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October 18, 2016

New guidelines for student Visas. Leniency period ending November 9, 2016

Edward C. Corrigan

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Study and Work Permit holders from visa-exempt countries who received their permit on or before July 31, 2015 now need an Electronic Transfer Authorization or an eTA to fly or transit to Canada. The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends on November 9, 2016. However, up until November 9, 2016, you can board your flight without an eTA, as long as you have appropriate travel documents such as a valid passport. During this leniency period, border services officers can let you enter the country as long as you meet the other requirements to enter Canada.

Applicants who are issued an initial study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit. For work permit or study permit renewal applications, the eTA will not be automatically renewed. If you wish to exit and re-enter Canada by air, you will need to ensure that your  eTA is still valid by consulting the Check Status Tool on the Immigration and Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC)  website.  If your eTA has expired, you will need to apply for a new one as soon as you can and before the eTA leniency period ends in November.

Applying for an eTA is a simple online process. Most applicants get their eTA approval (via an email) within minutes. However, some requests can take several days to process if you're asked to submit supporting documents. It is best to get an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. An Electronic Transfer Authorization or eTA:

-is an entry requirement for travellers from visa-exempt countries who fly to or transit through Canada,

-is valid for up to five years or until the passport you used to apply for your eTA expires, and

 -allows you to travel to Canada many times, and stay for up to six months (the border officer will tell you how long you can stay).

How to gets an Electronic Transfer Authorization?

The following are the steps necessary to get an eTA.

1. Get your passport and credit card ready, and read the help document.
2. Use the online form to apply. The form cannot be saved. Make ssure you have your information ready. It is available at
3. Pay $7 CAD for your eTA right after you complete the form.
4. Get an email confirmation about your eTA application within 72 hours. Most applications are approved within minutes.
5. You may need to submit documents before your application can be approved. If this happens to you, an email will be sent with instructions.

Edward C. Corrigan is a lawyer certified as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law and Immigration and Refugee Protection by the Law Society of Upper Canada in London. He can be reached at or at 519-439-4015. Corrigan is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario.

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