Without a Canada ETA, you’ll need to rethink any plans you might have about visiting this country next year. That’s because, after March 15th, 2016, you can’t enter without your authorization.
Introducing the Canada ETA
The Canada ETA is part of the government’s revision of their visa policy. As you’d expect, then, this means you can’t enter the country if you don’t have one. Obviously, Canadian citizens are an exception. The same also goes for citizens of the United States as well.
Prior to the new legislation that requires an ETA Canada, people from the US, Australia, Europe and Chile could actually travel here without needing a visa. However, that will change next year (unless you’re from the US).
Acquiring the authorization
Although the legislation regarding the document was passed back in 2013, the application process for these new visas only opened in August of 2015.
However, now that it’s up and running, you can apply for it today if you like. You can even do it online. All it takes is Internet access, a valid passport and $7 CAD.
You can make that payment with a MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Pre-paid versions of those major credit cards can be used as well.
So even though an ETA Canada is required to cross into the country, the government there has done a very good job of making it as easy as possible for anyone to acquire this vital visa.
Obviously, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration will also need some biographical details about yourself before they can issue you an authorization. Still, most people have reported that it only took them a few minutes to get through the entire process.
When you actually receive your document is another story, though. As the process has only been open since August, there is no standard time yet reported. It would be wise to expect it to take a few weeks before your document shows up, but err on the side of being careful if you have a trip coming up.
Once March 15th gets here, you’ll be denied access without an ETA Canada, even if you’ve traveled there before. However, once you have one, it will be valid for five years.
So be sure to begin applying for your authorization today. This way, if you have an urgent reason to travel there, you won’t have an unnecessary hurdle in your way.