Canada Introduces New Travel Requirement for Visitors

Canadian visitor visa

The Government of Canada has introduced a new mandatory travel requirement for the majority of persons arriving in Canada by air.

Applications are open now and beginning on March 15, 2016, visitors to Canada arriving by air (including those merely traveling through) will be required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from the Government of Canada. Failure to have an approved eTA will result in being denied entry at the border.

The Government is clear that “most travelers” entering Canada will need an eTA but the inclusion of all European Union and Commonwealth Nations may be a shock to some. In fact, the only exceptions appear to be for United States citizens (who will continue to require the same documents as before) and those travelers who require a visa to enter the country.

Canada Travel Fees

A service fee of $7 CAD will be charged at the time of application (making access to a credit card a de-facto requirement for travel to Canada) and the approved eTA will be valid for 5 years or until the expiry of the traveler’s visa, whichever comes first.

The Electronic Travel Authorization is designed to replace the practice of on-the-spot assessment by Canadian Border Services agents at the moment of a visitors arrival in Canada, streamlining the entry process at airports as well as bringing Canadian travel security measures more in-line with those of the United States.

Previous Arrests or Convictions

Along with detailed passport information, travelers can expect to be asked whether they have ever been arrested for any reason in any country, if they have ever been denied entry or asked to leave any country and if they are receiving regular, ongoing medical treatment for any mental or physical condition. Failure to provide details may result in slower processing, the Government warns.

Head to the Government of Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization page to find out more about the program or click here to determine if your country is on the list of those required to have an eTA in the near future. Most will be and so our advice is to apply early and avoid any interruptions to your next trip to or through Canada.

Get Expert Guidance with Your Application

Knowing the difference between the two types of visa applications is the first step to a successful application. Contacting experienced legal representatives from firms such as VisaPlace helps to ensure that, as an American might say, you have all of your bases covered.

To get started, simply fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

6 thoughts on “Canada Introduces New Travel Requirement for Visitors


    Hi Do you have any minimum fund requirement for a visitor to canada who will be staying in relatives or sponsor house literally no expense for her or him.

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Shahul. The reviewing immigration officer will look to see that you can sustain yourself for the duration of your stay in Canada. Your specific situation should be taken into account, however the officer has the sole discretion to determine if they feel that you can sustain yourself.
      Regards, Muga

  2. Neetu

    hello sir
    i am neetu from india as i hav enquired earlier i have a new enquiry now. my husband has applied for my sponsorship to cic a week ago. i havent got my application no. yet. now i had applied for conference in canada and has recieved an invitation for the same from the conference representatives. i have to apply for the visa to attend the conference in august.i am in a difficult situation now as i havent got application no. for my application of sponsorship and at the same time have to apply for the confernce. what should i do, really confused.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Neetu. The rules of immigration can sometimes be confusing when it comes to the overlapping of visa applications. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you so that you can attend the conference and not jeopardise your spousal sponsorship. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  3. binu

    Hello Sir

    My wife is studying in Montreal, Canada and is residing with students visa. She is been in Canada for more than a year. Its almost been more than 1 year we have met. I tried applying for visit visa but the Canadain high commission did not accept my plea or request. I was refused two times. The reason for denying me does justify. The points they states are

    travel history
    family ties in canada
    length of proposed stay in canada
    personal assest and financial status

    But to counter these points I have propvided my saving account with more than CAD 20,000.00 my latest three months salary slips, wife’s study permit (new and old), wifes and my passport copies, our marriage certificate, her visa copies, no objection letter from the current employer, invitation letter from my wife notarized from legal authorities in montreal (attested), request letter to the consulate from my end.

    My proposed length time for my stay was only for 3 weeks after the issuing the visa. My letter also clearly indicated that I would resume my job after the third week.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thank you for writing to us Binu. It is very frustrating to receive a denial. A visitor visa is one of the most difficult to obtain because the reviewing officer needs to make 100% certain that you will return home after your visit. We successfully handle hundreds of visitor visas every month. We have been practicing Canadian immigration law for over 18 years. I am going to recommend that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe


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