NEW eTA requirement (visitor visa)

Foreign students in Canada will require new travel authorization.

“The Canadian government’s new electronic travel authorization — called an eTA — becomes mandatory for thousands of foreign students, faculty, researchers and visitors to Canada from visa-exempt countries in mid-March 2016. But the federal government would like travelers to apply for the inexpensive documentation ahead of time, and is getting the word out to universities and other groups that will be affected by the new rule.

The new requirement  puts Canada in step with the United States and several other countries that have similar programs designed to screen for security threats.

U.S. passport holders will be exempt from the new requirement, but everyone else who is accustomed to travelling to Canada without a visa must have an eTA or they will be denied entry: airlines will not allow them to board their flights. This includes citizens from most of Europe, including the United Kingdom, and from many Caribbean countries, Australia, and New Zealand. (It’s easy to check whether an eTA is needed by going to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.)

Immigration authorities are urging people to beat the last-minute rush by applying online now. An eTA costs $7 and is valid for five years.”

“This change applies to all non-visa students (except those with US passports). Students can be surprised by this change when going off to conferences or back home for vacation.” Dr. Mike Thompson, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies, Engineering)

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