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Travellers flying to Canada should be aware of fake Electronic Travel Authorization websites

July 18, 2016Hong Kong – Travellers who need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada are advised to use only the official Government of Canada website,, and to be cautious of other sites that appear legitimate but are charging more than CAN$7 to submit eTA applications.

Since the Government of Canada started phasing in the eTA requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals on August 1, 2015, a number of companies have established websites to charge additional fees to provide information and submit eTA applications on behalf of travellers. These companies are not operating on behalf of the Government of Canada.

The Government of Canada website is the only valid site to apply for an eTA, which costs CAN$7. Applying is a simple online process. An online guide is available in multiple languages to help travellers complete the form, and travellers can authorize a third party, such as a travel agent, family member, or friend to apply for an eTA on their behalf.

As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals need 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. The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends September 29, 2016. 

Quick facts:

  • 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
  • Most eTA applications are approved within minutes of applying. However, some applications can take several days to process, so travellers are encouraged to apply before booking their flight to Canada. 
  • An eTA is valid for five years or until the traveller’s passport expires, whichever comes first. This means travellers can fly to Canada without reapplying as long as their eTA and the passport they used to apply for their eTA remain valid.
  • 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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