eTAs Leniancy Until “Fall 2016” – March 2016 Update

IRCC has quietly announced on their website that eTAs will not become mandatory until “fall 2016.” Until that time, travellers from visa exempt countries who do not have an eTA will be permitted to board their flights. This will also allow PRs who are awaiting their PR card renewals to be able to continue to travel into Canada without a valid PR card at CBSA’s discretion. PRs without a valid PR Card are strongly encouraged to bring proof that they submitted a PR card renewal application to IRCC as well as a copy of the current PR card processing times.

Owing to the continued technical glitches with the eTA system, foreign nationals are strongly encouraged to apply for an eTA well in advance of intended travel and before the system becomes mandatory. eTAs are good for 5 years or until the Applicant’s passport expires.

eTA applicants should be aware that the questions listed as “Background Questions” on the online eTA application are questions as to the applicant’s admissibility to Canada. Applicants are encouraged to speak with an immigration lawyer to clarify their answers before providing any affirmative answers on this part of the application as it could have serious long-term immigration consequences.

It should be noted that if a foreign national has multiple passports, they will require an eTA for each passport used for entry to Canada.

More information on eTAs can be found on our blog: Electronic Travel Authorizations And The Coming Headache For Permanent Residents