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Requirements to Enter Canada for Australians | ETA and More

Many Australians travel to Canada every year. Before these visitors leave home, it’s key that they understand what kind of permissions and paperwork they need in order to enter Canada.

Here’s what Australian citizens need to know about entering Canada. Once their documents are in order, they can travel as soon as circumstances allow.

What Do Australians Need To Enter Canada?

Australian citizens need to have two pieces of paperwork processed before they can enter Canada.

The first of these is permission via the Canada ArriveCAN app. Both Apple and Android users can download this app onto a phone or tablet to fill out the required information. 

Secondly, Australians need to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) processed before they can enter Canada.

This article discusses this in depth below.

What is the ArriveCAN App?

The ArriveCAN app helps the Canadian government track health information for people arriving in the country.

Right now, it almost entirely pertains to containing the spread of COVID-19.

The app asks users a few questions. It may ask them to verify their vaccination status, provide COVID-19 test results, and ask questions about how they are feeling. 

It may also ask travelers for their contact information while they are in Canada.

That way, the government can get in touch with them if they are exposed to COVID while traveling.

Finally, the app may ask people about their isolation/quarantine plans, if they are required to do this before entering Canada.

Note that Canada’s policies around travel with COVID-19 are subject to change at any time, and so the information the app requests may also change.

How to Use the ArriveCAN App?

The ArriveCAN app is easy to use.

Travelers need to simply download it, open it, and follow the prompts on screen.

After they do this, they will submit their information and receive confirmation that the information was received.

They will need to show this when they arrive in Canada, though it may be linked to their passport. Just to be safe, travelers should save the confirmation they receive.

Immigration will verify that the traveler has used the app before they are allowed entry into the country.

If the traveler needs to show paperwork, they can do that with immigration upon arrival.

What is an eTA for Canada?

An Electronic Travel Authorization, or eTA, for Canada is a document that gives travelers permission to enter the country. It is not a visa, and is for travelers from visa-exempt countries.

Australia is one of these visa-exempt countries.

The eTA allows the Canadian government to increase their border security because it gives them information about who is in their country, why they are there, and more. 

Canada developed its eTA program because international terrorism was increasing around the world.

It allows them to screen travelers for possible terrorist ties and keep them out of Canada.

Note that the eTA is only for travelers who are entering Canada by plane. While that is the chosen method of transport for most Australians, other travelers will need a visa instead. 

The eTA for Canada is good for stays of up to six months at a time. Additionally, it is valid for 5 years or until the traveler’s Australian passport expires, whichever comes first.

During that time, travelers can enter and leave Canada as many times as they want to, without having to get a new eTA every time.

People traveling on an eTA can participate in tourist activities, like sightseeing or adventure sports.

They can also perform certain business functions and visit family.

Australians visiting Canada for other purposes will need to get a visa specific to their purpose. This includes students, people traveling for medical treatment, and more. 

An eTA is also necessary for Australians who are transiting Canada en route to other destinations.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get an eTA for Canada.

The process is online and is fast and inexpensive, so travelers can get the travel permission they need without a hassle.

How to Get an eTA for Canada Online

Getting an eTA for Canada is a straightforward process. Travelers should get a few items ready before they go to fill out the application.

Having these makes the application process even easier!

Travelers first need to have their Australian passport nearby. They will need information from this and it will need to match their passport precisely. 

Their passport needs to be valid currently, as well as on the day they plan to enter Canada and for at least six months from that date. If it is not, they should get a new one before they travel. 

They also need to have a valid credit, debit, or prepaid card.

This will be used to pay the $7 CAD fee for the eTA.

A valid email address is also essential to the eTA process. The Canadian government will send information about the eTA to this address, so it needs to be one that the traveler can check.

Finally, travelers will need a computer or other device with a solid internet connection.

They cannot save the application and so the internet needs to be reliable for at least 10-15 minutes.

Filling Out the Application

Most travelers will find the eTA application to be very easy to fill out. They only need to follow the prompts on-screen and answer the questions honestly.

Many visitors find themselves done with the application much sooner than they thought they would be. It’s really that simple!

Personal Data

The application for a Canadian eTA will ask for a number of pieces of personal data. This includes the traveler’s full name, birth date, birth location, country of origin, etc.

Travelers need to ensure that everything they enter into the eTA application is identical to what is on their passport. Names should be spelled the same, as well as locations, etc.

If this data does not match exactly, the eTA may be rejected and entry to Canada will be denied.

If a person realizes they entered data in correctly, they will need to apply for their eTA again. Similarly, if any data changes, they will need to get a new passport and a new eTA.

Passport Data

The eTA application for Canada will also ask people for data about their passport. This includes their passport number, the place where it was issued, and more.

Once again, all data entered needs to be identical to what is on the passport.

Note that the passport number is of particular importance here. The approved eTA will be linked electronically to the passport, as identified by the number.

If a person enters the wrong passport number, their eTA will not be connected to their passport!

Personal History Data

The eTA application for Australians who want to visit Canada will also ask applicants about certain parts of their personal history.

This includes data on any criminal activity, certain political affiliations, previous travel to contested or contentious areas, etc.

All of this is used to determine who might be a threat in Canada. Sometimes, people will be asked to submit more information depending on their answers to these questions. 

This section may also ask questions about exposure to communicable diseases, like tuberculosis. Once again, the government wants to keep its people as safe as possible.

Getting and Using the eTA

After applicants have filled out all of the necessary information, they will be asked to pay their eTA application fee. Then, they should watch their email for more information.

Most people have their eTAs approved quickly, sometimes within 10 minutes! Others may need to submit more information before theirs can be processed.

All communication about the eTA will be done via email. The eTA approval will even be sent here.

Travelers do not have to print out their eTA approval, though they should do so if they want to.

It will also link electronically to their passport, so they should not have any problems at Immigration in Canada.

Does Having an eTA Guarantee Entry Into Canada?

An eTA does not guarantee entry into Canada. Immigration officers can always make a judgment call at the border. 

Most of the time, though, travelers who have their eTA and their ArriveCAN permissions in order enter the country easily.

Once inside, they can carry on with their trip as planned, for either business or pleasure.

They can enjoy everything Canada has to offer before they head back to Australia.

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