Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Canada announces new entry requirements for nationals of visa-exempt countries

Passport StampONTARIO, Canada – From March next year, Caribbean nationals who don’t need a visa to get into Canada will face new entry requirements.

 They will have to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before entering that North American country by air, effective March 15, 2016, under revised requirements for all visitors from visa-exempt countries.

The application, which carries a fee of CDN$7 (US$12) and must be submitted online, will be available from August 1, 2015.

The Canadian government said the move was due to its “limited capacity to identify and screen foreign nationals who do not require a temporary resident visa to travel to Canada.”

It is similar to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) or Australian Electronic Travel Authority (eTA).

People passing through Canada in transit will also be required to have an eTA prior to travelling.

Only holders of diplomatic and official passports who are accredited to Canada, and students with the relevant student visa will be exempted.

Applications for a work or study permit would constitute aneTA application and a separate application would therefore not be required.

The Canadian government said the vast majority of eTA applications will be auto-granted by an electronic system, and will be valid for five years, or until the traveller’s passport expires or whichever comes first.

It made it clear that visitors who arrive with an eTA will still have be interviewed by Canada Border Service Agency officials, who will determine final eligibility for entry to the country.

Nationals of visa-exempt countries seeking further information on the new requirements may visit Canada Gazette’s website at

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