Starting in March 2016, Canada will require individuals who may visit Canada without a visa to first obtain approval from its electronic travel authorization system (eTA). Visitors to the United States will recognize eTA as similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which is used by the United States to pre-screen its visa-exempt visitors. Applicants will be able to use the eTA system starting Aug. 1, 2015.
The eTA will only be required for visa-exempt individuals seeking to travel to Canada by air for a short-term visit. Applicants must pay a CAD $7.00 processing fee and the resulting electronic travel authorization will be valid for five years or until the applicant’s passport expires, the eTA is cancelled, or a new eTA is issued. The eTA will include the applicant’s name, date, place of birth, gender, address, nationality, and passport information.
Notably, U.S. citizens are exempt from the eTA requirement, as are individuals who already have a Canadian visitor visa in their passport.