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Electronic Travel Authorization – Leniency Period until Fall 2016

Are you planning a trip to Canada? If so, keep reading to make sure your visit goes as smoothly as possible. Being prepared is important.

If you are travelling by air, you may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before you board your flight to Canada, even if you are just transiting through the country. Exceptions include American citizens and visitors with a valid visa.

In order to assist travellers with the new requirement, the Government of Canada has provided a transition period. Until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA will be allowed to board their flight as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.

Nevertheless, applying for an eTA as soon as possible is strongly encouraged and may avoid delays in processing. It is important to note that entry to Canada without an eTA during the transition period is at the discretion of the border services officer.

An application for a work or study permit will be deemed to constitute an application for eTA; however, foreign nationals already in Canada on work or study permits issued before August 1, 2015, will need to apply for an eTA if they plan to leave Canada and return by air.

The eTA will be valid for five years from the day of issuance or until the expiration of the applicant’s passport/travel document. It is worth noting that the Government of Canada has the discretion to cancel an eTA based on inadmissibility factors and public policy considerations.

A cautionary note
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.


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