You need to know that about Canada’s entry system
Since March 2016, Canadian travelers have been able to take part in the ETA (short for electronic travel authorization in German, for example: electronic entry permit) to apply for your entry permit for Canada. Obtaining an entry permit is the PRINCIPLE for entry into Canada. If you do not enjoy any special rules (see below: exceptions), have a classic visa or have successfully participated in the Canada ETA procedure, you will be rejected at the Canadian border or at the Canadian airport and can start your journey home.
So that you understand what the ETA procedure is about and can then successfully participate in it, we have collected important information on the subject of ETA and Canada Visa for you on this page.
Get to know the ETA process better.
ETA is the English abbreviation for Electronic Travel Authorization, which in German would roughly be translated as "electronic travel authorization".
ETA is an online process through which any traveler can apply for an entry permit for Canada. The system was introduced in March 2016 and is intended for travelers from "safe" countries of origin.
The Canadian border authority would like to continue to control such travelers, but does not use the far more extensive tests that take place with a classic visa. The Canada ETA is a tool for collecting information about travelers to Canada. The type of information ranges from personal data such as name and address, information about the employer to the planned scope of the travel budget that the traveler would like to carry with him.
Looking for a working entry control
The purpose of the entry is to use a grid to record the entry, similar to how the USA has also been using its ESTA system for several years.
The broad mass of immigrants, namely tourists, should be recorded and analyzed as much as possible, saving time and money. At the end, the passport number specified in the application is linked to the successful Canada ETA participation. The border officer in the Canadian airport can see directly who he is in front of and whether the entry has been approved.
Of course, the extensive database that the Canadian authority can create over time should not be underestimated. In this way, personal data can be quickly identified and people recognized in other contexts. A necessary evil if you want to enter Canada.
A Canada ETA entry permit is valid for five years. After that, the entry permit expires and the ETA procedure must be attended again. In this way, the Canadian authorities ensure that the Canada ETA database is always up to date, at least in relation to travelers who want to enter Canada repeatedly.
Similar to the United States, Canada now has a powerful tool to control immigrants with ETA. This will be without exception in the future each Person entering Canada by plane, recorded and cataloged by the ETA system. The Canadian Immigration Service knows exactly who is in their country at what time.
Clarify beforehand whether you are eligible for the ETA procedure.
All travelers from countries that are approved for the ETA procedure must participate in the ETA procedure. An overview of this can be found in the country table below.
There are also some other groups of people who cannot or do not have to take part in the ETA procedure.
The Canada ETA procedure excludes:
- By land or sea to Canada.
- French citizens who live in St. Pierre and Miquelon and enter from there.
- Students with a valid student visa that is not older than August 2015.
- Employees with a valid work visa that is not older than August 2015.
- Persons registered in Canada and entering Canada from St.Pierre and Miquelon.
- Members of armed forces who officially visit Canada, be it in action or for any other reason.
- Members of an airline (pilots and other employees) or a reconnaissance professional group (for example in the event of an investigation into an internationally relevant accident)
- Accredited diplomats
Those who do not participate in the ETA procedure cannot enter Canada. There is no further apparent intention by the Canadian authority to abolish the Canada ETA procedure and its rules in the foreseeable future.
Citizens of the following countries and passport holders issued in the following countries can participate in the ETA procedure
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British citizens
- British citizens living abroad
British citizens who have received British citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration and who are resident in one of the following UK overseas territories:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Pitcairn Island
- Saint Helena
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- Federal Republic of Germany
- Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
How to register for Canada entry
To participate, either visit the official website of the Canadian Immigration Service http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit or look for a commercial provider that offers a Visa or ETA service for Canada. Such service providers charge a fee for the Applying for your Canada visa. Of course, you also have to fill out a questionnaire here, which contains all the necessary information.
Once the questionnaire has been completed, the data is transferred to the Canada ETA and your application for an entry permit to Canada is usually decided within a few hours (usually automatically).
Take a closer look at each step
In order to give you a better idea of what the Canada ETA procedure looks like, we describe an example of participation below:
1. Choice of provider:
First you decide how you want to participate in the ETA procedure. This can be done either on the website of the Canadian authority itself or on the website of a visa service provider. The choice is yours, both options have options and disadvantage.
After you have decided, start the form for the application for an entry permit and participation in the Canada ETA procedure on the respective website.
2. Fill out Form:
To be able to participate in the ETA procedure, you now have to answer a few questions about yourself. The questionnaire is roughly divided into five categories:
- Personal data
- Travel data
- Employment / employment data
- contact details
- additional questions
Each section contains several questions that you can answer either with text or with multiple choice. You will need about 10 minutes to apply, provided that you have the necessary documents (passport, possibly also documents about the employer) within reach.
As soon as you have entered all the data and accepted the conditions of participation, the next step will take place.
3. The payment:
Participation in the ETA procedure costs. Even if this is only a small fee, this step is important. If you would like to use the official service of the Canadian authority to participate in the ETA procedure, you need a credit card to pay. No other payment options are offered. You should therefore take care of a valid credit card before completing the questionnaire.
If you do not have a credit card or do not want to use it, you can also hire a commercial provider to apply for your Canada visa / to participate in the ETA procedure. Many providers in Germany offer common payment methods such as electronic direct debit. However, assume that a commercial provider will be significantly more expensive than the Canadian agency’s processing fee. Keep an eye out for hidden costs here.
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