All you need to know about how to use an eTA visitor permit when travelling to Canada

Visas not required for Canada – the eTA visitor permit is all you need, and here’s how it worksVisas not required for Canada – the eTA visitor permit is all you need, and here’s how it works
Visas not required for Canada – the eTA visitor permit is all you need, and here’s how it works
Each year, Canada welcomes over 700,000 visitors from the United Kingdom. By far most of these visitors use the eTA Canada permit to enter the country.

Canada is among the more popular destinations for Brits. The high number of visitors from the UK is possible in part because Canada has a visa-waiver in place for British nationals. Instead, they can use the eTA permit to enter Canada.

What is an eTA permit?The eTA for Canada is an electronic travel permit that grants the holder access to the country. Unlike similar electronic permits, such as the ESTA for the USA, the eTA stands out for its lengthy validity duration: it is valid for five years and can be used to stay in Canada for up to six months per visit. An eTA can be used for an unlimited number of visits to Canada, as long as the validity is in place.

With the introduction of the eTA system, Canada saw a large increase of British visitors to the country. Canada also had similar visa-waiver agreements with other countries, including all countries in the EU. Save for countries whose nationals don’t need a visa to travel to Canada, such as its southern neighbour the United States, it is no surprise that the visa-waiver countries make up the bulk of Canada’s yearly visitors.

What does an eTA allow you to do?The most common usage of an eTA for Canada is tourism. Those planning a holiday to Canada don’t need to waste much time worrying about visas, but can apply for the eTA online. However, what many don’t know is that the eTA can also be used for other trips. For instance, it can be used for business trips, provided no actual physical work is performed. The eTA is also a study permit, allowing the holder to attend a study programme, provided it does not last longer than six months (the maximum length of stay on an eTA per visit).

The eTA application processAs mentioned above, the largest benefit of the eTA is that is applied for online. A visit to the local embassy or High Commission is not required. Instead, an online form is filled out which asks generic information about yourself and your trip. Once the form has been filled in and the payment has been made, the eTA confirmation is sent to you via e-mail. Strictly speaking, the eTA is not an actual document. Instead, it is electronically linked to your passport. This means that at the airport, all that is required is to have your passport scanned for you to be allowed to board your plane. However, many people take comfort in printing the eTA confirmation, though in theory it’s not necessary.

In theory, all British nationals are eligible for the eTA for Canada permit. However, there are certain situations where a British national cannot apply for an eTA. These include having a criminal record, being registered as a Canadian resident, having violated a visa-related law of any country, and a number of other specific situations where an eTA might not be granted. In those cases, the only option to travel to Canada is going through the lengthy visa application procedure, which requires a visit to the High Commission for an interview.For more information click here.