The eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) Canada was introduced almost seven years ago to facilitate entry into Canada for tourism and business travel.
With this entry permit, no visa is required due to the verification of travellers prior to entry.
Length of stay with an eTA
The eTA is valid for a relatively long time, as it allows stays in Canada for up to six months from the date of entry. The entry permit is also valid for five years from the date of issue, so it can be used for multiple trips. However, it can only be used if the passport specified when applying is used. As soon as you have a new passport, the eTA loses its validity.
Staying in Canada is also subject to other conditions. For example, it is required that you have sufficient financial means and that you can clearly state your reason for travelling to Canada. You cannot extend the duration of your stay by leaving for a short period and then re-entering. On the contrary, this may even result in the maximum duration of the eTA being shortened. The only official way to extend your stay is to apply for a so-called "Visitor Record". However, this must be applied for online at least 30 days before the expiry of the period of stay.
What is permitted with an eTA to Canada
The eTA Canada is not only intended for entry by tourists, but is also suitable for various travel purposes. Apart from a Canadian vacation, you can of course also visit family or friends. Additionally, you can also pursue professional activities to a limited extent. Business trips, for example in the context of a meeting, conference, or trade fair, are generally permitted as long as no physical work is performed. You can also use an eTA to study or receive training abroad, as long as this does not exceed six months.
For all work or study activities that go beyond this period as well as the conditions for an eTA, you need the corresponding work permit or study permit, which you must apply for prior to entering the country. You will always need a Work Permit if you want to work for a Canadian employer or if you want to work off campus during your studies. A Study Permit is issued primarily for study purposes, thus it only allows you to work on campus, and for a limited period of time.
Applying for an eTA and required documents
Although the process is digital and the entry permit is usually issued quickly, you should apply for an eTA Canada online well in advance before your arrival. If you plan to do business while in Canada, it is also important to have a letter of invitation with you that details the activity. As border officials in Canada sometimes carry out spot checks, it is advisable to carry such a letter, as all information about the stay will be immediately visible. If you are planning to drive in Canada, it is also advisable to carry not only your national driver's licence, but also your international driver's licence, as this is issued in English and makes checks easier.