Online Canada Visa - Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on Jul 17, 2024 | Canada eTA

General and Basic Information

If you are a passport holder of the visa-exempt countries for Canada, then you are recommended to first check if you are eligible to obtain a Canada eTA.

Some of these countries include the United Kingdom, all European Union member states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and others.

If yes, then you can start applying for an electronic travel authorization online before you start your journey to the country. Please note that the electronic travel authorization for Canada will permit travellers to obtain a travel permit for Canada without having to take a trip to the Canadian Embassy.

If you are citizen of a country that is not eTA eligible or not visa-exempt, then you will need a transit visa in order to pass through Canada without stopping or visiting.

Transit passengers must remain in the transit area of International Airport. If you wish to leave the airport, you must apply for a Canada Visitor Visa before travelling to Canada.

United States citizens and US Green Card holders are exempt from eTA requirement.

The main purpose of issuing a Canada ETA is to pre-screen travellers who belong to those counties that are included in the list of the Canadian visa-exempt nations. Before the electronic travel authorization program was introduced, many visitors would face denied entry in Canada if they failed to meet entry requirements.

However, after the introduction of the Canada eTA, since visitors are pre-screened before they enter the country, the probability of facing a denied entry in Canada has completely vanished.

The passport holders from Canada eTA eligible countries, that are exempted from obtaining a traditional Visa for Canada can apply for a Canada eTA online. This travel authorization will be valid for only those travellers who will be choosing the air route to travel to Canada.

Please note that, the visa-exempt travellers, who are taking a trip to Canada, will first have to apply for an eTA and then start their journey to the country. This applies for minors and children too who are accompanying their guardians or parents.

Visitors who choose to enter Canada through the land or sea will not be required to apply for an eTA.

Currently, the nationals of around 60 nations are exempted from getting a visa for Canada. From those nations, here are the eligible passport holders who can obtain a Canada eTA.

Conditional Canada eTA

Passport holders of the following countries are eligible to apply for a Canada eTA if they satisfy the conditions listed below:

  • You held a Canada Visitor Visa in the last ten (10) years Or you currently hold a valid US nonimmigrant visa.
  • You must enter Canada by air.

If any of the above condition is not satisfied, then you must instead apply for a Canada Visitor Visa.

Canada Visitor Visa is also referred to as Canada Temporary Resident Visa or TRV.

Dual Canadian citizens can no longer travel to or transit through Canada by air with a non-Canadian passport. You need a valid Canadian passport to board your flight.

If you do not have a valid Canadian passport, and present a foreign passport or other document during check-in once this process begins, you may experience delays or be prevented from boarding your flight to Canada.

You may be able to Apply for a special authorization to fly to Canada.

Blue Passport issued by Germany is also known as Refugee Travel Document. After your right to the asylum or refugee status has been recognized by Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, you are issued a Blue Passport. Blue Passport affords you protection status and residence rights in Germany but does not make you eligible for Canada eTA. You will require a German citizen passport to be eligible for Canada eTA.

The basic requirements that need to be met by all Canada eTA applicants are as follows:

  • The applicant should be included in the list of the visa-exempt nations that are eligible to obtain a Canada eTA.
  • The applicant should be the holder of a valid and original Passport that is issued by the Government.
  • The purpose of visit to Canada should be travel and tourism, business/commercial activities, or transit purposes.
  • The planned duration of stay in Canada should either be 06 months or less.
  • The applicant should not have a past criminal record associated with their name. Or past Immigration violations.
  • The applicant should compulsorily be in good health.
  • The applicant should be successful in conveying assurance to the Immigration officer that they plan to return to their home nation once they have completed their purposes of visit in Canada.
  • The applicant should be at least 18 years old. If the applicant is less than the mentioned age, then a parent or guardian should apply for an eTA on their behalf.

The Canadian electronic travel authorization will remain valid for a maximum period of 05 years. This period will be calculated from the date on which the eTA was issued to the applicant. Please note that the eTA will remain valid until the occurrence of the following:

  • The passport of the applicant expires. Or the expiration of any other travel document.
  • The electronic travel authorization of the applicant gets cancelled.
  • A new eTA for Canada is issued to the applicant.

Applying for Canada eTA

To apply for a Canada eTA, here are the basic and simple steps that should be followed by all eligible applicants:

  • Fill out the Canada eTA application form with accurate and correct information that is mentioned on the passport.
  • Pay the Canada eTA application fees through electronic payment methods such as a credit card or debit card.
  • Receive an approved eTA in the email inbox after the review process is over.
  • Visit the designated airport or cruise terminal in Canada and enter the country with the eTA.
To make sure that the applicant is able to successfully apply for a Canada eTA, they will first have to collect essential documents such as their valid Passport that belongs to a visa-exempt nation, a valid credit card or debit card to make an online payment and a registered email ID to receive the approved Canada eTA.

The documents that are generally needed for the application of a Canadian eTA are as follows:

  • A valid Passport.
  • A credit card or debit card.
  • A frequently used email address.

Firstly, and most importantly, all applicants of the Canada eTA will have to fill in essential biographical information in the application form from their Passport. This includes information such as:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Country and Place of birth
  4. Gender
  5. Marital status
  6. Nationality
  7. Passport number
  8. Passport date of issue and expiry

Additionally, applicants will have to provide answers for their Residential address, Occupation details as well as certain background questions that will ensure whether the applicant can enter Canada or not.

Applicants of the Canada eTA, to make sure that they can obtain an approved travel authorization before the beginning of their journey, are recommended to apply for a Canada eTA at least seventy-two hours in-advance from the intended date of journey to Canada. In cases of emergency, applicants can obtain a Canada eTA through expedited services.

Once the applicant has submitted their Canada eTA application, they will have to wait for the review process to end after which an outcome will be sent on their registered email ID. If the outcome is positive, the applicant will receive an approved Canada eTA which can be used to enter Canada.

You can use eTA Status tool to enquire your Canada eTA Status.

No. To apply for an eTA for Canada, only a single Passportshould be used since Canada eTA is directly linked to a Passport number. The use of more than one Passportfor the purpose of obtaining a Canada eTA is strictly prohibited. This applies especially to those applicants who are the holders of dual citizenship and more than one passport. Please remember that the applicant should use the same Passportfor applying for an eTA and for entering Canada as well with the eTA.

Utilising The Electronic Travel Authorization For Canada

Once the Canadian eTA is granted to a traveller, they can start their journey to Canada. The most important place, where the eTA will be checked compulsorily, is when the traveller is checking in with their carrier to get on the flight to Canada. This is generally the first point at which the eTA will come into use.

The Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) system provides air carriers with a ‘board/no board’ message on all users requiring a visa or eTA to enter Canada.

The second point at which the eTA will come into use is when the applicant has landed in Canada where an officer of Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) will check the eTA, passport, and other travel documents.

The duration of visit to Canada, that is generally approved under the eTA program, is less than 06 months. However, please note that the final duration of stay, for which travellers will be allowed to reside in Canada, is determined by the Immigration officer at the entry checkpoint in Canada.

This is simply because the Canadian Immigration officers are well-trained when it comes to spotting which travellers are entering Canada to fulfil purposes other than tourism, business, and transit purposes.

If you want to stay in Canada longer than what's allowed on Canada eTA and extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, you need to apply for a visitor record. A visitor record is not a visa.

A visitor record is a document that allows you to stay in Canada longer as a tourist. It has a new expiry date. You must apply for a visitor record before your current status expires. Learn more at Extend your stay in Canada.

No. The Canadian eTA can be simply used for a facilitated journey to Canada. However, this travel authorization does not guarantee a direct entrance in Canada as border service authorities will require the traveller to submit their passport and other important travel documents for the purpose of verifying them. And determining whether the visitor is fit to enter Canada or not. Thus, the final decision of entrance will be made by the border authorities at the Immigration counter.

Canada eTA Refusal/Rejection

Most applicants can obtain their approved Canada eTA in the matter of some minutes. However, some applications may take days to be processed and approved by the Canadian authorities. This usually occurs when the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may need the applicant to submit more information and details. Via the medium of email, the applicant will be contacted by the IRCC to make them aware of the next steps in the procedure.

The IRCC may need the applicant to provide the following:

  • Additional documents or details.
  • An in-person interview. This will be held at the nearest Canadian Visa organisation.

Since an approved Canada eTA is necessary to travel to Canada, if the Canada eTA application gets rejected, the applicant won't be allowed to enter and stay in Canada. Even if the applicant starts their journey to Canada with a rejected/refused application, they will not be permitted to travel beyond the boarding point of the airport. Thus it is advisable that all visitors either apply for a Canada Visitor Visa or if they wish to reapply for an eTA, they should do so only once you have addressed the reason(s) for the cancellation of your application.

The most common reason due to which a Canada eTA may be rejected is:

  • Past criminal record: Even if the past criminal record of an applicant involves a minor crime such as a DUI which took place many years back, the Canadian authorities can still reject their application for an eTA. This means that no matter how small the conviction was or no matter how long ago it took place, the Canadian authorities can still reject the eTA application on the grounds of criminality.
  • Medical reasons

No. The Canadian eTA can be simply used for a facilitated journey to Canada. However, this travel authorization does not guarantee a direct entrance in Canada as border service authorities will require the traveller to submit their passport and other important travel documents for the purpose of verifying them. And determining whether the visitor is fit to enter Canada or not. Thus, the final decision of entrance will be made by the border authorities at the Immigration counter.


No. If you are a holder of a valid Visa, then you are not required to apply for a Canada eTA for the purpose of travelling to Canada. The valid Visa that is already held by you is adequate to get you an entry in the country without having to be in possession of any additional documents.

No. All question fields in the Canada eTA application form are compulsory. No question field should be left empty while filling out the Canada eTA application form. If the applicant has entered any false information in the application, the processing process may be delayed.

No. If you are planning to enter Canada via the land route or cruise, you will not be required to hold a Canadian eTA. You can simply use your passport to enter Canada if you belong to one of the Visa-exempt nations. Only those travellers who are planning to enter Canada via the air route will be required to apply for a Canada eTA.

The most basic Passport related requirements that should be met by all applicants before they start applying for a Canada eTA are as follows:

  • The Passport should be valid for a minimum period of 06 months before you enter Canada with the eTA.
  • The Passport should have 02 blank pages for obtaining an entry and exit stamp.
  • A single Passport should be used for both purposes which are - 1. Applying for a Canada eTA. 2. Entering Canada with the eTA. This especially applies for all those applicants who are the holders of more than one Passport.

Most applications for a Canadian eTA are processed in the matter of a few hours. Once the applicant submits their filled application, they will be made aware of the outcomes of the application via the medium of email.

In rare cases only, the Canadian authorities may take more than a few days to process an application. But under any circumstances, the maximum period in which applicants can expect their eTA application to be processed is 01 week.