Canadian Immigration News: Prepare Now for Major New Entry Requirements Effective March 15, 2016
Photo of a sign in the Canada-United States border. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On March 15, 2016, The Government of Canada will implement significant new entry requirements for those arriving by air. Currently, citizens of several countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) to enter Canada and can apply for the TRV through a Canadian Consulate, while citizens of visa-exempt countries may arrive at a Canadian border or airport without first applying for the TRV. Beginning March 15, 2016, most travelers, even from some visa-exempt countries, flying into or transiting through Canada will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) prior to boarding a flight to Canada. Travelers of all ages will require an eTA when they fly into Canada, including young children.
To apply for an eTA, individuals must have a valid passport, a credit card, a scanner, and an email address. In addition to biographical data, the online application form will gather information regarding criminal history, employment information, marital status, and confirmation of funds available for each individual’s stay in Canada. All applications are submitted online through an individualized MyCIC account created by the applicant. The Government of Canada will gather the information to pre-screen travelers’ admissibility to Canada.
The eTA application requires an online fee payment of $7.00 CAD. The eTA will electronically link to the passport and, once granted, will remain valid for a period of five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant unless the individual’s passport or travel document is set to expire, the eTA is cancelled, or the individual applies for and receives a new eTA valid for a longer duration. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”)’s website projects that most applicants can expect to receive an email response “within minutes” of applying.