• An Update to our Latest Article on Electronic Travel Authorization Becomes Mandatory
  • October 3, 2016 | Author: Jenna Kirk
  • Law Firm: Field Law - Calgary Office
  • Only days before the electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) requirement was to become mandatory for all visa-exempt foreign nationals* the Government of Canada announced its decision to extend the leniency period to November 9, 2016. This extension also applies to the new requirement that Canadian citizens, including those with dual citizenship, may only board a plane destined to Canada using their valid Canadian passport. For more information on eTAs, please see the previous edition of BIG News.

    Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, stated: “In consultation with airline partners, we’re taking further steps to minimize any travel disruptions...We are extending the leniency period and doing another major information blitz in Canada and abroad to encourage affected travellers, including dual Canadian citizens, to plan ahead and get the necessary travel documents before they book a flight to Canada.”

    The decision to extend the leniency period comes as no surprise, in light of the short time frame between the original implementation date and Canadian Thanksgiving, and considering the logistical nightmare that airlines and Canada Border Services Agency Officers would have faced in trying to implement these new changes so close to a national holiday.

    While many individuals obtain their eTA within hours or days of submitting their online application, certain complications, errors and delays can occur that increase processing times substantially. Since an eTA is generally valid for five years, it is best to apply as far in advance of travel as possible.