Beware eTA Assistance Providers – they aren’t required.
For many Visa-exempt foreign nationals, traveling to or transiting through Canada by air means having to apply (before actually travelling) for and receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). In August of 2015, the Canadian government softly launched this travel mandate and, by March of 2016, it became a condition of entry to Canada. In effect, the eTA serves as an online, pre-screening of foreign travelers who enter Canada – its intention is to reduce the risk of entry of a small population who could pose a potential security risk, who would seek to remain in Canada for longer than they are legally allowed, and who may have other adverse motives. For the majority though, this is a simple administrative step, prior to planning travel to Canada.
As this process is completed entirely online, All Points Relocation Services Canada has observed websites which are in no way affiliated with the Canadian Government, which promote their services to apply for an eTA, on behalf of a traveler. We won’t provide examples of these online providers, at the risk of perpetuating their supposed support; however, it is important to note, that every bit of information shared with these service providers is what an applicant would (could and should) otherwise directly, and securely, enter into the Canadian government’s website easily on their own.
To enter this information (i.e. name, date of birth, passport number, credit card details, etc 😉 into a 3rd party’s system, which they then relay to the proper government website, could unnecessarily risk compromising the applicant’s personal data.
To complete the eTA process directly at the Canadian government’s website costs an applicant just $7CAD; in All Points Relocation Services Canada’s experience, we have seen these eTA service websites charge applicants $29-56USD, and there have been reported fees of up to $120CAD! When initiating immigration support services, through All Points Relocation Services Canada, we make reference to the eTA application, via the Canadian Government’s website, very early on in the process. Please ensure that you, and your clients, exercise appropriate caution, when providing personal information to purported online resources. They are not necessary and could cost assignees unnecessary amounts of money.