How long does a Canada eTA application last?
The duration of a Canada eTA treatment may vary based on a number of factors. The majority of eTA applications are approved within minutes, yet some applications require additional processing, which may take weeks, and in some cases months, to process. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will periodically email updates on the status of your application, as well as if you will need to submit additional documentation to support your application, or rarely attend an interview in a Canadian consulate or embassy.
What data on my application will affect the time the eTA processing takes?
There are a few factors that are likely to cause delays in processing, and these are related to various sections of the application form, such as prerequisite information, applicant information, personal information, employment information, and background issues. The things that are likely to trigger further screening are as follows:
Previous denial of a Canadian visa or denied entry into Canada
Other prior immigration history in Canada or a country that has a data sharing agreement with Canada
Incorrect passport information
Possession of citizenship in several countries
Past criminal history in any country
Previous medical history of being infected with an infectious disease
Application on behalf of an unrelated minor
Other considerations for processing eTA applications
Carefully check the information you have provided in your application as errors can cause delays, especially if you have entered incorrect passport information or contact information, such as your email address.
Make sure your email provider does not mark emails from IRCC as spam. In that case, check your spam folder for the relevant messages, or contact your email provider to make sure they do not block emails from IRCC.
If it has been 72 hours since you applied for an eTA and you have not yet received an update, you can check the status of your eTA application or contact us to be updated on your application.
A valid and approved eTA is required before embarking on your flight to Canada. Thus, if you do not have an eTA at the airport, you will be denied entry on your flight en route to Canada. In some cases, applicants can get one approved within minutes of applying online at the airport, but travelers should not risk delaying their application and should plan in advance by applying at least one to two weeks before their flight.
As the time course of an eTA treatment can vary so much, applicants are recommended to apply as early as possible. An eTA is issued for a period of five years, or until the expiry date, whichever comes first. Applicants thus have very little to gain by submitting their eTA applications closer to their travel date to Canada.