Citizens of Colombia often visit Canada, for a wide variety of reasons. They may visit in order to see natural sites, participate in business activities, see family, and more. Before nationals of Colombia leave home, they need to have permission to enter Canada. Here’s what they should know about entering the country.
The ETA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, gives travelers permission to enter Canada. It is not a visa but acts similarly for citizens of visa-exempt countries.
Update: Colombia has a visa-exempt relationship with Canada only if the traveler has a valid US residency. This is very important. Colombian citizens will need a visa to Canada if they do not have a US residency. If they have a valid residency in the United States, an ETA is not required. All that will be needed to enter Canada is a valid passport, and proof of US residency.
Having an ETA raises the level of Canada’s border security. It tells them who is in their country, why they are there when they should be leaving, and more. It also allows them to try and contact travelers who may need help in case of an emergency while in Canada. The ETA was started because international terrorism was on the rise. Requiring an ETA allows Canada to screen people for potential terrorist ties and ensure they don’t enter the country.
The Canada ETA is only for Colombian travelers entering Canada by airplane. If they want to cross a physical border, they will need different traveling permissions. An ETA for Canada is valid for up to 5 years at a time, or until the visitor’s COL passport expires. It also permits stays in the country of up to 6 months at a time. Travelers can enter and leave Canada as many times as they need to on a single ETA. As long as the ETA is still valid, they do not have to get a new one for each trip.
Canada’s ETA allows travelers from Colombia to visit for tourism or leisure. They may also visit family members living in Canada and perform certain business functions there. Even CO travelers who are transiting Canada en route to another country may need an ETA. They should check the laws covering their particular situation before they leave home. The process of getting an ETA for Canada is simple and straightforward. People should be able to complete it without undue hassle.
Getting a Canadian ETA for travelers from the COL is not hard. There are a few documents people should gather to make the process go smoothly. First, they need their Colombian passport. They will need to refer to this to fill out certain parts of the ETA application form. That passport needs to be valid on the proposed day of travel, and for at least 6 months beyond that. If it is not, they will need to renew it before applying for the ETA or traveling.
Every traveler applying for an ETA for Canada will need to provide a valid email address. This will be used for updating them about their ETA and for sending approval when granted. Finally, every ETA application requires a $7 CAD payment for processing. This needs to be put on a valid credit, prepaid, or debit card. Travelers will not be able to apply for the ETA if they do not have an internet connection. They can get this on a computer, mobile phone, tablet, or other devices.
Most applicants find that the Canadian ETA application only takes a few minutes to complete. The instructions are easy to follow and let people know exactly what they need to do. Travelers should find a time when they can fill out the whole ETA application at once, to expedite the process. It goes so fast that that shouldn’t be a problem.
Travelers will be asked about aspects of their personal history. They need to make sure that they are completely honest and clear with everything they submit for this part of the application. Personal history questions ask about criminal history and convictions, political affiliations, past travels, and other related information. The data obtained here is used to figure out how should and should not be allowed in the country, based on how dangerous they might be.
While no one wants to be denied entry, note that entry will also be denied if a database search reveals discrepancies regarding what was submitted. Personal history sections can also ask for information about communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis or COVID-19. This is also done for reasons of safety.
Colombians will need to enter some of the data on their passports. This needs to look exactly the same on the ETA application as it does on the passport. The data requested includes the traveler’s name, the place where the passport was issued, the passport number, and more. If it does not match exactly, the application will be rejected.
Travelers who make mistakes entering their passport information will need to reapply from the beginning. The passport number has special importance here. An approved Canada ETA will be linked to the passport number and show up electronically when it is scanned upon arrival in Canada.
To get an ETA for Canada, travelers from CO will be asked for other information, too. They will need to provide information like their birth date, current address, and more. The government of Canada uses all of this data to verify that people are who they say they are. This increases security for both citizens and travelers when they are inside Canada.
Applicants will need to both complete the ETA form and pay the fee before they can submit it. Then, they will need to keep an eye on their email. All communication about the ETA will come into their email box at the address they provided. This includes ultimate approval and directions for using the form. While printing out the approved ETA for Canada is not required, Colombians may prefer this if they are unsure about having mobile access and want to expedite their entry process.
An approved ETA alone is not enough to give Colombian travelers entry into Canada. They can also have approval through the ArriveCAN app. All mobile users can download this app through their app store of choice. Then, they can use their mobile phone or a table to fill out the required information.
The ArriveCAN app was developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and helps the Canadian government keep people safe and healthy. The app will ask applicants several questions, which may be subject to change based on Canada’s evolving rules around the pandemic. Note that travelers may need to provide their vaccination status, proof of vaccination, and COVID-19 test results.
They may also need to answer questions about current exposures and/or symptoms, as well as plans to isolate themselves or quarantine if they are required to do so upon entry to Canada. Travelers should inform themselves about the COVID-relate entry requirements before they arrive in Canada, so they can be ready for what they face when they arrive.
The ArriveCAN app is simple and straightforward. Once users download it, they should open it as they would open any other app. Upon opening it, they will simply need to follow the directions the app provides. These are easy and straightforward and should not be difficult for most US travelers to adhere to.
Once they have entered the required information, they will submit it through the app. They should receive confirmation that this has been done successfully. They will need to show the app when they arrive in Canada. It should tell immigration officials that they have submitted what was necessary to enter the country. Some travelers may need to show additional documentation when they enter Canada. Immigration officials will ask for this and let them know if this pertains to them.
Having an approved Canada ETA and approval through the ArriveCAN app does not guarantee that a traveler can enter Canada. Travelers will also need to make sure they are following customs laws for the country. This includes not bringing goods that are illegal in Canada.
In addition, immigration officials may request additional paperwork or ask more questions before they make a decision. The final call is always theirs to make. However, travelers with approved paperwork who are not causing problems should not have any issues entering Canada. When they are in the country, Colombian citizens can enjoy the wide variety of things that Canada offers them.
In conclusion, Colombian citizens visiting Canada need to be aware of the entry requirements, including obtaining an ETA if they have valid US residency, or a visa if they don’t. Applying for an ETA is a simple online process, but travelers should also consider using the ArriveCAN app for additional entry requirements, especially concerning COVID-19. Although having proper documentation doesn’t guarantee entry, complying with customs laws and immigration regulations increases the likelihood of a smooth entry process for Colombian travelers.