News report | | 25/04/2018 | ±4 minutes reading time

Large groups of travellers headed to Canada regularly forget to apply for an eTA Canada beforehand. For years, it has been possible to fly to Canada without a visa if you possess a British passport.

Travellers instead require an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to travel to the country. This authorisation needs to be applied for in advance. This can be done on the site of

First eTA Canada application, then travel

It’s important to apply for an eTA Canada, before leaving for the airport. eTA stands for ‘electronic Travel Authorization” and is an electronic permit with which the Canadian government grants the traveller permission to travel to Canada. However, this does not guarantee actual entry to Canada.

This digital authorisation has been available online for several years now. Applying for an eTA Canada only takes five minutes. It’s possible to apply for an eTA for multiple people at once, in a single application. The price per person remains the same, however. An eTA cost £19.95 per person. Paying can be easily done with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal.

SchipholSchiphol, a popular layover airport for trips to Canada

eTA Canada mandatory

Multiple studies have shown that large groups of travellers still travel to the airports, intent to travel to Canada. The electronic travel authorisation is mandatory for all British travellers. This means that it doesn’t matter whether you are travelling for tourism or for business. You need an eTA regardless of the travel purpose.

Underage children are also required to possess their own passport and electronic authorisation. They cannot be included in the application of their parents, but require their own eTA Canada.

Travelling without eTA Canada

Travelling without an eTA Canada is impossible. Make sure that the application for the electronic authorisation is printed. A good tip is keeping the eTA Canada between the passport, as you need to present both your passport and the eTA.

In theory, the eTA is valid for five years after approval. If the passport expires earlier, the validity of the eTA expires along with it. The eTA can be used to enter and leave Canada an unlimited number of times. Each stay can last a maximum of six months. The passport needs to be valid for at least one more day after the travellers has left Canada.

It’s important to meet all of these requirements. You will be checked for a valid eTA and passport with sufficient duration at the airport. Without an eTA, you won’t be allowed to board the plane. This is because the Canadian government forbids airlines from taking along travellers that don’t have a valid eTA. Should they do so, they will risk hefty fines.

Forgot to arrange an eTA Canada?

If you forgot to arrange an eTA Canada and only find out at the airport, in the worst case you won’t be allowed on the plane. It’s important to arrange an electronic authorisation as quickly as possible. No eTA means no travelling to Canada.

That’s why you should apply for an eTA on time. It’s best to do this at least four weeks before departure. This electronic authorisation is generally issued within a few workdays. It might occur that the Canadian government needs more time to screen the visitor. This might be the case if they have any prior convictions listed. In most cases, you will then be denied access to Canada, and no eTA Canada will be issued.

Urgent eTA application

Forgot to apply for the eTA Canada, and your flight leaves in a few days? Then it’s possible to submit an urgent application. In those cases, the traveller pays an extra fee. The eTA Canada will then be issued in 18 minutes on average. However, because the Canadian government has to process all the information by hand, it might happen that the urgent application arrives too late.

When filling in the eTA form make sure that all the information on the passport is written down correctly. If you make a mistake writing down the information, this lead to the eTA being declared invalid. Make sure that the application is run through correctly. Apply on time to save yourself trouble.

Take note: this news article about the eTA for Canada is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the eTA for Canada.