This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Don’t get denied from boarding your flight to Canada because you’re missing proper documentation. That’s what one TPG staffer’s spouse learned on a recent flight from Lyon (LYS) to Miami (MIA) via Montreal (YUL).

The traveler, whom we’ll call Jean, is a French citizen who is also a United States Green Card holder. Jean was booked on Air Canada’s nonstop flight between France and Canada, before continuing on to his final destination in Florida. When he was attempting to check-in at the airport in Lyon, the agent asked for his paperwork — his Electronic Travel Authorization, or eTA.

In 2016, Canada implemented its eTA policy, which is required for certain passengers in order to fly to or transit through Canada. So, even though Jean was only transiting through YUL on his way to the US, he was still required to obtain an eTA.

The eTA is defined as:

“An entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA.

With a valid eTA, you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time). You do not need an eTA for travel within Canada.

An eTA doesn’t guarantee entry into Canada. When you arrive, a border services officer will ask to see your passport and other documents — for example, a US Green Card. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada.”

The Canadian government details who exactly is required to obtained an eTA when transiting through Canada. And, as one might expect from the story, France is listed as a visa-exempt country. And, Green Card holders do need to obtain one if they’re from one of the visa-exempt countries. You can find the full list of those who need an eTA here.

Note that an eTA isn’t required for all entry into Canada. It’s only required for those transiting to or through Canada when entering via air — not land (i.e. driving) or sea (i.e. cruise).

There are a few exemptions to who is required to obtain an eTA. Namely, US citizens aren’t required to get an eTA as long as you’re carrying proper identification, such as a valid US passport. You can find the full list of eTA exceptions here.

In order to get an eTA, you’ll need to fill out an application online, requiring basic information such as passport number, a credit or debit card and an email address. The application process takes a few minutes to complete, and most get their approved eTA within a few minutes. However, Canada warns that some eTA applications can take several days to process. In total, the eTA costs CAD 7 — about $5. If you know that you’ll need an eTA to transit to or through Canada, it’ll be best to apply sooner rather than later.

As for Jean, he was able to contact his spouse who was in the US. The TPG staffer was able to complete the application for him, and he was allowed to board his Air Canada business-class flight to YUL before ending up at his final destination in Miami.

Featured image by Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.