The Canadian government has announced, as part of their Economic Action Plan that from 15th March 2016, visa exempted nationals (other than US Nationals) will need an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to transit or visit Canada. Other low-risk travellers from Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico and Romania will be eligible for the electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) instead of the need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
The newly introduced eTA is a pre-approval system which has been introduced to streamline the process of entering Canada exclusively for individuals who are visa exempt. An individual would qualify as being visa exempt if they have either held a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) within the last 10 years, or if they hold a valid US Non-Immigrant Visa.
Prior to a temporary visit to Canada, travellers should complete the eTA application online and pay a small processing fee of CAD $7. Once the eTA is issued, it will display the traveller”s personal details and travel document information and will be valid for five years, or until their passport or travel document expires, whichever is the sooner. Travellers are able to apply for the eTA with immediate effect.
Currently, the eTA is experiencing technical issues in not allowing certain nationals who may otherwise qualify for an eTA to apply. The issues should hopefully resolve quickly.
In any event, the eTA should provide low risk travellers who otherwise require a TRV a quicker screening at port when travelling to Canada. Instead of being screened at port, the eTA is designed to pre-screen travellers.
The government is hoping to further extend to other nationals who may qualify for the eTA in hope that they can accommodate higher volumes of visitors.
Should you need further information regarding Canadian immigration, please contact us.