The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued a message on May 10, 2016 to all Legal Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) of the U.S. traveling to Canada by air.  CBSA advised that changes to entry requirements are now in effect. Below are the highlights:

  • Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) is a new Canadian entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air.  As a U.S. permanent resident, you are expected to have an eTA when flying to or transiting through Canada, effective on March 15, 2016.  You do not need an eTA when you enter by land or sea.
  • Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have secured eTA first.  Exceptions to this requirement include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa (see full list of exemptions).  U.S. Legal Permanent Residents must have an eTA before boarding a flight to Canada as of March 15, 2016.
  • Until September 29, 2016, travelers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have a valid travel document, such as a passport and meet other requirements.  The Border Services officers can admit travelers without an eTA into the country, but they will remind travelers of the new requirement.
  • LPRs traveling to Canada can apply for an eTA, which costs $7 Canadian. The application process takes a few minutes and is linked to your passport and valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. This means that you can travel to Canada repeatedly within this period without having to reapply for an eTA. You will need to travel with the same passport you used to apply for your eTA.
  • For LPRs enrolled into the NEXUS program, the passport used to apply for the eTA will need to be the same passport used when the LPR enrolled into the NEXUS program.  Otherwise, the LPR cannot continue to use the accelerated service through the NEXUS self-serve kiosks.  If you were issued a new passport since you joined NEXUS or used another document to apply, you must visit a NEXUS Enrolment Centre and have the passport that is linked to the eTA also linked to your NEXUS membership