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Staying in Canada: Do you need a Visa or an ETA?

If you plan to stay in Canada for less than 6 months, good news, you don’t need a visa!

If you arrive in Canada by car, train, bus or boat, you don’t need anything, except your passport of course.

If you arrive by plane, you will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before your arrival.

The procedure is very simple and is done online. The most “critical” point is to make the request on the official website. As for many other countries, there are “fake sites” that will charge you a much higher amount than the official site.

Here is some information to know about the AVE procedure.

  • The official site is this one: https: //
  • The site is available in many languages, including French
  • During the procedure, a certain amount of information will be requested (identity, address, occupation, passport number, …)
  • You have to do one procedure per person, it is impossible to group the request.
  • At the end of the application, you will have to pay 7 Canadian dollars per card (equivalent to a little less than 5 euros).
  • The answer usually comes very quickly (a few minutes in our case) but can take up to 72 hours.
  • You don’t have to print anything, the EVA is associated with your passport number. Keep the number of the AVE in case of problems.
  • The AVE is valid for 5 years. However, if you change your passport in the meantime, you will have to apply for a new ETA.

When we arrived in Canada (Toronto airport from Iceland), a passport control took place as soon as we left the plane. Given the length of our unusual stay (3 months), the immigration officer asked us some questions to know the purpose of our trip (cities visited, accommodation, money we have, …).

Once this control is done, the procedure is done with an automaton that scans your passport, takes your picture and makes you fill out a form (quite complete on the bio-security aspect).

After that, it’s over, we can go back to Canada. Small disappointment on our side: we didn’t even get a nice stamp on our passport šŸ™

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