Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Old Mar 4th 2016, 1:03 pm
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Default Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Perhaps someone can help me out here perhaps PMM.
The deadline for eTA is rapidly approaching 15 March 2016 and Im still trying to wrap my head around the eTA requirements that CIC have introduced.
My understanding was that a foreign national (not a Canadian Citizen, a Permanent Resident of Canada, US citizens and a few others such as crew members and diplomats) were required to apply online for eTA and pay $7 and it was valid for 5 years. The eTA would be linked to your passport. I think the vast majority of people who work with the Immigration system were under the impression that if the person was flying into Canada directly or via another country that they would be required to have eTA BEFORE they got on the plane to fly to Canada and that airline check in staff would be ensuring that the traveller had eTA and if not would not allow them to get on the plane.

Well lo and behold this appears not to be the case or the information has been wrongly interpreted or miscommunicated. I have now found further information that this is not the case.
From the CIC website the following have been added regarding eTA

Visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada, starting March 15, 2016. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.
However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. During this time, border services officers can let travellers arriving without an eTA into the country, as long as they meet the other requirements to enter Canada.
Determine your eligibility – What you need to visit Canada as a tourist

I am a Canadian citizen and a citizen of a visa-exempt country. Can I still fly to Canada with my foreign passport?

Yes, you can for now. However, soon you will need to show proof that you are a Canadian citizen in order to board your flight to Canada. This information will be requested when you check in for your flight.

To avoid getting stuck at the airport, be sure to travel with a valid Canadian passport. It provides proof that you are a citizen and have a right to enter Canada. Otherwise you may face delays or be prevented from boarding your flight to Canada.
I am a Canadian citizen and a citizen of a visa-exempt country. Can I still fly to Canada with my foreign passport?

The following is taken from a media article this morning
As of March 15, 2016, eTA is mandatory [and] citizens from countries that do not need a visa to travel to Canada are expected to have an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada,” said Faith St-John, a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. But from March 15 until fall 2016, she said, border services officers can let travellers arriving without an eTA into the country, as long as the other requirements to enter Canada are satisfied.
Electronic Visa Requirement For Foreigners Visiting Canada Delayed By Feds

I thought the whole idea of introducing eTA besides being a cash grab was to STOP travellers actually getting onto a plane before they flew to Canada if they didn't have eTA but as logical as it seems to me this isn't the case.

I need a drink.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

What a mess.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

It sounds very similar to the "mess" when PR cards were originally introduced & pronounced mandatory for traveling back to Canada on commercial transport, but then visa-exempt passport holders discovered they weren't in practice...
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
It sounds very similar to the "mess" when PR cards were originally introduced & pronounced mandatory for traveling back to Canada on commercial transport, but then visa-exempt passport holders discovered they weren't in practice...
I often wonder who thinks up these rules and regulations and who signs off on them or do they do this intentionally to keep certain lawyers employed

Now without going into all the intricacies of the laws and exemptions most people would think logically about how to introduce such legislation.
Regardless of where you live you now wish to take a vacation to another country.
Before booking any flights or hotels etc etc you would find out if you needed a passport or any other requirements such as a visa or any other type of authorization such as ESTA or eTA etc. If needed you get them then book the vacation. You turn up at the airport with reservation and the required documents and voila bon voyage.

If you turned up at the airport with no flight ticket and none was booked would the airline let you fly even if you had a passport and all other documents my guess would be NO.
If you had a ticket but no passport again Im guessing NO.
If you had a ticket and passport but no visa ESTA or eTA if required my guess would be NO but not always the case.
With the amount of different scenarios out there involving dual citizens and permanent residents it does make it somewhat difficult for airline check in staff and should the onus be on the airline staff to know what each and every document is besides a passport?
My logic is telling me that if they show up and don't have the required documentation then they DONT GET ON the plane. If the traveller does not have the correct documentation then that is on the traveller.
Wouldn't it be much simpler to have them not travelling rather than allowing them to fly X amount of hours only to be denied entry on arrival for not having the correct documents.
Im not talking about other reasons why they could be refused such as no money or criminally inadmissible because I don't expect airline staff to know this.
If they are refused entry then the airline has to fly them back on their dime even if they only have a one way ticket.
There again I work for the Govt and we don't introduce common sense rules.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

I can't see what the problem is. New rules apply from March but they have decided not to enforce them strictly until the Fall. In the meantime we have an "educational" period. It seems sensible to me.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
I can't see what the problem is. New rules apply from March but they have decided not to enforce them strictly until the Fall. In the meantime we have an "educational" period. It seems sensible to me.
That's sensible/reasonable to me too, but it seems to me it's a symptom of CIC (once again), not really getting its act in gear/thinking things out. See my comment on introduction of PR cards etc.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
I often wonder who thinks up these rules and regulations and who signs off on them or do they do this intentionally to keep certain lawyers employed
So do I.

There again I work for the Govt and we don't introduce common sense rules.
Common sense + government does not compute. But you know that.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
That's sensible/reasonable to me too, but it seems to me it's a symptom of CIC (once again), not really getting its act in gear/thinking things out. See my comment on introduction of PR cards etc.
Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
So do I.



Common sense + government does not compute. But you know that.
To expand on my comments:

If my PR card were expired, or if I didn't have one, I could still travel back to Canada without it, without Eta. It's a well known loophole for those who don't meet residency/valid PR card requirements, & the latest (ETA) legislation doesn't close the loophole.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
I can't see what the problem is. New rules apply from March but they have decided not to enforce them strictly until the Fall. In the meantime we have an "educational" period. It seems sensible to me.
I have no problem with an educational period but its not like eTA has just been sprung upon the travel industry or travellers. The initial information on eTA was given several years ago that it would be introduced at a date in the future. Im assuming CIC talked and discussed with stakeholders etc etc. Legislation had to be drawn up and introduced to the House of Commons for 3 readings and then to the Senate for approval then back to the house for passage into law.
My problem is with the way the PC Govt introduced this and when the concerns became apparent did nothing and now the current Govt has had to suspend part of the legislation to sort out these identified problems. I have both verbally and written expressed my concerns to CBSA and the respective Ministers involved in this and even to the media but no replies or even an acknowledgement of receipt of such concerns.
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Old Mar 4th 2016, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

This report from when ESTA was introduced seems to indicate that there was some leeway shown for it

US entry rules introduced without incident - Telegraph

Also ESTA was free for for the first 2 years, and was only the charged.

Really not seeing the issue here.
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Old Mar 5th 2016, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. During this time, border services officers can let travellers arriving without an eTA into the country, as long as they meet the other requirements to enter Canada.
Maybe not all airlines/airports have the ability yet to verify ETA status? Perhaps because the CIC IT systems are a mess
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Old Mar 5th 2016, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Hang on... when the first ETA press releases came about, CIC were saying it would commence in April 2015. Then it got delayed to March 2016, so any "wrinkles could be ironed out".

So now we're talking Fall 2016.

What are the odds the Liberals will have killed it by then ?
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Old Mar 5th 2016, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Oh FFS really? This now after my grandparents paid $600 to renew their Canadian passports to visit in June.

I hope the Liberals kill it, its a giant mess and a waste of tax dollars and we don't need it.
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Old Mar 6th 2016, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

I don't think you should see it as wasted money. Personally, I'd say your grandparents are better off having renewed their passports which will be good for the next 10 years and will cover them if/when Canada makes it mandatory to enter/exit on a Canadian passport.

I'd say their journey to Canada is likely to be smoother having got the renewals. And just because there's going to be flexibility as to having an eTA or not, it doesn't mean that visa exempt citizens will have no hassles on check in at the airport if one is a PR or also a Citizen of Canada (without PR card/passport) or even that you'd get on the plane. Without their Canadian passports, there'd be an element of stress and uncertainty over the journey (well that would be true for me anyway). Airline check in staff are not CBSA: airlines will be relying on a Canadian passport as evidence of citizenship and a PR card to show that someone is a PR (or a PRTD).


S

Last edited by Snowy560; Mar 6th 2016 at 3:02 am.
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Old Mar 6th 2016, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Is eTA another CIC boondoggle?

Originally Posted by Snowy560 View Post
I don't think you should see it as wasted money. Personally, I'd say your grandparents are better off having renewed their passports which will be good for the next 10 years and will cover them if/when Canada makes it mandatory to enter/exit on a Canadian passport.

I'd say their journey to Canada is likely to be smoother having got the renewals. And just because there's going to be flexibility as to having an eTA or not, it doesn't mean that visa exempt citizens will have no hassles on check in at the airport if one is a PR or also a Citizen of Canada (without PR card/passport) or even that you'd get on the plane. Without their Canadian passports, there'd be an element of stress and uncertainty over the journey (well that would be true for me anyway). Airline check in staff are not CBSA: airlines will be relying on a Canadian passport as evidence of citizenship and a PR card to show that someone is a PR (or a PRTD).


S
I agree with you on that, quietly i'm glad I got them to get the renewal, but it was still a giant expense, and this eTA has been nothing but hassle for legitimate Canadians wanting to visit, and the people who have it easiest are the foreign travellers who can straightforwardly apply for it on their EU passports.
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