New ETA Requirement for Visa-Exempt Travellers

UPDATE: The government has announced a "Leniency Period" until Fall 2016 where travellers can still enter Canada without a ETA.  See here for more details.

On March 15, most nationals from countries that are visa-exempt (except for Americans) will be required to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to flying into Canada.

Here are some of the key points to note:  

  • If you want to fly into Canada after March 15, 2016 and are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, American, or hold a visa of temporary resident permit, you will likely need an ETA or visa.
  • If you want to enter Canada by land or sea, you will not need an ETA.
  • ETAs are normally issued for up to 5 years and are attached to your passport.  If you've had to renew your passport, you will need to apply for another ETA.
  • Work permits and study permits issued by the visa post and at the border after July 31, 2015 may already have ETAs attached to them.
  • If you hold a study permit, work permit, or visitor record and you do not have an ETA, you will have to apply for an ETA if you want to travel outside of Canada or the United States.  If you travel to the United States only and you return to Canada before your status ends, you do not have to apply for an ETA.

To find out more information about these changes, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at



Long Mangalji LLP