How long is an eTA visa valid for Canada?

Would you like to know how long an eTA visa is valid for travel to Canada? Find out the answer to this question and other information about the expiry of this visa here.

When you apply for an eTA for Canada, there are certain elements to be aware of, in particular the duration of validity of this residence permit. Indeed, as we will explain in detail below, the eTA for Canada is one of the electronic travel authorisations with the longest validity and you can therefore use it for several stays in this country.

 

General rules concerning the validity of the eTA visa for Canada :

In general, the following points are worth noting here, and we shall return to them in more detail below:

  • The eTA for Canada is valid for a maximum of 5 years from the date of issue.
  • The eTA may also expire earlier if the associated passport is changed or renewed.
  • During the 5-year validity period of the eTA or until the passport expires, it is possible to make as many trips to Canada as one wishes.
  • However, the period of validity of the eTA should not be confused with the maximum authorised period of stay, which is 6 consecutive months.

 

Why can the passport influence the validity of the eTA visa?

In order to understand how the expiry of your passport can affect the validity of your eTA, it is important to remember that this travel authorisation is electronically linked to your passport.

Once you have completed the online application procedure and paid the processing fee, you will receive an email indicating whether your eTA has been granted. If so, your authorisation will be active as soon as you receive it. For the Canadian authorities, your eTA will be linked to your passport or more precisely to your passport number.

Thus, several checks can be carried out at the time of your trip. The first will be before you board your flight and by the airline you have chosen to travel with, which will ask you for a passport number and may consult the Canadian immigration system to ensure that you have a valid eTA. You do not need to print your travel authorization before departure.

A second check will also be carried out when you arrive in Canada and by the immigration service on site.

This explains why it is necessary to present and travel with the passport whose number you entered when you applied for your eTA. Otherwise, if you have changed your passport in the meantime, the number of your new passport will not be attached to your eTA, which will be unverifiable by the agents. If you have changed your passport number during the 5 years of validity of your eTA, it will therefore be necessary to reapply online.

 

The total validity of the eTA visa for Canada is a maximum of 5 years:

As mentioned above, once your application for an eTA has been accepted and you have received confirmation of your permission to stay in Canada, you will be able to benefit from this permission for a maximum of 5 years, unless your passport is changed or expires.

It is therefore important to always remember to check the validity of your eTA before you travel and to ensure that the passport number on it is the same as your current passport.

If your eTA expires or your passport has just been changed, you may be denied boarding on your flight to Canada. It is therefore strongly recommended that you take precautions to check the validity of your eTA before you travel and to ensure that you have time to reapply.

Even if your passport is still the same as the one you applied for, if your eTA is more than 5 years old, it will not be renewed automatically. It is legally required to reapply if you wish to travel to Canada again.

 

What is the maximum duration of a stay in Canada with the eTA visa?

Another thing to know about the eTA for Canada is the maximum length of stay allowed by this electronic authorization. Although the eTA visa is valid for a total of 5 years, this does not mean that you can stay in Canada for that long.

As soon as you arrive in the country, an immigration officer will put a stamp in your passport indicating the date of entry into Canada. This stamp will also indicate the maximum date on which you can leave the country. You will find that this date is exactly six months after the date of your arrival. This means that the maximum stay in Canada on an eTA visa is 6 consecutive months.

However, here again, certain situations can shorten the maximum authorised stay with the following situations:

  • You left Canada only for a short time to avoid a maximum stay. For example, if you only left the country for a few hours or days before returning.
  • If you do not have sufficient financial means to support yourself during this extended period.
  • If you are not able to justify what you are going to do in Canada during this period of stay. It is possible that Canadian immigration officials will question you on arrival to find out the real reasons for your stay if it is for several months.

 

Can the validity of an eTA visa for Canada be extended?

If you have been in Canada for almost 6 months with a simple eTA and wish to stay longer, you can apply for an extension of this residence permit.

But beware! These extensions are of course not always granted and there is no guarantee that you will be able to stay legally in the country for longer.

Also, before you travel to Canada, if you think you will need to stay in the country for longer than 6 months, it is best to play it safe and apply directly for a specific visa at the Canadian consulate or embassy in your country of residence.

Although the traditional visa application process is more time-consuming and complicated than the online eTA application, it will ensure that you can stay in Canada for more than 6 months before your departure.

 

What to do if your eTA is about to expire and what are the possible reasons?

If your eTA is about to expire and you have not yet left for Canada, it is strongly recommended to apply for a new residence permit now.

In this case, your old authorisation will simply be replaced by a new one with a new validity period of up to 5 years. Remember that your eTA must still be valid at the time of your departure for Canada.

Apart from this 5-year validity period, other factors may cause your eTA to expire.  It should be remembered that travellers who wish to travel to Canada with a simple eTA can only do so if they meet a number of conditions.

The first of these conditions is of course that you do not represent a security risk to the country. If something happens to you that could lead the immigration authorities to consider you a threat to Canadian security, the validity of your eTA can be revoked. In this case, the immigration authorities have the right to immediately revoke the validity of this authorisation, even if you have already received a certificate of attribution.

Similarly, a traveller who fails to comply with a Canadian immigration or visa law may be removed from the country without permission to re-enter and will lose the remaining validity of their eTA visa.

Another important case to consider is the potential error when filling in the online eTA visa application form. Indeed, even if the information you provide at the time of application is checked, it is possible that a mistake is made, for example on the spelling of a name or a date of birth. In this case, even if the eTA application has been granted, it is essential to change this information, again to avoid the arrival officers noticing and cancelling the validity of the eTA.

You will have to apply for a new travel authorisation online as the first one cannot be changed.

Finally, if you have changed your identity or gender during the 5-year validity of your eTA visa and wish to travel to Canada again, you will need to apply again.