IMG_20160417_203343Now that the 2016 Labour Day long weekend has come and gone, it is timely for persons intending to fly to Canada who are from visa-exempt countries to determine if they will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and, if so, to obtain one.

Up until now, the Canadian government has been allowing such foreign nationals to fly into Canada during a “leniency period”. This has enabled many Irish, French and UK nationals, for example, to delay obtaining their eTA.

However, starting September 30th, 2016, airlines will be required to comply with the new rules. This means an eTA will be obligatory for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries to fly into or transit through Canada, unless such persons qualify under an exemption.

Are you exempt? Here are some examples of exemptions: a person is also a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada; a person has American citizenship; a person’s flight is stopping in Canada solely for refuelling and that person is in possession of a lawful admission document for the USA; a person’s plane lands in Canada for emergency reasons; and a few other cases.

An eTA is valid for five years, or until the expiry date of the individual’s passport, whichever comes first. The fee is only $ 7.00 per person. Most eTA applications can be approved in less than an hour, though some applications can take several days to process. Apply in time to avoid disrupting your flight to Canada.

As with any important application relating to Canadian immigration and citizenship, it is always wise to consult with a licensed professional such as the present author who routinely handles such matters before submitting your application to the authorities. We at Fogarty Law Firm are ready to assist you for your Canadian immigration and citizenship applications. Get started today.