Over the years, the requirements to enter Canada have changed. In the past, all you needed was a valid passport. These days, however, certain people may also have to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA). A Canada eTA is a special type of travel authorization that is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport.
Once the authorization has been granted, it is usually good for up to five years. In some cases, however, it may have to be renewed sooner than that. For instance, if you get approved for an eTA but your passport expires before the five years is up, you will have to resubmit an application for a new eTA after you get your passport replaced.
A Canada eTA is not required for everyone who travels to Canada. For instance, people who are citizens of Canada are not required to obtain this authorization. The same holds true for US citizens. People who are not residents of either of those countries, however, are generally required to apply. That is, of course, unless they have a Canadian visa that is currently valid.
The Canadian government has done an excellent job of making it as easy as possible to apply. They have a wealth of information on their website that you can use to learn more about electronic travel authorizations. They even have a section of their site that you can use to figure out whether you are required to obtain one of these authorizations before you travel to the country.
It is important to note that these authorizations are only required for air travel. If you are traveling by ground, you generally will only need a passport to get into the country. Keep in mind, however, that an eTA is required when you fly through the country even if Canada is not your final destination. For instance, if you are flying to another country but have a layover in Canada, you will still need to apply for an eTA.
Ideally, you should submit your eTA application before you start shopping for plane tickets. That way, if something goes wrong and your application doesn’t get approved, you won’t have wasted your money on airline tickets that you can’t use.
You can learn more about electronic travel authorizations online. The official government website has helpful documentation and videos that can walk you through the process of applying for an eTA.