Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Now In Effect

By James Metcalfe | November 14, 2016

James Metcalfe - Director of ImmigrationJim Metcalfe – Pace Immigration: Starting November 10, 2016, persons who were exempt from obtaining a Canadian visitor’s visa began having to obtain an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before embarking by air to Canada.

The eTA is nothing more than an electronic visa for which you pay a fee and complete an online form prior to boarding an aircraft. Persons who are travelling on Canadian passports are exempt from this requirement, as are US citizens traveling with US passports. But note: US green card holders do require an eTA.

Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) Now In Effect

The problem with this process that it is very easy to make a mistake in completing the electronic form and being found inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.

Example. Let’s say:

  • you previously applied for permanent residence in Canada and your visa was denied, or
  • you previously applied for a US visa and your visa was denied

Now, if you indicate that you have never been denied a visa to enter either Canada or the United States, your electronic Travel Authorization will be denied by Canadian authorities. Why, you ask? Because you will be considered to have made a misrepresentation under the Canadian Immigration Act. Bam. eTA denied.

This misrepresentation of a material fact will have you banned from entering Canada for five years.

The best advice I can offer people who require an eTA is to do it yourself online. If you use a travel agent to obtain one, make sure that all of the questions are answered correctly. Familiarize yourself with the form and its questions. If there are immigration issues in your past, make sure that they are reflected on the application form. Learn more about the eTA process here.