ETA – a new system to get legal entry into Canada

Canada has unparalleled scenic beauty. Vast lakes, mountains, and glaciers make it a top tourist destination. It also boasts of clean and green cities that look alluring. Canada is one of the most livable countries of the world and hence people from all over the world come to visit it. Around 15 million people visit it annually. There are a lot of foreign students also who stay in Canada for higher studies. This entire means the Canada government has to issue visas carefully and check them regularly to stop unauthorized and risky people from entering the country.

ETA to enter Canada – a new system in place

Like other countries, Canada also has a visa system through which it allows nationals from other countries to enter it. However, keeping in view the increasing cases of untoward incidents, the Canadian government has introduced a new system, Electronic Travel Authorization or ETA for all temporary travelers visiting Canada or transiting through it to enter the USA. From 2016 September, the ETA has been made mandatory.

Ever since ETA has been introduced, a lot of confusion has arisen regarding who should apply for ETA. Let us try to address these issues so that you can plan your visit to Canada without any hassle.

Basic things you should know about ETA

Do you know ESTA? It is Electronic System for Travel Authorization which allows travelers from VWP countries to enter the USA. ESTA is to control the entry of unauthorized persons from countries that do not require any visa to travel to the USA. To make things simple, ETA is same as ESTA. It is the Canada version of ESTA. People who want to travel to Canada or the USA through Canada must check the procedure of ESTA Canada.

Under ETA, all persons are required to apply for ETA except people with valid Canadian visa and USA citizens. Even for transiting through Canada by air requires ETA.

The ETA aims to make traveling to Canada stress-free for people who do not require visas to enter it. It is a short online form that needs to be filled up before visiting Canada. The form includes personal questions like medical conditions and criminal records. The fee is nominal and the system fast. Thus, most people do not find any difficulty in filling it. It is advisable to check with official sites for correct information.

Tourists or people visiting for a short period should apply for ETA on time to avoid any last minute hassle. ETA is valid for five years and within that time the applicant can visit Canada multiple times.

Citizens of the USA and temporary visa holders of Canada are not required to fill ETA. It must be remembered that students who are coming for studies or people who visit Canada with work permit do not get automatic ETA. Most people have the notion that the work permit comes with ETA but it is not. ETA has to be applied separately.

With the introduction of ETA, the Canadian government has taken a positive step towards bolstering the security of the country and at the same time made the process of applying for legal entry into the country fast, easy, and simple.

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