New entry requirement now in effect
Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.
The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends soon.
Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute.
To travel to Canada most visitors need:
- a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA),
- a valid visitor visa, or
- proper identification such as a passport.
Find out which one you need before you complete an application form.
Dual citizen flying to Canada?
In fall 2016, all air travellers will need to have appropriate documents to enter Canada before they board their flight. This will happen automatically when you check-in for your flight.
If you are:
- a Canadian citizen and a citizen of a visa-exempt country, or
- a Canadian citizen and a citizen of a visa-required country
- make sure to travel with a valid Canadian passport. Your Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted identification document that proves you have the right to enter Canada.
If you do not have a valid Canadian passport, and present a foreign passport or other document during check-in, you may experience delays or be prevented from boarding your flight to Canada.
Apply for an eTA
Before you apply, find out if you need an eTA.
Applying for an eTA is a simple online process that takes just a few minutes. Get answers to your questions about the eTA application process.
To apply you must have a valid passport or accepted travel document, credit card, and email address.
Apply for a visitor visa
Before you apply, find out if you need a visa.
You can apply online or on paper. If you need help, you can contact your nearest visa application centre (VAC).
If you need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph), and you are applying on paper, please do not mail in your application. Submit your application in person. VAC staff will check that your application is complete and will confirm that you have paid the correct fees before you can give your biometrics.
Apply online for a visitor visa
To apply online you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment.
Note: If you provide an email address on your application, please ensure you check it regularly for automated emails from CIC regarding your case. Some spam filters block these emails, and clients are requested to ensure emails from CIC are not blocked. If you are unsure whether emails from CIC are being sent, please check your myCIC account on a regular basis.
Apply on paper for a visitor visa
If you have a valid study or work permit and are planning to leave and return to Canada, you can apply for a new visitor visa before you leave Canada.
1. Get the application package
Your package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download the application package
Read the guide before you fill out the forms. We will not refund your application fee, so make sure you are eligible for a temporary resident (visitor) visa before you apply.
Please note that each individual applicant must submit a completed temporary resident visa application form. Applicants under the age of 18 must have this form signed by a parent or a guardian.
2. Pay your application fees
In most countries, application fees must be paid in Canadian dollars. More information about this and the payment methods available to you can be found by visiting the pay your fees tool.
Please note that if you apply on paper at a VAC, you will have to pay the VAC services fees. These fees are not included in your CIC application fees.
3. Submit your application
Note: Families should send their applications in one package to the location where the principal applicant will be processed (based on their type of application).
4. Check processing time
How long it takes to process your application depends on where you applied. For more information, see application processing times.
Top questions about visiting Canada
- How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
- Do I need a Canadian visa if I have a United States visa?
- What is the difference between a single and a multiple entry visa?
- Why was I issued a single entry visa instead of a multiple entry visa?
- How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?
- I have U.S. residency (Green Card). Do I need a visa to visit Canada or can I use my Green Card?
- See all questions about this topic
Where to send your applicationFind out where you should send your application
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