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Electronic Travel Authorization and What it Means for You

Soon all travellers to Canada from visa-exempt countries (except the US) will be required to obtain an electronic travel authorization (eTA) in order to board a Canada-bound aircraft. The eTA will allow officials in Canada to run security checks on passengers before they board the plane as opposed to having the assessment done upon arrival at a Canadian airport. 

See full regulations here.

TIAC has had ongoing conversations with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on easing the transition to the eTA program and stressing the need for proper program design, communication and implementation in order to minimize disruptions to the industry's business cycles. On this front, TIAC successfully lobbied for a delay of enforcement. The government has now announced that voluntary enrollment will begin August 1st, 2015 to give travellers time to learn about the program and sign up. The requirements will officially be enforced March 15th, 2016.

What does this mean for the tourism industry in Canada?

  • New Changes: Visitors from visa-waived countries will need to apply for an eTA before departing on a flight to Canada. This will consist of a short online application, and in most cases approval will be granted within minutes of submission. It will cost $7 and be valid for 5 years.
  • US Visitors: are exempt and will see no changes to their documentation requirements.
  • Transiting Passengers: International passengers under the Transit Without Visa and China Transit Program will be exempt. Other passengers transiting through a Canadian airport to another country - including those from visa-exempt countries - will be required to obtain an eTA.
  • Removal of Visas for Some Key Markets: As announced in the federal budget, Brazil and Mexico will be moved to the eTA program and therefore no longer need visitor visas. (Timing to be determined)

TIAC is currently in contact with the offices of both Ministers Blaney and Alexander to ensure industry is kept informed as this program is implemented.

 

 

Tourism Industry Association of Canada