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Canada Travel Requirements for Germans

Canada has so much to offer travelers from Germany. From superb winter skiing and other snow sports to summer festivals and more, there’s a lot to see in this beautiful country.

Entering Canada is easy for German citizens, too. Here’s what visitors need to know before they enter Canada so they can take advantage of everything the country has to offer.

Do German Citizens Need a Visa to Enter Canada?

German citizens who are planning to enter Canada by airplane do not need a visa to visit the country. If they plan to enter by sea, over land, or some other way, they will need a visa.

People from Germany entering Canada by plane will need an eTA instead of a visa. We will discuss this in detail below.

The Canada eTA is only good for people who plan to stay in Canada for 6 months or less, and is valid for tourism, visiting family, certain business activities, and more.

The vast majority of travelers from Germany will fly into Canada, and so will not need to get a visa.

If they do need a visa, either because they are entering another way or have a travel purpose not covered by the eTA for Canada, they will need to determine which visa they need and get it.

German travelers who have a valid Canadian visa will not need to get an eTA until that visa expires. If they think the eTA would be easier, though, they can apply before the visa expires.

What is the Canadian eTA?

The eTA for Canada is a travel document that helps secure Canada’s border. It allows the government to know who is in the country and what they are doing there.

Canada developed its eTA program as international terrorist attacks became more and more common. They wanted to increase border security without requiring everyone to have a visa.

The Canadian eTA finds a middle ground between just allowing people to enter the country and requiring a visa.

Travelers need to enter certain information in order to apply for the eTA. This includes personal data as well as information from their German passport and data about their travel plans.

This information is checked against international databases to help make sure that people entering the country are who they claim to be.

The eTA system makes both travelers and Canadian citizens safer, because it flags people who might cause problems in the country or who did not input correct information.

Sometimes, people can upload more documentation to prove that they are who they say they are. Other times, the system denies them entry into Canada because they might be dangerous.

The eTA also allows the Canadian government to know who they may need to try to contact in case of a terrorist attack or another emergency.

Because they know who is in the country and roughly where people are inside Canada, they have a better idea about who might be affected by urgent circumstances.

They also have leads on how to try to contact these people to make sure they are okay and, if necessary, help them get back to their home countries.

It’s easier to get an Canada eTA than it is to get a traditional visa. Travelers don’t have to visit embassies or consulates, and they don’t have to hand over their passport to get travel approved.

Instead, they can apply for the eTA from the comfort and safety of their own home. As long as they have a computer that connects to the internet, they can fill out the application easily.

Who Can Use Canada’s eTA?

The eTA is designed for travelers from visa exempt countries. Canada has reciprocal relationships with these countries that mean their citizens do not need visas. 

Germany is one of these visa exempt countries. German citizens are not required to have visa permission to enter Canada.

An eTA is valid for five years or until a traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Thus, it allows for multiple entries and makes traveling to Canada easier than it has ever been before.

How German Citizens Can Obtain an eTA for Canada

It’s easy for Germans to get an eTA for Canada. Here’s what travelers need to know about this process.

Essential Documents

Before they apply for their eTA , German citizens should make sure they have a valid passport.

This needs to be currently valid, and should be valid for 6 months past their planned arrival date in Canada. If it isn’t valid this long, they can apply for a new passport before they get their eTA. 

Applicants also need to make sure that they have a valid form of payment. This includes most major credit cards, prepaid credit cards, debit cards, and more.

The fee is $7 CAD. While the exchange rate with Germany is bound to fluctuate some, travelers can be sure that getting their eTA will be affordable.

Finally, though it’s not a document, applicants will need a functional computer with internet and a valid email address.

Canada communicates about the eTA completely by email, so travelers will need to make sure they enter their email address correctly and can check it often.

The Application Process

The Canadian government provides a Help document for the eTA, and they recommend that all travelers familiarize themselves with it before they start the application. 

This can help streamline the process and it also makes it less likely that applicants will commit certain common errors. 

Once they have read the document, applicants should fill out the online eTA application. This form cannot be saved, so travelers need to be ready to fill out the whole thing in one sitting.

Fortunately, the Canada eTA application only takes most people 10-15 minutes!

Filling out the eTA Application for Canada

The application will ask for all sorts of information, starting with personal data. This includes the traveler’s name, birth date, country of origin, etc.

Some of this information will be on the applicant’s passport. They need to ensure that the data they provide matches precisely with what is on their passport, or the eTA will not be accepted.

Travelers need to take special care when entering their passport number. They need to be sure not to confuse “0” with “O” and “I” with “1”.

Taking a few extra seconds to make sure data gets entered properly can save a lot of time and hassle later!

Applicants will also be asked for information about their current job, their travel plans to and from Canada (if known), their health history, their criminal history, and their travel history.

All of this data helps Canada to decide whether or not a person should be allowed to enter the country.

After the Application

Once travelers have completed their application, they will need to pay the associated fee. This should be straightforward as long as their payment method is valid.

After that, travelers should watch their email. That way, they will see when they get information about their eTA.

Most Canadian eTAs are approved within just a few minutes. Other times, visitors will need to submit more documentation before a decision can be made.

Travelers who don’t see anything in their email should check their “Junk” or “Spam” folders. Sometimes, emails get routed here by accident!

The eTA will be electronically attached to the traveler’s passport, though they may want to print off a copy for their peace of mind.

Travelers from Germany should only have to scan their passport in Canada. Then, immigration officials should see their approved eTA.

Submit Other Documents Via the ArriveCAN App

Travelers will also need to submit information via the ArriveCAN app before they travel to Canada. This information has to do with COVID-19. 

Canada’s requirements for travel during the pandemic are subject to change. The app will tell travelers what they need to have in order to enter the country.

The government recommends submitting these documents 72 hours before arriving in Canada.

Travelers who have not submitted the proper documents may not be able to board their transport to Canada. If they do get on transportation, they may not be able to enter the country.

After travelers submit all of the necessary documentation via ArriveCAN, they will be emailed a receipt. This is what they must show airline and customs officials.

Note that neither having an eTA and/or having an ArriveCAN receipt guarantees entry into Canada. Officials may still ask for more documentation or disallow entry for a variety of reasons.

However, the vast majority of German travelers who have their documents in order can enter Canada without a problem. Then, they can carry out their travel plans and enjoy Canada.

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