The visa and entry requirements for Canada are much less complex than, for example, for the neighboring country USA. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself early on and start preparing. Because there are a few things to consider when entering Canada. Depending on how long your study program in Canada lasts and whether you want to work alongside your studies, you have to take certain precautions. In the following you will find out what the eTA is all about, whether you need a Study Permit / Permis d’Études for your time in Canada and where and how you can apply for it.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – Electronic travel authorization for Canada
Citizens of some countries, including Germans, Austrians and Swiss, do not need a visa for Canada for a maximum stay of six months. So if you only study for a semester abroad (usually four months) or a summer session in Canada, you do not need to apply for a visa or study permit.
As of March 15, 2016, however, is for citizens visa-exempt countries a so-called Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), that is an electronic travel authorization, mandatory. However, this only applies to air travelers. Canada is following the example of Australia and the USA. The eTA should guarantee more security and also shorten the entry process at the airports in Canada. However, the eTA does not replace the student visa for Canada. The previous regulations apply here.
Please note: Citizens of certain countries, regardless of their permanent place of residence, also need a visa for a short stay of six months (Visitor Visa). You can check the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian government agency responsible for visa matters, to see whether the country of which you are a national is affected by this regulation.
Apply for an eTA
You can apply for your electronic travel authorization online, also on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. To do this, you need your passport, your email address and your credit card number. The fee is CAD $ 7. After submitting the application, the CIC may request additional information, such as biometric data or other biographical details. The eTA is valid for five years if the passport does not expire earlier.
When entering the country, you need your passport, if necessary the study permit and, from March 15, 2016 at the latest, the eTA. Depending on your nationality, you may still need a corresponding visa. A CBSA immigration officer will review these documents and verify that you have sufficient funds to stay in Canada. You should therefore keep the documents easily accessible in your hand luggage.
Minors traveling alone
Those of you who are not yet of legal age need a birth certificate in addition to their passport and eTA to enter Canada. In addition, a notarized declaration of consent from the legal guardian in English or French, on which your address and telephone number in Canada is noted. The dates and contact details of an adult supervisor in Canada and those of the custodian must also be noted on the declaration of consent. A study permit is compulsory for all minors wishing to study in Canada, regardless of how long the study period lasts.
Entry with partner and children
Studying with a child is not a problem in Canada, a major country in North America listed on barblejewelry. In principle, it is possible for your partner and children to travel to Canada with you for the duration of your studies. However, a separate visa or eTA application must be submitted for each family member. School-age children may need a study permit themselves. In addition, the amount of the proof of finance increases. For the partner you currently have to prove an additional C $ 4,000 per year and an additional C $ 3,000 for each child.
Special feature: Entry and exit via the USA
When planning your flight, you should definitely pay attention to whether you are making a stopover in the USA. When entering and leaving the USA you need either a B2 visitor visa for the USA or a C-1 transit visa. This is not the case if only one of the two flights makes a stopover in the United States. Here you only have to apply for an ESTA authorization. The reason: Since the onward flight to Canada is not noted when entering via the USA, your stay in Canada counts as a complete stay in the USA when you return via the USA. In the case of stopovers in non-EU countries, please inquire at the consulates whether you need a visa and, if so, what kind of one.
Study permit: requirements and application
If you intend to complete a full year abroad or even a complete Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Canada, you must apply for a study permit in good time, i.e. at least six weeks in advance. In addition, from March 15, 2016, you will need an eTA to enter Canada (air traffic). From August 1st, 2015 you will automatically receive an electronic entry permit together with your study permit. Only those who have already studied in Canada and received their Study Permit before August 01, 2015 must also apply for an eTA to return to Canada (for example after visiting Germany).
Applying for a study permit may also be advisable for those who are staying in Canada for a period shorter than six months. This allows the study stay in Canada to be extended spontaneously or there is the option of working on campus while studying.
Since June 2014 it has been possible, under certain conditions, to apply for the Study Permit retrospectively from Canada. Alternatively, you can enclose a letter of explanation with your application, in which you explain why you are applying for a study permit, even if you do not need one according to the entry requirements. In order to make sure that you will not have any problems with a possible continuation of your studies in Canada, you should apply for the Study Permit before your entry.