Canada extends online processing of temporary resident visa (TRV) and eTAs - CanImmNewsletter.com - Canada Immigration Newsletter
Canada TRV and eTA

Canada extends online processing of temporary resident visa (TRV) and eTAs


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced new Canada TRV and eTA rules. The processing of online temporary resident visa (TRV) applications and electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) will continue until January 31, 2021, but limited priority services are introduced. Under the current rules, all applications for TRVs, work permits or study permits from foreign nationals who are outside Canada at the time of application must be submitted online.

Priority of TRV applications

While processing will continue for temporary resident visa (TRV) applications to the extent possible, intake has been limited, until further notice, to applications submitted online. Applications will continue to be prioritized for those who are eligible to travel based on the current travel restrictions; this includes both new applications and applications that are currently in progress. However, applications submitted prior to the travel restrictions will not be prioritized unless the applicant contacts IRCC at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca to indicate how they meet the exemption criteria, why they are travelling for a non-discretionary/non-optional purpose, and provide acceptable documentation.

Two new cohorts are exempt from the requirement to submit a temporary residence application using electronic means: Temporary residence: COVID-19 program delivery.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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IRCC’s priority is to continue processing applications where the client meets a travel restriction exemption and has established that they are travelling for a non-discretionary purpose. However IRCC says that non-priority TRV applications can continue to be processed, and approved or refused, pursuant to regular TRV processing.

English and French push notification emails will be sent to approved TRV applicants advising them that despite their approval, travel restrictions remain in place, and that for most, now is not the time to travel to Canada.

Expedited processing of eTAs

IRCC says that applicants will continue to submit electronic travel authorization (eTA) applications online and the manual processing of eTA applications that require officer review will continue, to the extent possible.

This will assist IRCC in dealing with the expected increase in applications once the travel restrictions are lifted and ensure that future processing times aren’t significantly impacted.

Electronic travel authorization (eTA): COVID-19 program delivery

IRCC says that it will however expedite the processing of eTA applications that require officer manual review for those who meet the exemption criteria for the current travel restrictions. Individuals who are eligible are directed to self-identify and submit documentation to show how they meet the exemption criteria through an IRCC Web form submission.

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IRCC also added new conditions for priority eTA review:

  • Applicants must comply with all requests for the usual supplementary documentation, for example a police certificate, before a final decision is rendered.
  • Officers must wait until all of the supporting documents have been received through the Web form submission before they proceed with prioritizing a foreign national’s eTA application.

How to apply for a new eTA

Step 1: Apply

You need to apply online for an eTA.

Step 2: Contact IRCC

After you apply, use IRCC Web form to tell IRCC how you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time.

When filling out the Web form, do the following:

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  • From the drop-down menu, under Type of application/enquiry, select “Electronic Travel Authorization” and then “Case Specific Enquiries.”
  • In the text box, tell us you’ve applied for an eTA and explain how you’re eligible to travel at this time.

Step 3: Upload proof that you’re eligible to travel

When filling out the Web form, answer “yes” to the question Would you like to include a document with your submission? and then upload evidence that you meet one of the exemption criteria if you’re outside the United States (US).

If you’re outside the United States (US):

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You qualify for an exemption and are coming for an essential (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.
If you’re travelling directly from the US:

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • You’re travelling for an essential (non‑discretionary) purpose.
  • You’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you’re staying in Canada for at least 15 days.

The type of evidence you need to provide depends on what you qualify for. For example, if you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, you can provide

  • a marriage certificate or proof of common-law status (documents showing a shared address)
  • a birth certificate
  • a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for one of the following:
    • the family class (the COPR category under Application Details will be FC)
    • the one-year window of opportunity provision (coded OYW under Special Program)
  • other documents that show an immediate family connection, for example
    • correspondence from us showing a spousal sponsorship application in progress
    • documents that show a shared home address

Step 4: Wait for IRCC to email you

If your eTA is automatically approved, you’ll get an approval email with the details of your eTA.

If your eTA is not automatically approved, you’ll get an email with next steps.

Step 5: Prepare to travel

You need to prepare properly before you travel to Canada.

Bring proof

You must bring evidence that you’re eligible to travel at this time (see step 3).

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If you can’t provide this information, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Canada or enter Canada.

Health requirements for travellers to Canada

To travel to Canada, you must

If you’ve already applied for an eTA but haven’t heard back about next steps

Use the IRCC Web form in Step 2 above. When filling out the Web form, do the following:

  • From the drop-down menu, under Type of application/enquiry, select “Electronic Travel Authorization” and then “Case Specific Enquiries.”
  • In the text box, tell IRCC that you’ve already applied for an eTA and explain how you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time.

Complete Steps 3 to 5 above.

Related: Canada speeds visa for foreign TV and film workers to two weeks.


You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.