Travel Authorization for Canada

The United States and Canada are two countries that have introduced electronic travel authorizations for foreigners wishing to spend a short period of time on their territory. The ESTA travel authorization for the USA is not as useful as the eTA authorization for Canada. Here’s the detailed information you need to understand the rules for traveling between the two countries.

For a stay of less than 90 days in the United States: You can obtain your travel authorization in just a few minutes by clicking on the ESTA online form.

Travel authorization to visit Canada

What is ESTA Canada?

ESTA authorization for Canada does not exist. Canada has implemented an electronic travel authorization system similar to the U.S., called eTA for Electronic Travel Authorization. The notoriety of the ESTA authorization for the USA causes confusion for some foreign travelers, who think that the Canadian authorization is an ESTA Canada.

eTA Travel Authorization for Canada

The eTA Canada is an electronic travel authorization that allows a foreign national to enter Canada for a stay of up to 6 months. The Canadian government introduced this travel authorization system to make it easier for travelers to visit Canada, and to reinforce security at Canadian border crossings.

Can I visit Canada with an ESTA

No, it is not possible for a foreign traveler to enter Canada with an American ESTA authorization. ESTA authorization is not required to enter Canada.

Can I visit Canada with a Green Card?

If you have a Green Card, you can cross the land border from the USA into Canada without first obtaining a Canadian tourist visa or eTA.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling by air or transiting Canada, you’ll need to obtain a Canadian visa or a Canadian eTA electronic travel authorization before boarding.

Travel authorization to visit the USA from Canada

Do I need an eTA to transit through Canada?

A foreign traveler holding an ESTA to enter the USA will also need to obtain an eTA from Canada if he or she makes a stopover in Canada on the way to the USA:

Do I need an ESTA to enter the USA by land via the Canadian border?

Since October 1, 2022, foreign nationals from Visa Waiver Program member countries have been required to obtain ESTA authorization to cross the land border between Canada and the USA.

What are the formalities for entering the USA for Canadian nationals?

Canadians entering the U.S. by air

Canadians wishing to travel to the U.S. must present proof of Canadian citizenship to enter the country. The best proof is a valid Canadian passport.

This requirement applies to all Canadian citizens, including children, arriving by air in the United States. This rule also applies to Canadian citizens in transit through the United States.

Canadians entering the U.S. by land or sea

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) agreement, all Canadian citizens aged 16 and over must present proof of Canadian citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. The best proof is a valid Canadian passport.

Image of the website to obtain an ESTA Canada (eTA)

Here’s a screenshot of the page on which a foreign traveler can apply for an online travel authorization for Canada, similar to the U.S. ESTA authorization.

eTA Canada online application for travel to Canada
Apply for a travel authorization for Canada