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Requirements for Canada eTA Application

Traveling to Canada can be incredibly exciting, but can be daunting if travelers are not familiar with the processes required to get an eTA or related travel documents. There can be a great many questions and confusion. Here is a detailed guide for travelers to apply for this most-important document to cross Canadian borders.  

Before Applying  

Applying for the Canada Electronic Travel Authorization is an easy online process. However, it is better to be prepared. Read the application form carefully and type in accurate and error-free information. Before clicking on the submit button, review the form and ensure to fill in all the mandatory fields. Even the slightest error can cause delays or at times denial of an eTA by the immigration officials.  

Travelers can apply through the website of Canadian immigration and the information is given both in French and English, the official languages of the country.   

However, detailed instructions are available in other foreign languages like Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian and Spanish. 

Tips to speed up the application process  

Download the latest version of ArriveCAN, a platform introduced by the Canadian government for travelers in the wake of COVID-19. They need to provide various information including their vaccination status through the platform.  

Keep in handy all the required documents. Since the online eTA application form cannot be saved, it is important to have all the documents and information ready. The documents are as follows: 

A valid passport: This is applicable for travelers from visa-exempt countries. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States of America need not apply for an eTA. Their passport and legal proof of permanent residence are enough. They have to submit their biometric details including fingerprints and photographs after the online application. If they are traveling with family members, each of them has to give their biometric details. However, citizens from other visa-exempt countries, who are visiting Canada as tourists, are not required to give their biometrics while applying for their eTA. 

A valid email address: The Canadian government uses the applicant’s unique electronic mail address to deliver messages related to the eTA application. The email address will typically have the name and electronic domain address of the applicant. The applicants’ eTA number will normally be delivered to this address within 72 hours after the application. If there is an error in the given address, they may not receive their eTA in time for their planned trip. 

A credit/debit card: The applicants need to pay a small fee and for this, they need to use one of the credit/debit cards approved by the Canadian immigration. Some of the credit and debit cards are as follows: Visa®, Mastercard®, American Express®, a pre-paid Visa®, Mastercard® or American Express®, Visa Debit, or Debit Mastercard, UnionPay®, or JCB Card®. 

Only one person can apply for an eTA at any given time.  If a family of five is applying for the document, they have to repeat the process five times over.  

It is important to print the receipt. The applicants will not be able to do it later or cannot get a copy. So, be sure to print the receipt at the time of applying.  

Extend the time. When the “session timeout” warning comes up on the screen, press on the “continue session” button. This will grant you a few extra minutes to finish the application.  

Applicants with a French Passport   

Be extremely careful to enter the right passport numbers in a French Passport. It is highly important to enter the number at the top of the page with applicants’ photograph. If they enter the number on the first page or at the bottom of the passport information page, the application will be deemed invalid.  

The passport number will typically have nine characters including numerals and alphabets. If the number is shorter or longer than nine characters, it will most likely be a wrong number.  

Avoid special characters and space.   

Be careful to arrest typing errors, especially while entering O, 0, I and 1.  

Enter the correct country code, given on the page with the applicants’ photograph.  

Traveler with US Permanent Residency

Applicants with US permanent resident status do not need an eTA irrespective of the nationality written on their passport. 

They just need to show legal documents at the port of entry if they are traveling by flight and if they are traveling by land and water, they need to show their passport and documents to prove their permanent US residency.

While traveling by air, they need to give their permanent residency card popularly known as the green card along with the valid passport from the country of their nationality to the customs officers or border service staff. 

If citizens of these countries do not have a green card, they will require a regular visa to enter Canada as they are not eligible for an eTA. 

List of nationalities that do not need an eTA If they have a US permanent residency:

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Azerbaijan
  • Burundi
  • Benin
  • Burking Faso
  • Bangladesh
  • Bahrain
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • Central African Republic
  • China
  • China Macao SAR
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cameroon
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Republic of Congo
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cabo Verde
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Algeria
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Gambia
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Fiji
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Cambodia
  • Kiribati
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Saint Lucia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Lesotho
  • Morocco
  • Moldova
  • Madagascar
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Macedonia
  • Mali
  • Burma
  • Montenegro
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Nicaragua
  • Nepal
  • Nauru
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Palau
  • North Korea
  • Paraguay
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Qatar
  • Kosovo
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Senega
  • Sierra Leone
  • El Salvador
  • Somalia
  • Republic of Serbia
  • South Sudan
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Seychelles
  • Syria
  • Chad
  • Togo
  • Thailand
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • East Timor
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Tuvalu
  • Taiwan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • UN
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Vanuatu
  • Samosa
  • Yemen
  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

List of nationalities that need an eTA (irrespective of US residency)

  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • UAE
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Switzerland
  • Chili
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • China Hong Kong SAR
  • Cayman Island
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • The UK
  • Greece
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Latvia
  • Monaco
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Papua Guinea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Saint Helena
  • Salmon Islands
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Turks and Caicos Island
  • Vatican City State
  • British Virginia Islands

Applying for a Minor  

As per the Canadian law all children under 18 years are considered minors. They cannot apply for an eTA by themselves. Their parents or legal guardians can do it on their behalf. Before starting the application for a dependent minor, the applicant should enter his/her details. However, in the fields where the applicant is asked to enter personal, passport, contact and consent, be sure to submit the details of the minor.  

Who can Apply on Behalf of a Minor?  

  • His/her family members or parents
  • Travel agents
  • Members of approved NGO/ religious groups
  • Officials of College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants
  • Officials of Canadian provincial and territorial law society
  • Officials of Chambre des Notaires du Québec

Other Information asked for Minors

First/Given Name: Give the formal first name as given in the passport. This also includes the middle name if the minor has one.  

Surnames/Last names: The last part of the legal name as given in the passport. It should be the same as the one in the passport. 

Phone Number: Enter the number through which the applicant can be easily reached. Remember, the immigration officer will call an applicant only if it is important or during emergencies. And, nobody wants to miss it. 

Mailing address: This will be the applicants’ permanent residential address. Ensure to enter the address as written on the passport.   

Fax Number: The fax number is the same as the telephone number to which the fax machine is connected. In most cases, an applicant’s fax number and telephone number are the same.  

Email Address: All information regarding the eTA application and the eTA number will be sent to this address. Be sure to provide the correct address and update it as and when it is changed.  

Membership ID if the applicant is a member of Chambre des Notaires du Québec 

Name of the NGO/Religious organization  

Payment information if the applicant is a travel agent/ NGO member  

Passport Details 

Moving forward will be application details for adults. International travelers from visa-free countries need to enter their passport details while applying for the eTA irrespective of the type of their passport.  

Type of passport: Generally, there are four types of passports such as service, official, diplomatic and service. Travelers from certain passports cannot cross its borders without a visa even in case of an emergency: For example, those in possession of alien passports.   

Issuing authority/Country or Code: Passengers must enter the code as given in the passport. In case of discrepancies, their eTA will be denied. Depending on this code, another field may pop up where the applicant is asked to select his/her nationality from a drop-down list of nations. This is to ensure that he/she is a citizen of one of the many visa-free countries. Please note if the applicant has a US permanent resident status, he/she does not need an eTA irrespective of the nationality written on their passport. They just need to show legal documents at the port of entry. For example, citizens of Mauritius, Moldova and Russia.  

Passport number: Enter the number given on the passport information page. Any error here, the eTA will be denied.  

Date of issue of the passport: The information will normally be given on the passport information page. The passport is valid from its issuance date.  

Date of expiry of passport. From this date a passport will be deemed invalid. The general rule is that the passport should be valid for at least six months to apply for a visa or an eTA. If the validity is less than six months, it is advised to apply for a new passport before making the travel plans.   

Personal Details  

Surname/Last name: Legal last name as appeared in the passport or the identity document.  

Given name/first name: Legal first name as appeared in the passport or the identity document.  

Date of Birth: This is a mandatory information that will have the date, month and the year in which the applicant was born. Enter the date printed on the passport. 

Additional nationalities: This is not a mandatory information. This is applicable only for those who have dual citizenship or nationalities. They have to enter details about the additional nationality.  

Details of previous visits: Here, the applicant needs to declare if he/she had applied for or received any visa or eTA in the past to visit, study or work in Canada. Be sincere in the submission to avoid denial of the eTA application.  

Preferred contact language: The applicants have to enter the language in which they are comfortable communicating –both written and verbal.     

Email address: The Canadian immigration communicates only through an email. It is imperative to give a valid and error-free email address. Usually, it takes a few minutes to get the eTA application approved. In case of delays the applicants can check the junk/spam mail. Sometimes spam filters can move the mail to junk.  

Residential address: Be sure to enter the permanent home address and not the temporary one. The applicants need to submit the name/ number of the apartment, street, town, city, district and country. This should reflect the address printed on the passport.   

Travel Information: If the applicants know the date on which they are planning to travel, they should inform the immigration officials. This may prompt them to speed up the processing time. If they do not know the date at the time of applying for the eTA, they can mention that.     

Discalimer: At the end of the eTA application form, the applicant needs to sign a consent that will allow the immigration to share the information in the eTA application, including the biometric details, to various other Canadian authorities and personal information banks.

After Applying  

Once the online application is completed, the applicants will receive the following in their registered email address:   

A confirmation receipt if the application is confirmed and is in process.  

A pending receipt if the application is received and is currently under review.  

Request of additional documents: In this case, the applicants need to submit the requested documents at the earliest. The e-mail will have detailed instructions about how and where to upload them. Sometimes they may ask the applicant to be present for an in-person interview. Note that these additional steps can take a few more days.  

Approval mail: The applicants will receive this mail if their application is approved. This mail will have important information including the passport number, etA number and its date of expiry.   

What is eTA Check Status Tool? 

This tool allows the applicants to check the status of their application. Once the applicants get the etA approval mail, they can use this tool to understand the progress of the application. They need to have the application number and passport details to do so. The application number will be in the approval mail and will start with the letter ‘V’. 

In case the applicants lose their approval mail, they cannot use the tool. Instead, they can login to IRCC’s (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) webform and type in their queries in the electronic travel authorization section. Note that these questions should be case specific.  

What is an eTA Client Service? 

IRCC has several avenues- both online and offline- to help travelers applying for an eTA.   

Online support: The agency has many tools such as an online help center, a dedicated online page on the official website, recorded videos and eTA check status tool to help the applicants.   

Visa application centers: These centers give both in-person and on-the-call help to eTA applicants. They can use the internet or other facilities at the center.    

Call center assistance: The applicants can also make a call to the Canada government’s toll-free number – 1-800-O-Canada if they have a query. IRCC also has a specific call center with employees with expertise in eTA programs to assist the applicants.   

Help in airport: If travelers who are required to have an eTA to visit Canada fail to do so before their flight, airlines can directly approach eTA website and apply for the eTA. If the process cannot be completed before the flight takes off, the applicant cannot fly to Canada.   


At the end of the eTA application form, the applicant needs to sign a consent that will allow the immigration to share the information in the eTA application, including the biometric details, to various other Canadian authorities and personal information banks.

Get set go! 

The country of maple trees is on every traveler’s bucket list. Once the eTA is approved, travelers can make their plans to tour Canada – its adventurous outdoors, vibrant geography, and multi-cultural cuisine.
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