ETA Visa - Electronic Travel Authorization for Canada

ETA Applications to Be Made Compulsory Prior to Travel to Canada

Canada is looking to implement the Electronic Travel Authorisation or ETA sometime in 2015. This after Canada signs a joint agreement with the United States to improve monitoring of border security and sharing of visa and immigration information between the two countries.

What is an ETA?

The ETA is a travel document which confirms an individualís eligibility to travel to Canada. While similar to the usual visit visa, the ETAthough has a basic difference in that it can be readilyapplied for online once the system gets fully implemented come 2015.

How do I file an ETA application?

This new travel verification system is currently in the planning phase but one thing is for certain, and that is, practically the entire ETA applications process will be done online. An individual considering travelling to Canada will simply need to submit biographic information such as oneís name and date of birth as well as biometric details like oneís fingerprints to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website to start the ETA applications process. Within a matter of minutes, if cleared, then the authorisation will be released via the website. The traveller will simply need to print out a copy of this ETA and submit it along with other required documents before boarding for Canada. For special circumstances though, an immigrations official may need to review the travellerís information personally.

Who will be affected by the implementation of the ETA applications process?

Folks who are duly registered and deemed upstanding citizens of visa-exempt countries are the only ones who will need to file ETA applications. This means foreign nationals who are nativesof select European nations, as well as folks who hail from Australia and New Zealand, will need to obtain their respective ETAdocuments before they can be allowed travel to Canada once this online travel verification system rolls out in 2015.For foreign nationals from countries not visa-exempt, thereis no need tofile ETA applications as a completely separate vetting process is set in place for them.

What are the benefits of the ETA?

The ETA system will essentially weed out undesirable and inadmissible travellers from the eligible ones long before they even commence their travel to Canada.Because detecting ineligible parties will be done timely through the ETA system, then persons with standing criminal records orindividuals included in no-fly lists can be prevented entry into the country. This then will result in an expedient screening and subsequent travel for individuals who are qualified to visit and stay in Canada.

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