Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)

What is an Electronic Travel Authorization?

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.  If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA.

With a valid eTA, you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time). You do not need an eTA for travel within Canada.

An eTA doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. When you arrive, a border services officer will ask to see your passport and other documents – for example, a U.S. Green Card. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada.

Who needs an eTA to travel to Canada?

There are four types of travelers:

Travelers who need an eTA:

  • Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. These travelers do not need an eTA when arriving by car, bus, train or boat (including a cruise ship).
  • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. They must present a valid Green Card and a valid passport at check-in.

Travelers who may be eligible to apply for an eTA:

  • Citizens from select visa-required countries may be eligible to apply for an eTA, instead of a visa, to travel to Canada by air. However, these travelers need a visitor visa when arriving by car, bus, train, or boat, including a cruise ship.

Travelers who cannot apply for an eTA and need to carry other identification:

  • Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, need a valid Canadian passport. American-Canadians can travel with a valid Canadian or U.S. passport.
  • Canadian permanent residents need a valid permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document.
    • Important – former residents of Canada: Permanent resident (PR) status does not expire. If you once lived in Canada many years ago, you could still have PR status. Learn more to avoid travel delays.
  • Visa-required including alien’s passport holders and stateless individuals.

Travelers who are exempt from the eTA requirement. For example:

  • U.S. citizens are exempt from the eTA requirement and must carry proper identification such as a valid U.S. passport.

How do I apply for an eTA for travel to Canada?

Only apply for an eTA on this official Government of Canada website.

Applying for an eTA is a simple online process that takes just a few minutes to complete. Most applicants get their eTA approval (via an email) within minutes. However, some requests can take several days to process if you’re asked to submit supporting documents. It is best to get an eTA before you book your flight to Canada.