What documents do i need for travel to canada?

Do you want to travel to Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)? In this case, discover the list of documents and the different formalities to travel serenely in Canada

Apply for an ETA Canada

If you are planning to travel to Canada in the near future, you should be aware that entry to Canada is subject to certain conditions and that you will need to meet certain prerequisites. Indeed, among the steps to be taken before your stay in Canada, you will need to ensure that you have a valid entry document such as a visa or an electronic travel authorization, also known as an ETA. In this article, we will talk about these documents and entry requirements for Canada and explain how to meet these prerequisites.


What are the requirements and documents needed to travel to Canada?

Let's start this article by reminding you of the various basic requirements that you need to fulfil if you want to be allowed to travel to Canada.

  • First of all, you must of course have a valid travel document. This is an official document allowing you to travel outside the European Union. Here, you must therefore have a valid passport in your possession.
  • You must also have a valid residence permit. This can be a visa or an ETA depending on your situation and the purpose of your trip. We will come back to these formalities below.
  • You must also be in good health. Indeed, you may be refused entry to Canada if you are carrying a contagious disease.
  • Your character and legal status is also important as you must prove that you have not been convicted of any criminal activities or immigration offences.
  • You will also be asked to certify that you do not intend to remain permanently in Canada as part of your trip and therefore intend to return to your country of origin. This includes visa applications that require evidence of ties to your country, such as family or work ties.
  • You will also need to show that you have sufficient assets to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Canada. This also applies to visa applications and the minimum amount required will vary depending on the length of stay or where you will be residing.
  • In some cases, you may be required to undergo a medical examination or provide a letter of invitation from a local resident.


How do I choose between a visa and an ETA for entry into Canada?

As you have understood, in addition to meeting certain basic requirements, you must also provide certain mandatory documents to be allowed to enter Canada. These include a valid passport and a visa or ETA. To find out whether you need to apply for a traditional visa or whether you can benefit from the ETA, you need to take stock of your situation. Since 2015, the Canadian government has introduced an electronic travel authorisation system that greatly simplifies the process compared to traditional visa applications. However, this system is reserved for a certain category of travellers and a certain type of stay. Here are the conditions to be met:

  • First of all, you must be a resident of one of the member countries of this system and reside there permanently.
  • You must also be in possession of a valid electronic or biometric passport that is valid for the entire duration of your stay. This is the passport to which your ETA will be linked for a period of 5 years, unless your passport expires before the end of this period.
  • Finally, the length of your stay in Canada and the reason for it are also important factors in determining whether you qualify for the ETA Visa Waiver Programme. Your stay must not exceed 90 days and your purpose must be to work or settle in Canada.
  • It should be noted here that some people can travel to Canada without an ETA and without a visa. These include US citizens, but also some very specific additional exceptions which we will not go into in more detail here.

If you do not meet any of the above conditions, you will need to apply for a regular visa to travel to Canada legally. This includes people whose passports are issued by countries that are not members of the scheme. The visa will be in paper form and will be inserted in the passport to allow you to pass the various controls. Of course, there are different types of visas for Canada with different requirements, including single and multiple entry visas. Both types of visa will be valid for a pre-determined period of time.

The specificity of the multiple-entry visa is, as its name indicates, that it allows its holder to enter and leave Canada several times within a period of 6 consecutive months without having to make a new visa application each time. This type of visa is generally valid for a period of 10 years or one month before the expiry of the passport if it expires before the end of this period. In contrast, the single-entry visa will only allow you to visit Canada for a single stay. Once you have left Canada, unless you are going to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will have to apply for a new visa to enter the country again.

Apply for an ETA Canada

How to obtain an ETA for entry into Canada?

If you can benefit from an Electronic Travel Authorisation to travel to Canada, it would be a pity not to. This is much simpler than a visa application and has the advantage of being done directly online, in a few minutes and without having to provide any supporting documents.

To obtain this ETA, you need to go to a website offering an application form, like the one we recommend on this page. To fill in the application form, you will simply need to bring your passport with you as you will be asked for its number.

Then you just need to fill in your personal details such as your identity, address or email address and answer all the questions that will be asked. Once the form has been completed, you will be able to check all the answers before validating your application. Remember not to neglect this stage, as a simple error may result in the authorisation being refused.

The validation of your application is done by means of an online payment of the application and processing fees requested. This payment is made by credit card on a secure server. Only once this payment has been made will your application be transmitted to the Canadian immigration authorities.

You will receive an answer to your ETA application electronically, i.e. by a simple email sent to the address you have indicated in your application form and within a maximum of 72 hours. If your application is accepted, you will have nothing else to do and will not be obliged to print any document. As mentioned above, your Electronic Travel Authorisation will be electronically linked to your passport for a period of 5 years.

This means that during this period, you will be able to make as many visits to Canada as you wish if these visits meet the required conditions and if your situation has not changed.

Apply for an ETA Canada

How to obtain a tourist visa for Canada?

As we will now see, applying for a Canada visa is a little more complicated than applying for an ETA. However, if you are required to do so, here is how to proceed.

You must first fill in an online form as for the ETA application but you will have to provide a number of supporting documents depending on your situation and the type of visa you are applying for. Remember to print out the various forms that you fill in online, making sure that the printouts are of good quality. You will then have to pay a fee covering both the visa application and any biometrics. This can be done online by credit card. Without this payment, your application will not be processed.

You should then go to your nearest Canadian visa application centre and bring your passport, passport photos, your completed and signed forms and all the supporting documents listed in your online application. It is necessary to go to the centre in person if you need to communicate your biometric data. Do not send your application by post.

Once you have submitted your application and your biometric data has been taken, you will receive a receipt and the answer to your visa application will be sent to you by post a little later.


Is insurance required to enter Canada?

Some travellers also want to know if it is necessary to take out travel insurance to travel to Canada? In reality, it is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended, especially if you plan to stay in the country for a while.

Indeed, such insurance will cover you in case of accident, illness or any other inconvenience such as the loss or theft of your luggage and personal belongings and can be a great help in case of unforeseen events.

There are online insurance plans specifically designed for travel to Canada that will allow you to travel with peace of mind in this country without having to worry about unforeseen events that can be very costly without good protection.

Apply for an ETA Canada

Frequently asked questions

Is it necessary to present a paper copy of your eTA when travelling to Canada?

It is not necessary to present a physical copy of your eTA when travelling to Canada. In fact, if you have obtained your eTA, it will be automatically and electronically attached to your passport. The only document you will need to present when travelling is your passport. However, it is a good idea to keep a printed version of your eTA just in case.

Can I travel to Canada with just an ID card?

It is of course not possible to travel to Canada with a simple national identity card. Remember that Canada is not part of the European Union and therefore you must have a valid passport to travel there. But you must also have a travel authorisation such as a visa or an eTA authorisation.

How to prepare effectively for a trip to Canada?

To prepare for your trip to Canada, you must first make sure that you will be able to stay in Canada legally. To do this, you will of course need to have a passport, but you will also need to have a residence permit such as a tourist visa or other visa, or simply an eTA, which is an electronic residence permit that is quicker and easier to obtain than a visa and can be applied for online in just a few minutes.