How long does it take to get an eTA Canada visa?

Find out how long it takes to apply for an eTA visa for Canada and how quickly you can obtain it online.

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eTA Canada processing time

To travel to Canada, it is no longer necessary to apply for a traditional visa through an embassy in the UK. You can obtain an eTA visa for Canada in a much shorter time by using an online service. But what are the exact timescales required to obtain this e-visa? This is what we suggest you find out here with some explanations on the different deadlines to know before applying and to prepare your trip efficiently.

eTA Canada processing time: Key points

  • The processing time for an eTA for Canada is 24 hours.
  • It usually takes less time to obtain an eTA visa for Canada
  • It is possible to shorten this time by applying for an urgent eTA for Canada
  • For greater peace of mind, it is advisable to apply for your eTA a few weeks before your departure date for Canada.


How long does it take to get an eTA for Canada?

If you want to travel to Canada for tourism, to visit a relative or to study, you will not need to apply for a visa, which used to take weeks or months. Indeed, it is much easier to obtain an electronic eTA to organise your stay with much shorter delays.

As you can see, the procedure for applying for an eTA is extremely simple and quick and will only take a few minutes. It will be done entirely online. To obtain this residence permit, which is equivalent to a visa for Canada, you just need to fill in a form on the official website or on a website like the one we recommend on this page and pay the application fee online.

As you will have understood, one of the main advantages of the eTA visa for Canada concerns the time needed to obtain it. Indeed, the usual processing time for this residence permit is generally 1 to 2 working days and most often it is possible to receive your residence permit in less than 48 hours.

However, to ensure that you obtain this eTA in time before you start your trip, we recommend that you apply for it a week before your departure date. Although you may receive an answer to your application in less than 48 hours, the Canadian authorities may need some additional information and may ask you for supporting documents, which will extend the basic deadline. However, this is very rare.

In the vast majority of cases, and if the file does not present any particularities, you will get a response within a shorter time than the one initially announced. In fact, most travellers who apply for an eTA online receive it in less than two working days.

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How long does it take to apply for an eTA visa for Canada?

As we have just seen, the time required to obtain an eTA for Canada is relatively short, especially when compared to the time required to obtain a traditional visa for this country. However, we would advise against relying on a few hours to apply at the last minute, to avoid any disruption to your travel plans.

If you decide to apply for your eTA for Canada at the last minute, you may be putting yourself at risk of having your application refused and being prevented from boarding the plane that is to take you to Canada.

If you want to travel with peace of mind and ensure that your trip to Canada is a success, it is strongly recommended that you apply in advance. Ideally, you should make your request two weeks before your flight date and at the latest one week before your departure. You can apply as soon as you know the dates of your trip by filling in the online form linked to this page.


What to do if the eTA visa application has been refused?

As mentioned above, it is necessary to allow sufficient time to apply for an eTA for Canada as you may well be refused by the authorities. If this happens and your application has been refused by the Canadian consular authorities, what should you do?

First of all, it is necessary to identify the precise cause of this refusal, which may be multiple. The main reasons for refusal are as follows:

  • You are not an eligible traveller for the eTA procedure in Canada.
  • You made some mistakes when filling in your online application form, including an error in the passport number you entered.
  • You are registered in the file of persons prohibited from entering Canada, which remains extremely rare and is a very special case.

So if the problem is that you are not eligible for the eTA scheme, it will be possible, in most cases, to apply for a traditional visa. But beware! As mentioned above, this procedure will take more time than the eTA online procedure. It is therefore necessary to have enough time to obtain this visa before your departure date.

If your application for an eTA has been refused due to a mistake you made when filling in the form, it will be possible to apply again. However, in order to access the application form again, you will have to wait for a period of 10 days after the notification of refusal from the consular authorities. Please make sure that you correct the mistake you made earlier so that you are not refused again. It is strongly recommended that you reread the various answers to the questions on this form before validating it. Please note that this new application does not guarantee that you will obtain your eTA authorisation.

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How to get an eTA visa for Canada as soon as possible?

If you want to get your residence permit for Canada as quickly as possible, the first thing to do is of course to make sure you do it well in advance, but also to choose the best procedure. If you are eligible for the eTA system, which only requires a few minutes of online processing, it is best to take advantage of this opportunity, as the processing times are much shorter than for a regular visa application.

It should be remembered that applications for an eTA for Canada usually allow you to obtain this precious document in just a few days, i.e. 1 to 2 days on average, and sometimes even more quickly. However, it should be remembered that unforeseen circumstances can extend this timeframe and delay obtaining your travel authorisation. As explained above, it is therefore preferable to apply in advance, but it is also important to use a quality service provider who will process your application immediately.

This is the case with our partner who guarantees extremely short lead times for an eTA Canada and deals with your application as quickly as possible.


Other deadlines and durations to know about the eTA visa for Canada:

We have just read together the time limits for obtaining an eTA visa for Canada, but there are other time limits and legal deadlines to be aware of regarding this electronic travel authorisation.

First of all, it is important to know how long the eTA is valid. Once obtained, this travel authorisation will be valid for 5 years or until the expiry date of your passport. It is important to remember that the eTA is electronically linked to the passport whose number was mentioned in the application form. Therefore, if you have changed your passport during these 5 years, you will have to apply for a new eTA visa indicating your new number. The same applies, of course, if your personal details have changed.

Another time limit to know about the eTA for Canada is the period of stay allowed with this document. Although the eTA is valid for 5 years, this does not mean that you can stay in Canada for that long. The eTA allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 6 months from the date of your arrival. However, in some cases, this period can also be shortened, especially if you do not have the financial resources to cover the entire duration of your stay or if you cannot justify what you are going to do during this stay.

It should also be remembered here that an extension of the validity of your eTA for Canada is still possible if you plan to stay in the country for more than 6 months. However, you cannot know in advance if this extension will be granted and if you already know that you will have to stay more than 6 months in Canada, it is better to apply directly for a traditional visa before going there. You can also leave the country before the end of the validity period and enter on a new stay afterwards as long as your eTA is valid.

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As a web writer and globetrotter with a passion for travel and tourism, I have acquired in-depth knowledge of the procedures that are essential for travellers. I help travellers to complete all the formalities required for a successful trip, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa online. With several years' experience in this field, I'd like to offer you some valuable advice to help you discover the world with complete peace of mind.


Frequently asked questions

What is the fastest way to obtain an eTA visa for Canada?

The fastest way to obtain an eTA visa for Canada is undoubtedly the online procedure. Indeed, this procedure will allow you to obtain a travel authorisation within 1 to 2 working days, whereas the classic visa application will require several weeks. This timeframe is notably shorter due to the absence of documents to be sent and of a physical appointment at the consulate.

How long does the online eTA application process take?

Applying for an eTA online is a very quick procedure that will only take a few minutes of your time. All you have to do is fill in an online application form with your personal details and passport number and answer a few simple questions. Don't forget to bring your passport and your bank card.

What is the legal validity period of the eTA for Canada?

The duration of validity of the eTA for Canada is different from the period of obtaining this residence permit. In fact, once you have obtained your eTA, it will be valid for a period of 5 years. You can therefore make as many visits as you wish during this period and if your passport number does not change.