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Requirements for an ETA Canada

There are a few requirements for requesting an ETA for Canada. For example, your passport will be subject to certain restrictions and the only destinations available under this program are those related to tourism, business and studies.

Reason for going to Canada

The ETA Canadian program requires that the primary reason for your trip meet one or several of the following criteria:

  • You are on a leisure trip, whether it is a vacation or just a visit to see your family or your friends.
  • You are traveling for business purposes, such as attending a meeting, conference or trade show.
  • You are enrolled in an educational program.
  • You are enrolled in a study program for a maximum of 6 months.

Taking courses at a Canadian institution

If you are studying for a period shorter than 6 months, you will not be required to obtain a visa: you may request an ETA. If you want to remain in Canada to study for longer than 6 months, or if you want to work while studying, you will need to obtain a student visa.

Business travel with a Canada Visa

If you want to visit Canada for business, the ETA visa is ideal for your trip. It will allow you to visit clients or even suppliers in their home country. It also enables you to attend trade shows and conferences. These events must be related to the type of work that would be required during the visit.

Nationality and Passport

The same passport that is used to apply is always associated with your Canadian visa or ETA. When traveling, you must carry this exact same passport. The passport has to be valid for the duration of the visit to Canada. Should your passport become invalid, you must first obtain a replacement passport and then reapply for an ETA using that passport.

Nationalities eligible for an ETA Canada

Your passport contains information about your nationality. Only if you are not required to obtain a visa to enter Canada can you apply for an ETA. As an example, people from Scotland or Germany do not require a visa, but they do require an ETA.

The same applies to tourists who are citizens of Australia, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, and any other listed country, including any EU member state.

Travelers must not pose a security threat.

The AEO was created by the Canadian Immigration Service to deter undesirable and dangerous people. In effect, these are travelers who can pose a threat to national security, law enforcement or public health. Sections thirty-three through forty-three of the immigration law include a full explanation of the requirements for undesirable persons (AEO). The main criteria are as follows:

  • You must comply with all coronavirus control measures while in Canada, including, ideally, full immunization.
  • You are unlikely to place unreasonable pressure on Canada's health care and safety systems.
  • You are unlikely to have an unexpected physical or mental disability.
  • You have no history of unusual or violent behaviour.
  • You do not have syphilis or tuberculosis and have not had intimate contact with an infected person.
  • You have not violated any Canadian or other country's travel or visa regulations.
  • You have never been involved in espionage, terrorism, coups d'état, war crimes or any kind of illegal activity related to human trafficking, and you are not a member of a group engaged in any of these activities.
  • You do not have a criminal record, have never been tried for a felony, nor have you ever committed an offense such as dangerous driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, theft, assault, identity theft, drug trafficking, or unlawful possession of narcotics or other forbidden substances.
  • Additionnaly to yourself, each member of your family meets the conditions of the previous ETA.

If you previously resided in Canada

If you have already had the opportunity to live in Canada, you can still be recognized as a resident or citizen. Therefore, an ETA Canada application is not available to you. Nevertheless, you can use the following options. To avoid any uncomfortable situation, it is advisable to verify before your trip whether you have citizenship or residency. If not, you must obtain new travel documents.

Are you in compliance with the ETA Canada requirements?

If you cannot obtain an ETA because of non-compliance, you will need to request a visa. The visa application process is more costly, demanding and time consuming than for an ETA.

Invitation letter

Are you coming to Canada to find a business partner? In this case, you must provide a letter of invitation from the business partner and a documented confirmation from your company. This way, it is easy to establish that the purpose of your trip meets the AVE standards. Check with the business partner to see if they will be available to speak with you once you enter Canada. This allows for verification by CBSA that things are in order afterwards.

Canadian Border Control

During passport control upon arrival, a small percentage of people who arrive at the Canadian border are not allowed to enter Canada.