Applying for the eTA (meaning) is mandatory for all travellers flying to Canada that do not possess a Canadian or American passport, a Canadian visa, and are from one of the visa-exempt countries. The Canada eTA form consists of questions about the traveller, their travel plans and their background. After the eTA form has been filled out, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of the Canadian government will assess whether the eTA will be granted.

Mountains in CanadaView of Lion’s Bay, Canada

Why fill in an eTA form?

The Canada eTA form is a means through which the Canadian government can bar unwanted travellers from entering the country. This concerns travellers of whom it is suspected that they pose a threat to the safety of the Canadian people. All travellers are required to fill in the Canada eTA form before going on a trip to Canada (unless they possess either a Canadian or an American passport, or already acquired a Canada visa). Travellers that did not do this are denied access to the plane during boarding. It is important to check whether your country is part of the visa-exempt countries for Canada. If this is not the case, you are required to file for a Canada visa.

After the Canada eTA form has been filled out, it is checked by an automated computer system. Usually this system makes an assessment on whether the trip can take place on the basis of the provided information. It can occur, however, that the computer system questions the sincerity of the traveller’s intentions. In that case, the form is forwarded to an employee of the department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship of the Canadian government. They will decide whether there is a risk attached to allowing the traveller entry into Canada. In this case, a minor delay can happen (maximum 72 hours). Only after a definitive confirmation of approval for the eTA Canada is given, can the trip to Canada begin.

What is asked in the eTA form?

The eTA Canada form consists of four parts, which are explained further below. It is possible to submit a group application for multiple travellers with a single form. The first part of the form (contact information and date of arrival) will then apply to all travellers in the group. The other three parts of the Canada eTA form (passport data, employer information and background questions) need to be filled out for each individual traveller.

1. Contact information and date of arrival

Firstly, the date of arrival of the traveller or the travel company will be asked for. Take note that the start of the validity period of the eTA (5 years) commences directly after the form has been approved. Should the date of the trip be moved after approval, this is not a problem. No new eTA form needs to be filled in for any future trips to Canada, provided they fall under the validity period of the eTA.

The following questions concern the contact information of the applicant. It is possible to submit an application for someone else, or for multiple travellers at once: in these cases, the contact information only needs to be filled out once, and it concerns the information of the person submitting the application. Check if the e-mail address is filled in correctly: a confirmation of the result of the application will be sent to this address.

Contact information in the eTA Canada formContact information in the eTA Canada form

2. Passport details

The questions which are asked in this part of the eTA form concern the information in the passport. It is important that this information is written down exactly as it says on the passport. For instance, all first names need to be filled out as they are displayed on the passport. The last name is likewise required to fully match the one mentioned on the passport. This includes any potential double last names, even if they are rarely used in practice. If the traveller has a second nationality, this also needs to be filled in. This still applies even if the traveller doe not have the passport of the second nationality (any more).

Passport details in the eTA Canada formPassport details in the eTA Canada form

3. Employer information

If the traveller is under 18 years of age, this part of the eTA form will disappear. For older travellers, it is mandatory to fill in this part of the form. If the traveller does not have an employer, select one of the following options: Housewife/Housefather, Student, Retired, or Unemployed. For students, the educational institution needs to be filled in rather than the employer. Are you self-employed? Fill in the information under which your company is registered in the Chamber of Commerce. Do you have multiple companies or employers? Fill in the information of the company or employer which provides you the largest income.

Employer information in the eTA Canada formEmployer information in the eTA Canada form

Take note: for studying or working with an eTA special rules apply.

4. Background questions

This part of the eTA Canada form is meant to make an assessment regarding the desirability of allowing the travellers entry into Canada with regards to safety and law enforcement. Only if all of the four questions below can be answered with "No", is it possible to apply for an eTA and travel into Canada without a visa. Do you need to answer one or several questions with "Yes"? Then you might still be able to travel to Canada by submitting a visa application at the Canadian embassy. In most cases you will then be invited for a talk at the embassy. There, an assessment will be made of the potential risk you might pose, after which it is decided whether you are still allowed to travel into Canada.

Background questions in the eTA Canada formBackground questions in the eTA Canada form

Where can I find the form?

The eTA form for travelling to Canada can be found on this website. Filling it in only takes about five minutes and costs £19.95 per person. The eTA is granted on average within 18 minutes after the filled-in form has been approved.

Open the application form for the eTA Canada