IMPORTANT NOTICE: NEW REQUIREMENT FOR VISA-EXEMPT FOREIGN NATIONALS TRAVELLING TO CANADA BY AIR

Canada has introduced an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada. As of March 15, 2016, travellers who do not require a visa to fly to Canada need to apply for an eTA.  This includes passengers travelling on an Irish passport.

Applying for an eTA is a simple, inexpensive ($7 Canadian) online process that takes minutes to complete. To apply, travellers must have a valid passport, a credit card, and an e-mail address. An eTA is electronically linked to a passenger’s passport and once approved, it is valid for 5 years or until passport expiry.

To ensure there are no travel disruptions while travellers learn about the eTA requirement, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a transition period (leniency period). During this period, border services officers are able to admit travellers arriving in Canada without an eTA, provided they are not otherwise inadmissible. This leniency period will be in place until September 29, 2016

As of September 30, 2016, passengers who arrive at the airport without an eTA should expect to experience delays in their travels. For this reason, travellers should apply for their eTA before booking your flight to Canada.

For more information or to apply for an eTA, visit Canada.ca/eTA .

Irish-Canadian dual citizens please note carefully:

Dual citizens, who hold Canadian citizenship and citizenship from a visa-exempt country such as Ireland, cannot apply for an eTA because eTA was set up to screen foreign visitors for admissibility to enter Canada.

If you are a dual Irish-Canadian citizen you cannot apply for an eTA on your Irish passport and must enter Canada on a valid Canadian passport. You may be denied boarding if you attempt to travel using your Irish passport. 

To prepare for these changes, dual citizens are strongly encouraged to apply for a Canadian passport. This will prevent delays during travel and help ensure dual Canadian citizens are treated according to the rules that apply to Canadian citizens. 

Note:  As it can take time to get a Canadian passport, IRCC encourages Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, to renew or obtain these documents as soon as they can and before leniency period ends. Find out more about travel documents for dual Canadian citizens flying to Canada.  

Irish citizens who are permanent residents (PRs) of Canada please note carefully:

Permanent residents (PRs) of Canada are not eligible to apply for an eTA. Canadian PRs must carry and present their valid PR card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier.

If your PR card expires, it does not mean you have lost permanent resident status, however it is your responsibility to apply for a new PR card when your current card expires. If you need to replace or renew your permanent resident card, make sure to plan ahead and check the processing times.

If you have lived outside of Canada for many years and are not sure whether you are still a Canadian permanent resident, see “How long must I stay in Canada to keep my permanent resident status” to review the residency requirement details.  

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