February 15, 2016 – Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This will include, of course, foreign artists touring in Canada.
The eTA requirement will affect travelers from roughly 50 visa-exempt countries, including France, the United Kingdom, and many other European countries. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visitor visa.
The application process is fairly simple. The application fee for the eTA is $7 CAD. The processing time is normally under 10 minutes and applications are trackable via an online status portal. It is possible for a third-party to apply on behalf of foreign nationals, however it is only possible to submit applications for one traveler at a time. The list of required information is available on the website of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
The program is the product of a joint U.S.-Canada border action plan to cooperate on pre-screening of travelers to identify security threats. The Canadian eTA program is thus similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for visa-waiver nationals travelling to the United States.
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