Visa or eTA Canada

Do I need to apply for a visa or an eTA?

Are you travelling to Canada? Then you need to apply for a visa or an eTA. Which document you need to apply for, the eTA or a Canadian visa, depends on a number of things. In this article you can read which travel authorisation you need to apply for to be allowed to enter Canada with your stated travel purpose.

Maybe you do not need a visa or eTA at all

To decide whether you need to apply for an eTA Canada or a visa, we first check whether you even need to apply for a travel authorisation to go to Canada to begin with. There are a few exceptions to the visa and eTA requirement for Canada.

Canadian passport, American passport, or diplomatic passport

Do you possess a Canadian passport or a diplomatic passport? Then you do not need to apply for anything and you are free to travel to Canada as is. Do you possess an American passport? Then you can also travel to Canada, but the same rules apply to you as they do for travellers with an eTA, such as the maximum length of stay in Canada of 6 months.

Lived in Canada

Have you ever lived in Canada and never officially renounced your status as citizen, permanent resident or landed immigrant? Then other rules might apply in your case, read more about this on the page with the requirements of the eTA.

Arriving by land or water

Finally, how you arrive in Canada also matters. The eTA is meant for travellers that are arriving in Canada by plane. If you are arriving by boat or by land, you will not need to apply for a travel authorisation before departure.

The financial centre of Canada

When to apply for a visa?

In each of the following cases, an eTA does not suffice and you are required to apply for a visa before you can begin your trip:

  • You want to stay in Canada for longer than 6 consecutive months
  • You want to study in Canada
  • You want to work in Canada for a Canadian employer*

* A business trip during which you are employed by a non-Canadian organisation does not fall under this. For a business trip, you only need to apply for an eTA, provided you meet the other requirements of the eTA.

Working for a Canadian employer

If you wish to enter into employment with a Canadian employer, you need to apply for a work permit. This is a work visa in which an eTA is included. This means you do not need to have for a seperate eTA if you have received a work permit from the Canadian government.

Studying in Canada

If you wish to study in Canada, you need to apply for a study permit. This is a student visa in which an eTA is included. This means you do not need to apply for a seperate eTA if you have received a study permit from the Canadian government.

Apply for visa

Does one of the above-mentioned situations apply to you? Then you need to apply for a visa for Canada. There are different types of visa for Canada. Check before applying which variant of the Canada visa applies to your specific travel purpose.

When to apply for an eTA Canada?

Have you read the information above and concluded that applying for a visa is not required? And that you also cannot travel to Canada without a visa or an eTA? Then it is likely that one of the following situations apply to your trip:

  • You are going to Canada on a holiday lasting less than 6 months
  • You are going to Canada on a business trip lasting less than 6 months
  • You are going to Canada to visit friends and/or family for less than 6 months
  • You are flying through Canada to another final destinations, also read transit through Canada

In these four cases you need to apply for an eTA for your trip. You also already need to possess an approved eTA before checking in your luggage for flights to Canada. Likewise, you are only allowed to board your flight if you possess a valid eTA. Are you transferring in Canada and you will not be leaving the airport during the stopover period? Even then, an eTA is still mandatory.

eTA Canada application

Does the information above indicate that you need to apply for an eTA Canada for your trip? Then you can submit your eTA application by clicking on the button below. You will then be forwarded to the application page of the eTA Canada.