When your electronic travel authorization is refused (ETA refused)


By September 29 2016, the leniency period where visa-exempt foreign nationals can fly into Canada without an Electronic Travel Authorization would be over. After this period every foreign nationals that do not need a Temporary Resident Visa to enter into Canada would need to show their ETA before being allowed to fly into the country.

The process of applying for ETA Canada has been made so simple that all you need is a strong Internet connection, your passport and a valid credit card to complete payment of $7 CAD. Upon downloading the form, you would be asked for basic details like name, address, date of birth, nationality, passport number and issue/expiry date, city of birth, gender and signature.

After successfully completion and submission of form, it may take few minutes to confirm your registration. Some times, it may take a little longer and in such cases you would be asked to wait for an Email confirming your registration. There are however special cases in which your request may be refused and you would be unable to get an ETA.


One major reason for the denial of ETA by a visa exempt foreign national according to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is if the applicant has been convicted of any crime in the past. In such a case, the applicant is termed “criminally inadmissible “. Other reasons for refusal as stated by the Canada Immigration Law includes

  • If the applicant poses as a security threat by belonging to an organized crime unit, instigating espionage and engaging in terrorism.
  • If the applicant has a case for driving under influence (DUI)
  • If the applicant has a crucial health or financial issue.


When refused an eTA, one can only re-apply again when there’s a change in situation. That is to say, those refused eTA based on being criminally inadmissible can re-apply once they have been deemed rehabilitated. This can only happen when sufficient time has passed since the conviction of the applicant.

After being deemed rehabilitated, a foreign national who was refused an eTA would proceed to to fill out a criminal rehabilitation form and drop it off at any visa office in Canada after paying a processing fee.

A temporary resident permit can be issued by an immigration office to a foreign national who was ruled out as criminally inadmissible once he or she has a sound reason to travel and has been deemed rehabilitated.

Another action to take after ones eTA application has been refused would be to seek judicial review from the Federal Court of Canada through an immigration lawyer.

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