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TRP Canada

Canada immigration lawyer focused on helping Americans apply for a Temporary Resident Permit so they can travel to Canada with a criminal record. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike many businesses who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Electronic Travel Authorization Denial?

On September 30, 2016, the Canadian Government implemented a new entry requirement for prospective visitors from visa-exempt countries who are flying into Canada. Known as an Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA, all foreign nationals that do not require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada on a non-permanent basis now need to apply for an eTA in order to board an airplane destined for Canada, with the exception of US citizens & Green Card holders.

The eTA Canada system enables immigration authorities to pre-screen passengers for admissibility before they arrive in the country by air. Previously, systematic screening of people from visa-exempt nations did not occur until their arrival on Canadian soil, other than individuals who appear on a no-fly list. Rather than denying entry to unwanted travelers after they have landed at a Canadian airport, the eTA pre-screening regime allows Canada to simply block potentially inadmissible persons from flying to the country in the first place. Unfortunately, this new system can make travel to Canada extremely difficult for people with a past DUI or drink driving arrest, or other criminal history (even if the individual was not convicted of a crime).

Canadian eTA 2024 Requirements

It costs CAD $7 to apply for a Canada eTA online via credit card, and authorization is typically valid for a period of five years from the day it is issued or until the applicant's passport expires, whichever is first. The following information is required by the Canada Electronic Travel Authorization application: full name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, address, nationality, and passport number. It is extremely quick and easy to apply for an eTA for Canada online, and for those unable to use the Internet it is also possible to apply for authorization by way of a traditional paper application.

Please note: there are many third party websites that offer an eTA application service for an increased fee. Please be warned, it is easy to confuse such websites with the official Government of Canada website - if the cost to apply for an eTA is more than seven Canadian dollars you are not dealing with the government directly. There are some scam websites out there, so it is typically best to apply for an eTA directly through Immigration Canada.

Canada eTA 2024 Processing Time

There are no definitive eTA processing times guaranteed by the government. Most Canada eTA applications are processed in a few minutes. If your eTA Canada application is not approved within a few minutes, it likely requires further processing and you can expect to receive an email from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) within 72 hours containing additional instructions. There is no exact timetable for how long an eTA takes before it is approved or declined. Canada eTA pending for a long time? Chances are you will soon be contacted by IRCC and asked for additional information. The standard Canada eTA processing time in such situations is 72 hours, so if you received no response the first day you do not need to panic about the delay.

eTA Canada Questions

Canada's new Electronic Travel Authorization is designed to help protect the country from potentially dangerous, unwanted or undesirable visitors. In order to do so, Canada eTA questions can ask for personal information such as city of birth, country of birth, passport number, and home address. Questions on the Canada eTA application form can also ask for employment info, including the name of your employer, as well as the amount of funds you have available for your trip. If you do not have enough money in the bank to support yourself during your trip to Canada, you may have your Canada eTA denied. You will also be asked if you have a criminal record, or have ever been arrested or convicted of an "offense" (which includes driving violations such as drink driving in Australia and UK). Individuals who are potentially criminally inadmissible to Canada can be denied a Canada eTA.

Denied Canada eTA Because of Criminal Record

According to Immigration Canada, an individual may be denied an Electronic Travel Authorization if they "have been convicted of a crime, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)." This means that foreign nationals with a criminal record may receive a Canadian eTA refusal, especially if the conviction occurred less than ten years ago or involved serious criminality. People can also be refused an eTA for air travel to Canada for security and health reasons.

Similar to a criminal conviction, an arrest or drink driving incident can also result in a declined eTA application. Impaired driving is considered a serious crime in Canada, so any equivalent incident can be problematic even if it was not considered criminal where it occurred (such as a low range or mid range drink driving violation). Consequently, most DUI convictions in USA or drink driving offenses in Australia or UK can prevent a person from successfully obtaining an eTA.

What to Do If You Are Denied an eTA Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not offer a formal appeal process for refused Electronic Travel Authorization applications. Instead, prospective travelers are told to re-apply for an eTA if their situation has changed substantively of if they have new information they wish to submit. If a person has been refused an eTA Canada due to criminality, this means they may apply once again after overcoming their inadmissibility by being issued a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation (CR).

Have a criminal history and require a Canada eTA? Contact our Canadian immigration law firm today for a FREE consultation.

Who Needs an eTA to Go to Canada?

Citizens of the following countries require an eTA to get into Canada by air: Andorra, Anguilla, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turks and Caicos, and United Kingdom (UK). As of May 1, 2017, citizens of Brazil who have had a Canadian Visa in the last ten years or who presently hold a nonimmigrant visa in the United States are also eligible to apply for an eTA. Citizens of all other countries, excluding those holding US citizenship or a Green Card, will require a Canadian Visa in order to enter the country.

How Will Canada Know If I Do Not Get an eTA?

In addition to the new Electronic Travel Authorization program, Canada is implementing an Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) system that allows the government to confirm with airlines whether travelers that need an eTA have been issued one. People that try to board an aircraft destined for Canada without their requisite eTA will not be permitted past the gate and risk missing their flight. Our Canadian immigration law firm unfortunately receives many calls from upset passengers at various airports around the world who have just been told they cannot get on their flight since they do not have a valid eTA. In some cases, the person is not even criminally inadmissible to Canada they just did not have enough time to provide the additional documentation requested and have it adequately reviewed by authorities. Consequently, it is always best to apply for an eTA well in advance of a planned trip to Canada.

Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Exemptions

There are numerous exemptions from the requirement to obtain pre-approval to fly to Canada, including the following scenarios in which an eTA is not needed:

  • United States citizen
  • US Green Card holder (lawful permanent resident)
  • Commercial aircrew
  • Already in possession of a valid Canadian Visitor Visa
  • Accredited foreign diplomat
  • Issued a US Travel Visa and flying to USA with short refueling layover at Canadian airport
  • Transiting through Canada and in possession of Visitor Visa for destination country
  • Foreign armed forces entering Canada on official duty
  • Nationals of France that live in St. Pierre and Miquelon
  • Canada Study Permit or Work Permit holder re-entering Canada after visiting the United States of America solely

Do People Actually Get Denied Entry to Canada?

Although Canadians are extremely friendly, they still take their border security very seriously. In 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused entry to more than 30,000 foreign nationals for various reasons including criminality. If you have a criminal record that makes you inadmissible to Canada, we strongly encourage you to overcome your inadmissibility via a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation before you book a flight to Canada and risk being denied an eTA. Due to the substantial processing time of a TRP application, if someone already has a flight to Canada booked but is unable to acquire an eTA due to a criminal conviction they might not have enough time to fix the issue before their scheduled trip. Impaired driving offenses, such as drink driving traffic violations in Australia and DUI convictions in USA, can also render a person criminally inadmissible to Canada and prevent them from getting approved for an eTA.

Why Did Canada Implement This New Authorization System?

Canada's new eTA program is part of the country's commitment to the USA-Canada Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan. This new strategy will ensure a common approach between the two nations towards screening all international visitors from outside of North America.

Does Canada Share Information with Other Countries?

In an effort to improve security, Canada shares information with select foreign governments including criminal database information as well as visa and immigration information. If you read the fine print of the eTA application consent and declaration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada states that information provided may be shared with foreign governments in accordance with subsection 8(2) of the Canada Privacy Act.

Can I Lie on the eTA Canada Application?

Entering false information when you apply for a Canada eTA is a terrible idea. Not answering the questions honestly can easily result in a border denial, and can even lead to a person being barred from entering Canada for a period of time. Misrepresentation can also affect future Canadian immigration eligibility. For example, an individual with a drunk driving conviction who answers "no" when asked on the eTA application if they have a criminal record could later be denied permanent residency in Canada or refused an IEC Working Holiday Visa.

Does a USA Green Card Holder Need an eTA?

As of April 2022, lawful permanent residents of the United States do not require an eTA to fly to Canada. Consequently, it is now possible for Green Card holders with a DUI to apply for a border TRP at a Canadian airport in urgent situations.

Dual Canadian Citizens Flying to Canada

Canadian citizens are not eligible to apply for a Canada eTA. Consequently, if you are a citizen of Canada and a citizen of a visa-exempt country (dual citizen), you can no longer fly to Canada using your non-Canadian passport. All dual citizens of Canada flying into the country must use their Canadian passport in order to board their flight.

Can a Lawyer Apply for an eTA for Me?

Authorization for travel to Canada is exceptionally easy to apply for online, so there is really no reason to have a lawyer do it for you unless you have an arrest history that must be properly addressed. This being said, if for some reason you wish to have a Canadian immigration attorney apply for an eTA on your behalf, we can certainly offer this service to clients although we strongly encourage you to try it yourself first.

Canadian eTA Criminal Record

Obtaining a Canada eTA with a criminal conviction or criminal charge on your record typically involves petitioning the government to overcome your criminal inadmissibility. The Canada Criminal Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permit applications are complex legal procedures, so retaining the services of a professional in order to overcome Canadian criminal inadmissibility can make a lot more sense than having a lawyer fill out the eTA form. A Canadian immigration attorney can also help with various other Canada eTA problems. For example, potential visitors can have their Canada eTA refused due to a previous immigration violation such as an overstay. eTA Canada problems can also include messages stating that "no matches were found using the criteria provided."

Obtaining an eTA After a DUI

Impaired driving is considered an excludable offense under Canadian immigration law. Consequently, a drink driving violation in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, or the UK can render a person criminally inadmissible to Canada and ineligible for an eTA. Even if the DWI is not considered a criminal offense where it occurred, it is the equivalent offense in Canada that determines admissibility. A drink driving incident can be problematic regardless of which country it occurred in. For example: an Australian citizen can be denied an eTA because of a DUI in the United States, or a Korean citizen could be denied an eTA because they received a drink driving while studying in Australia.

Need a Canadian eTA but have a criminal record? eTA not approved? Call us today for a FREE assessment!

How Can We Help?

If you have any arrests or convictions on your record and need to visit Canada, call us today or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!