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Hongkongers will need an Electronic Travel Authorization to fly to Canada

Hong Kong, March 14, 2016 – As of March 15, 2016, citizens of countries that do not need a visa to travel to Canada, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will be expected to have an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada. This includes holders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or the British National (Overseas) passport. Canada will show leniency to travellers who are caught unaware over the months following eTA implementation. The six-month leniency period (March 15, 2016 until the end of September) will help ensure travellers are not inconvenienced and minimize any travel disruptions during Canada’s busy summer travel season.

An eTA allows the Government of Canada to verify that visitors coming to the country are admissible before they board their flight. This, in turn, will facilitate travellers’ entry into Canada.

Although eTA is a new step for travellers, applying for one is a simple, inexpensive (CAD$7, approximately HKD$39) online process that will take just minutes to complete. In most cases, the eTA is granted within minutes of applying.

Quick facts:

  • An eTA is valid for five (5) years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. This means travellers can fly to Canada without reapplying as long as their eTA and passport remain valid.
  • The Government of Canada website at is the only valid site to apply for an eTA. A number of companies have established websites to charge a fee to submit eTA applications. However, these companies are not operating on behalf of the Government of Canada.
  • Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, are not eligible for an eTA. Dual citizens of Canada will therefore have to travel with a valid Canadian passport. Find out more at
  • Canadian permanent residents (those who have not yet obtained their Canadian citizenship) are also not eligible for an eTA, and, as always, need to show their valid permanent resident card in addition to their valid foreign passport when travelling to Canada.

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