New rules for Canada entry via airports

350 applications will be accepted under this year’s programme. (Shutterstock)

If you are among the fortunate travellers who do not require a visa to enter Canada on a visit, you may want to check out the latest changes, or you will arrive at the airport without permission to enter.

From March next year, it is no longer possible to enter through one of the country’s airports without prior approval, even if the visitor does not require a visit visa. This visitor will be required to apply for an electronic travel authorisation (ETA), announced the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The change will be effective March 15, 2016, and travellers will be able to apply from August 1 this year. The application must be submitted online and a fee of CAD7 (Dh20) applies.

The ETA is only requires when a person enters the country through airport, and applies to applicants for a temporary visit who do not require a visa to Canada. Previously, these visitors were systematically screened upon arrival.

A significant number of individuals proves inadmissible upon arrival, CIC pointed out. In 2012-13, this number added up to 7,055. “This resulted in significant expense, delay and inconvenience for these foreign nationals, other travellers, the airlines and the Canadian government,” said the authority.

A similar electronic system exists in the United States.

Once the ETA has been granted, it is valid for a period of 5 years, unless the passport of the visitor expires before this time, obtains a new ETA or sees cancellation of the ETA.

In case the applicant is unable to apply electronically because of a physical or mental disability, alternatives such as a paper application form are available.

A person may be refused entry because of membership in a terrorist organisation, participation in war crimes or crimes against humanity, international human rights violations, membership in organised crime groups, criminality, or issues endangering public health, such as tuberculosis.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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