The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued a reminder to Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) of the United States regarding new guidance for travelling to Canada by air.  The Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) is a new Canadian entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air, which went into effect on March 15, 2016. Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have secured eTA first. Exceptions to this requirement include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa (see full list of exemptions).  LPRs of the United States need an eTA before boarding a flight to Canada as of March 15, 2016.

Until September 29, 2016, travelers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.  The Border Services officers can admit travelers without an eTA into the country, but they will remind travelers of the new requirement.

LPRs travelling to Canada should apply for an eTA, which costs $7 Canadian.  In most cases, an eTA is granted within minutes of applying.  The eTA is linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.  The eTA is valid for each entry during this time and travelers must enter Canada using the same passport that was used when applying for the eTA.

For LPRs enrolled into the NEXUS program, the passport used to apply for the eTA will need to be the same passport used when the LPR enrolled into the NEXUS program.  Otherwise, the LPR cannot continue to use the expedited service through the NEXUS self-serve kiosks.  If you were issued a new passport since you joined NEXUS or used another document to apply, you must visit a NEXUS Enrolment Centre and have the passport that is linked to the eTA also linked to the NEXUS membership.