FAQ – Electronic Travel Authorization
In this article, I will address detailed questions and answers for foreign nationals who require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. When a foreign national desires to come to Canada to visit, they will need a Temporary Resident Visa, also known as a Visitor Visa, or an Electronic Travel Authorization in order to be authorized to enter. If the foreign national is from a visa-exempt country, they will not require a Visitor Visa but instead must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization. In order to discover more information about the Electronic Travel Authorization, please continue reading this article or refer to our article on “Who Needs an ETA.” The intention of this article is meant to clarify any questions or information you would like to know with regards to an Electronic Travel Authorization.
Q: My trip to Canada is within the next couple of days and I am unable to submit any additional documentation that Immigration is requesting of me for my ETA application. Am I still able to travel to Canada?
A: This is a very interesting and important question to ask with regards to Electronic Travel Authorizations. For instance, if Immigration is requesting a medical examination or a police clearance certificate and you are still awaiting the decision from the doctor or police, or if you are experiencing problems uploading information online, then you may request a case specific enquiry to request an extension. The case specific enquiry is also done online and will request identity information from you with regards to the ETA. It is best to request an extension in order to submit this information as Immigration did require you to send this. Conclusively, if you cannot provide the documents and have not requested an extension, you will not be permitted entry into Canada.
Q: If I already have obtained a work permit to Canada, do I still have to apply for an ETA as well?
A: If you have already obtained your work permit in Canada, your ETA will be issued alongside your permit. This new implementation was issued on August 1 of 2015. Therefore, you do not need to go through the process of applying for both separately; once you apply for the work permit, if you receive an approval, the ETA will be issued at the same time. However, when you are renewing or extending your work permit, the ETA will not be automatically renewed as well. As a result, if you would like to travel in and outside of Canada, you must ensure that your ETA is valid at all times.
Q: Is an ETA valid for the length of the work permit or study permit or is it valid for 5 years or when my passport expires? I’m confused because my ETA was issued with my study permit. Please help.
A: This is a very good question to ask as foreign nationals should be proactive and aware of the validity time of their ETA, especially if they plan on travelling in and out of Canada. Therefore, the validity period of an ETA is independent from the work permit issued to the foreign national. Conclusively, the ETA would be valid for 5 years or until the foreign national’s passport expires. This depends on whichever happens sooner. The ETA can also be issued for multiple entries into Canada and therefore can help foreign nationals who travel often. Most importantly, the ETA would be automatically linked to the foreign national’s passport. Thus, when the foreign national travels in and out of Canada, they must use the same passport that the ETA was issued on.
Q: What are the possible reasons for refusal of an ETA?
A: Much like a Visitor Visa, the possible reasons for a refusal of an ETA are very similar. For instance, Immigration can refuse an ETA due to criminal or medical inadmissibility to Canada. To further explain, a foreign national can be refused an ETA due to having a criminal record because of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) that was issued to them several years or even decades before. This can be the case even if the crime was minor in nature. Canadian Immigration ultimately still has the authority to deny the entry of any foreign national with a criminal record.
Similarly, a foreign national can be refused entry into Canada due to medical inadmissibility. An example of medical inadmissibility is an infectious disease that the foreign national may have that may affect or infect Canadian society. As a result, Canadian Immigration must ensure the safety and protection of Canadian citizens and residents and will deny the entry of this foreign national.
Q: Are there any age restrictions for the issuance of an Electronic Travel Authorization?
A: Thankfully, no; there are no age restrictions for an Electronic Travel Authorization. Any and all foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries may apply for an ETA, regardless of their age. However, whether the ETA is approved or not entirely depends on Immigration Canada. If and once the ETA is approved, then the foreign national can travel to Canada.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or need further information about Electronic Travel Authorizations, it is important to properly research whether your country is visa-exempt and ask several questions before applying for one. By doing the appropriate research and asking questions prior to submitting the application, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) to travel to Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!