Anyone seeking to visit, work in or study in Canada, who does not currently require a visa, will now need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before entering Canada. This can have significant consequences for corporations sending business visitors or workers to Canada and affects most nationalities with exceptions for US citizens and those with a valid Canadian visa.
What action is required?
This procedure will become mandatory on September 29, 2016 (though it can already be done now, if desired). Once mandatory, any traveller to Canada will require this ‘approval’ before boarding a plane for Canada. An application must be made online prior to departure.
Failure to comply with this requirement will mean that non-visa nationals will be prohibited from travelling to Canada. To apply, you must have a valid passport, a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or a pre-paid Visa, MasterCard or American Express), and an email address. Approved eTAs are valid for five years, or to the expiry date of the passport used in the application, whichever comes first. A new passport would require a new eTA.
What are the consequences based on information provided?
The nature of the information requested and provided can significantly impact one’s ability to enter Canada, and must therefore be carefully considered. Among other issues, for instance, a criminal history may come to light, and may therefore require remedial (or anticipatory) action.
Note as well that an eTA is not a substitute for consideration of whether one qualifies as a business visitor, or requires a work permit, and the legal issues that can ensue. Those issues will still be canvassed by an officer upon entry to Canada, and must also be carefully considered.
To read more on this subject, read the articles on the Krancs Associates website:
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