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Electronic Travel Authorization for Visa Exempt Travellers

The Government of Canada has tabled a bill which would include provisions requiring all visa exempt nationals, other than citizens of the USA, to complete an electronic travel authorization prior to being eligible to board a flight to Canada. At present, such individuals may appear at the port of entry without seeking any prior admission from the Canadian government, and in many of these cases may seek work permits or business visitor status at such time as well.

Being called a simplified electronic visa, the system – which is expected to have a fee associated with submission – is intended to screen inadmissible persons prior to their arrival at a Canadian port of entry. Such inadmissibility may include those with criminal records, those on no-fly lists, and filed refugee claimants. Results are expected to take a few minutes to receive, and these would be printed for presentation to the airlines and Canadian officials.

The goal of the system is to improve the efficiency of admission of eligible travelers at Canadian ports of entries by reducing the appearance of those who are not eligible for entry. Critics are concerned about questions that would be asked as part of the application that may be an invasion of privacy, but other countries such as Australia and the USA presently have similar systems that have been operational for some time.

Date Posted: October 22, 2012 Posted In: Entry Visa

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