The eTA is a new Citizenship and Immigration Canada entry requirement. Starting on March 15, 2016 citizens of all visa-exempt countries (excluding the United States) will require an eTA before boarding a plane to Canada. Application for an eTA is now available online.
International students from visa-exempt countries who get their study permit on or after August 1, 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their study permit. However, students who obtained a study permit before August 1, 2015 MUST apply for an eTA if they plan to leave and re-enter Canada by air in the future. U.S. nationals and residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon are exempt from the eTA requirements1. Please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website for further information on exemptions.
The eTA requirement will also affect students from the visa-exempt countries who are planning to study in Canada without a study permit, as well as visiting family members or friends. Work permit holders from visa-exempt countries will also require an eTA. Accompanying dependents of international students from visa exempt countries, or visiting friends and family from visa exempt countries will also require an eTA.
You should apply for your eTA several days in advance. Although the application procedure is simple and processing time is usually quick, in rare cases there could be a delay of up to 72 hours or longer before issuance2. The cost for the eTA application is $7 CAD and the application is made online. An eTA is a paperless identification code that is connected electronically to your passport. The eTA will be valid for five years or until the expiry of your passport, whichever comes first3.
More information about Canada's new eTA requirement is available at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website.