Travelling to Canada


Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.

However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. During this time, border services officers can let travellers arriving without an eTA into the country, as long as they meet the other requirements to enter Canada. Find answers to your questions about the leniency period.

Canadian Tourism Commission logoIf you are planning to visit Canada, we recommend you start with a visit to the Canadian Tourism Commission website, which will provide you with all the practical information you need to start planning your trip, what you need to know when you land in Canada and how to get around while you are here. It will also provide you with loads of information on places to go, things to see and do and trip ideas. For even more travel ideas, visit the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ channels.

Non-Canadians entering Canada

When you enter Canada, a Canada Border Services Agency officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa, if you need one. If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada, but you should carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification. If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S, you should bring your Permanent Resident Card with you.

The citizens of many countries require a visa to enter Canada, while the citizens of others do not. Find out if you need a visa to enter Canada before you leave your home country. Visas are issued by Canadian government offices abroad. Not all of these offices have visa officers, but those that do not will direct you to the nearest visa office.  Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for certain international travellers who fly to Canada. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

If you are a non-Canadian citizen who would like to immigrate to Canada or to come to Canada as a refugee, or to work, study or visit, see Immigration (non-Canadian citizens).

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