In 2016 Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced the requirement for all visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to (or transit through) Canada to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This requirement applies to all participants in the NYQUEST Camp Canada program, and for anyone who we are supporting with their work permit application.
As this is an entirely new requirement, NYQUEST has been keeping up to date with the latest changes and how they might affect you.
“Until September 29, 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.” Citizenship and Immigration Canada Website
According to the above statement (that is provided on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website here), there is no requirement for travelers to complete the eTA application during this ‘leniency period’. This leniency period has only recently been extended, and so some airlines have not caught up with the extended deadline of September 29th, so there is still a chance that your airline may require you to have an eTA before you board your flight. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm the requirements of each and every airline flying to Canada and so your airline may still have this requirement.
There are no negative repercussions from applying for an eTA during this leniency period, apart from you will need to pay the associated application cost of $7 (about £3.80) that you might not otherwise have needed to pay.
Recent International Staff Arrival Experiences
NYQUEST Camp Canada provides work permit support for international staff working at summer camps across Canada. As such, we have had recent experience of staff arriving into Canada both with and without an eTA.
Those who did apply for an eTA before travel:
In our experience, staff who have applied (and paid) for an eTA and then received their work permit upon arrival in Canada have been sent an email shortly after their arrival informing them that their eTA has been canceled.
This email has been sent hours after their work permit has been granted, and so we believe that this is just an automatically generated message because the work permit ‘overrides’ the eTA. If you do travel on an eTA and receive a similar email after being granted your work permit then there is no cause for alarm.
Those who did not apply for an eTA before travel:
Staff who traveled to Canada without an eTA have not had any issues obtaining a work permit or entry to Canada.