Flying to Canada? You need an eTA! (And a thesaurus….)

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Flying to Canada?

Flying to Canada any time soon? Since Tuesday 15th March, Canada has joined the “club” of nations requiring visa-exempt / visa-waiver nationals to fill out a form online and pay a small fee, before you’re allowed to fly there. The Canadian version is eTA – Electronic Travel Authorisation. Good news – it only costs CAD 7, and lasts 7 years.

If you’re a national of one of the countries who can travel to Canada without a visa (use this official tool to check if you’re unsure), you now need to fill out the eTA form and pay your $7. The form is longer than the old-style US-ESTA forms, but shorter than the current ESTA incarnation. In theory, it ought to be easy to fill out….

Sadly though, whoever designed their forum is a bit of geography nerd, and likes mocking us Brits! So, bring your thesaurus…

On the first page, when prompted to say the Country/Territory of our passport, “our” dropdown option is this!

ETA page 1

That’s right, our “country” is “British Citizen”….

Next we have the Country/Territory of birth:
ETA Country 2

Yup, this time it’s England!

Finally, onto the passport details section, and this time…
ETA country #3
Even more bizarre, it’s “United Kingdom And Colonies”!

I hope the Canadians got a suitable laugh out of this… 😉

So, if you’re travelling to Canada by air anytime soon, head to the official eTA online application form, use our guide above to work out what on earth you’re supposed to put in the various country dropdown boxes, and get yourself an eTA!

(Technically you don’t actually need one just yet – they’ve introduced a leniency period until after the summer, but it seems you’ll annoy airline staff and potentially face longer queues at the border if you don’t have an eTA. So, best off paying $7, and following our guide to how to fill out the form)

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