If you need to travel to Canada, you should check and research every possible aspect and list every document you need to apply for a visa or Canadian eTA (electronic travel authorization). The Canadian government has different rules and requirements depending on the country where the visitor comes from. Some visitors are able to enter Canada with just a valid passport, another may need a physical visa in their hands, and the third group can only show their eTA and stay in the country.
So, the answer to the question in the topic is not that simple and depends on so many factors, like the nature of the visit and how long the person will stay in Canada.
Difference between Canadian visa and Canadian eTA
The Canadian visa is a physical document, stamp, or sticker, that proves that you are allowed to travel and stay there. Usually, the local visa office or embassy is responsible for it. You need to provide all the required papers to the office, so they can decide if you can or can’t visit Canada. A lot of countries all around the world need a visa to travel there, and we will try to list them all later in this article.
The eTA is an electronic travel authorization that is needed to enter the country. It’s an electronic type of visa that is connected to the passport, so when your documents are checked at the border or airport, it will automatically show that you have a valid eTA. Most of the eTAs are valuable for up to five years, depending on the country you come from.
Just a small number of world’s citizens can travel to Canada without visas or eTA, like Americans who can pass the borders with their valid passport. But, foreign citizens who have a legal stay in the USA, still need to have a visa or eTA, depending on their homeland. If you need to check what types of visas are available, you can click here and find the optimal option for you.
These are some of the most important entry requirements that Canadian authorities provided for the visitors:
Canadian citizens can enter the country with a valid Canadian passport. Those who have double USA-Canadian citizenship can use their Canadian or U.S. passport.
Canadian residents need to provide the proof of residential allowance, like a card or travel document, together with their valid passport.
As we mentioned before, U.S. citizens only need their passport to enter Canada. The U.S. residents who have a regulated stay there need to have an eTA, a valid passport, and a copy of their Green Card.
Countries that need eTA:
We will try to mention all the countries who need an eTA if they arrive by a plane (they don’t need it if they enter by land or water).
- British people
- European Union
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- Vatican City
Also, travelers who have a valid Canadian visa, but need to travel to other places, can enter again the country with an eTA. The passengers who need to transit Canada to get to their next flight also need a valid eTA. If you come from a country that is listed above, you need to consult with the nearest embassy, so you can have exact information about the eTAs.
Travelers who are not mentioned in the list above will need a visa, no matter what type of transport they choose to travel to Canada.
For example, people who come from European countries that are not EU-members, need to have a valid visa for their stay in Canada. Some of them are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Macedonia (North Macedonia)
Canadian visa is also required for the people from Brazil, Argentina, China, Egypt, India, and so on. Again, if you need to travel to Canada, you should check the rules and policies with your Ministry of foreign affairs and the Canadian embassy and officials in your country.
All the travels that are not for studying, working or medical purposes can be covered with visitor’s type of visa.
What type of visa do I need if I am planning to visit my family in Canada?
As we all know, a lot of foreigners already moved to Canada and have a regular working stay, or they became official citizens of the country. Sometimes, their families want to visit them. So, if you are a close relative to a Canadian resident or citizen, you have a right to a super visa, that allows you to visit Canada and stay there up to two years at a time. A super visa is a multi-entry visa that is valid for ten years.
Close relatives of Canadian citizens or residents also have an easier procedure to regulate their stay in the country, because they have someone to guarantee they will not seek for a job, or try to illegally work there.
What about the students and people who got a job in Canada?
Canadians also have different regulations for these groups. Their visa is different than visitor’s one. When they apply, they also need to provide their study permit or a work contract. If they stay less than six months, their stay will be covered with an ordinary visitor visa or an eTA, depending on their home country. But if they need to stay over six months they need to provide their valid passport, the introduction letter, and the permit documents, so they can get their visas.
Canada is a huge country that takes care of its citizens. They have strict rules about who they let to travel to their land and how much time the foreigners can spend there. But, at the same time, they are opened to provide a lot of opportunities for all the people around the world who see Canada as a promised land for better job options and good education.