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Canada eTA Leniency Period Draws To A Close

September 9, 2016 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

As of September 30, 2016 citizens of Australia and New Zealand will no longer be able to board their flight to Canada without an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

On March 15, 2016, Canada introduced a new entry requirement, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. An eTA allows the Government of Canada to check that travellers are admissible to enter Canada before they travel.

A six-month leniency period was put in place so that travellers caught unaware of the eTA requirement could still board their flight to Canada. This leniency period ends on September 29, 2016.

Although an eTA is a new step for travellers, applying for one is a simple online process that costs CAN$7. In most cases, an eTA is granted within minutes of applying.

Some applications can take several days to process, so travellers are advised to apply as soon as they start planning their trip. Find out if you need an eTA and apply before booking a flight to Canada.

Dual citizens: Have your Canadian passport ready

Starting September 30, 2016, Canadian citizens—including dual citizens (e.g. an Australian and Canadian citizen; or a New Zealand and Canadian citizen) —will need to show proof they are Canadian to board a flight to Canada.

A valid Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted travel identification document for international travel that proves you are a citizen and have the right to enter Canada. If you present other documents, you may not be able to board your flight. If this happens to you, there are no quick fixes to help get you on your flight. To ensure travelling to Canada remains easy and stress free, travel with a valid Canadian passport!

American-Canadian citizens do not need a Canadian passport or an eTA to enter Canada but they must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

This change is part of a broader Government of Canada initiative aimed at ensuring that all Canada-bound passengers have appropriate documents to enter the country before they board their flight.

Be aware of non-official eTA websites

Travellers who need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada are advised to use only the official Government of Canada website,, and to be cautious of other websites that are charging more than CAN$7 to submit eTA applications.

A number of companies have established websites that charge additional fees to provide information and submit eTA applications on behalf of travellers. These companies are not operating on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Associated links

Visit our website to learn more about the new eTA requirement.

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