Canada Announces New Requirements for Travelers to Its Territory

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Updated: September 12, 2016

A few weeks ago we told you of Belizean, Trevor Vernon who was denied access into Canada by immigration officials.  We never got to speaking with Vernon as he had denied us an interview and so, we didn’t get to the root of that incident.  Earlier this week, however, the Travel Report website, spoke of new documentation requirements becoming effective on September 30, 2016 for those traveling to Canada.  According to the article, the new requirements are a result of their electronic travel authorization system which is being used to closely scrutinize foreign nationals from visa-exempted countries.  The article reads, quote, “Up until the eTA, some countries authorized citizens to travel to Canada with only a passport, and without having to obtain a visa. As a result, foreigners from these countries were not subject to any screening until they arrived at an airport in Canada.  These foreigners will now have to obtain an eTA in their passport before they can board a plane flying to Canada. There is an application fee applicable of seven Canadian dollars or five US dollars for the authorization which is valid for up to five years. The article continued to note that a traveler’s application can be rejected for a number of reasons, including certain prior criminal convictions, some serious medical conditions, past immigration refusals, or other security concerns. U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa are exempt from the rules. According to the Canadian Government, a valid Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted travel document that provides proof that you are a citizen and have the right to enter Canada without being subjected to immigration screening.  In addition, permanent residents of Canada are required to obtain a valid Permanent Resident Card, or a Travel Document, as well as their passport, in order to board a plane to Canada.  Travel industry observers have been concerned this year that the implementation of the eTA has not been communicated broadly enough, and that as a result, many foreign nationals will find their travel plans to Canada are disrupted.  An eTA can be applied for online through Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. Travelers denied an eTA because they are found to be inadmissible may be able to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit in order to enter Canada.