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Answers to your questions about Canada’s new eTA.

Just two weeks ago, All Points prepared a relo-lert about eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for Canada. You asked some good questions, so this is a follow-up relo-lert clarifying different aspects of eTA.


Does passport expiration affect an eTA’s expiry date?


Yes. An eTA is valid for five years, however, as it is linked to your passport, if your passport validity is less than 5 years at the time of application, your eTA will also expire when your passport does. You will need to apply for a new eTA when you obtain a new passport.


I have a foreign national in Canada already. Does she need an eTA if she wants to travel outside of Canada and return?


Not necessarily. Your temporary foreign workers from eTA-required countries do not require an eTA IF they received their status document after August 1, 2015. So, if your assignee came into Canada between August 1, 2015 and March 14, 2016, then their eTA was automatically issued. If your assignee came into Canada before August 1, 2015, then they must apply for an eTA.


If this is an easy on-line application that takes a few minutes why should we be concerned?


Simply because not all cases will necessarily be processed in those few minutes. Glitches can happen or certain cases may be subject to further review. All Points wants its clients and customers to get used to applying for eTA on-line well before their flight. For those applications that are not processed in minutes, there is supposed to be a standard 72 hour response. However, this is a new practice, and we should prepare for problems to happen. We recommend that those that know they are coming to Canada from an eTA-required country should apply well before their flight to Canada.


If a foreign national is in Canada with an eTA, do they have any ongoing responsibilities?


– If they have arrived between August 1, 2015 and March 14, 2016, they should check their status with CIC. These individuals will not likely know their eTA number. They may check the status of their eTA online or may phone CIC to obtain their eTA number and its status.

–   Global assignees and transfers to Canada should carefully record and keep track of their eTA approval and its expiry date tracked carefully, so that future travel is not negatively impacted. Your assignee will need to present the passport used to apply for their eTA to airline staff each time they board a flight to Canada.

– Communication about the status/approval of your eTA will be provided by email. If you change your email address after you apply for an eTA, you must update your address online.

– In future cases, we are also concerned that an assignee may have applied for an eTA well before their assignment to Canada. As the eTA will no longer be a task that is associated with the assignment, tracking its expiry will not be intuitive and could cause business or personal travel problems down the road. HR’s should therefore become used to asking about a person’s eTA as a standard protocol for immigration purposes.

Posted on March 8, 2016 in Relolert

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