passport and valid for five years from the day it is issued or until your passport or other travel document expires.
The eTA is not a visa. If you do need a visa to enter Canada, you will still need to apply for the appropriate entry visa.
How do I apply for an eTA?
You can apply for your eTA online, and you’ll need your passport, a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) and an email address to complete the process. The cost is CAD$7 for each eTA application. The application form will be available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website from August 1, 2015.
Due to privacy legislation, applicants will need to complete their own authorisation requests, and parents and guardians are required to complete the application process for any travelling children or infants.
When should I apply for an eTA?
Eligible travellers can apply from August 1 this year. Last-minute applications can be made from any device connected to the internet, including mobile phones. Most applicants will get an email response indicating the status of their eTA within minutes of their application, however some applications may take longer to process.
It’s recommended that people apply as early as possible to ensure you have pre-screened clearance for entrance to Canada. You will not need an eTA to enter Canada by air until March 15, 2016.
When does my eTA need to be renewed?
When your eTA is no longer valid or your passport expires - whichever comes first.