Applying for a visa to enter a country as a foreigner may be confusing, especially if you do not know exactly what travel authorization applies to your case. If you want to visit Canada, you will probably need to ask for one of these two documents: an AVE (Electronic travel Authorization) or a visa. Do you know what permission will be required? Don’t waste time asking for the wrong document or searching for information about confusing government sites. Everything you need to know is here. Continue reading to find out what type of travel authorization you need to get.

Differences between an AVE and a visa for Canada

A AVE is different from a visa for Canada. The visa is a physical authorization, such as a stamp or sticker affixed to your passport, which allows you to enter another country. In general, you will either have to apply in advance for a visa from an embassy or get one at the border. For these two procedures, you have to fill out papers and get approval from an immigration officer. Canada is asking citizens in many countries to get a visa before entering Canadian soil.

The AVE is, for its part, simpler. If Canada does not ask nationals of your country to have a visa to enter the country, it is likely that they need an AVE. US Nationals are an exception because they only need their passports to cross the border. However, legitimate residents of the United States who do not hold American citizenship must obtain an AVE.

An AVE for Canada is simpler and quicker to apply than a visa. The AVE is electronic and not physical, and it is automatically linked to your passport once your application is approved. The most frequent visas for Canada are for single use or for multiple use. Most travellers receive a multi-use visa that allows them to visit Canada for up to six months at a time, for a period of ten years, or until the passport expires. An AVE remains in effect for five years. But if you get a new passport, you’ll need a new AVE, since it’s linked to your passport.

Advantages and disadvantages of these two forms of authorization

Both the AVE and the visa for Canada are both pros and cons. If it is true that you do not have the opportunity to choose which form of authorization applies to you because eligibility depends on your country of origin, it is helpful to understand what defines this document and what you should expect. After all, your experience may be quite different from that of your brother-in-law, who has another nationality or enjoys American immigrant status.

One of the advantages of the AVE is that it is much cheaper and much faster to get than a visa. In theory, it is possible to receive in less than an hour an approved AVE, valid for a trip to Canada. Applying for a visa for Canada takes longer. In addition, you do not have to send your passport or go to the courthouse or the embassy to receive the visa. The AVE is automatically linked to your Passport number, which simplifies the process of crossing the border.

However, the AVE also has drawbacks. On the one hand, because the application is only electronic, you do not have the possibility to print it and send it by mail. Even if you prefer paper media, you will need to adapt to the online format. You must also complete your application at once, which may cause you to start all over again if you have not collected all the supporting documents. On the other hand, the AVE is only valid for five years, and you must submit a new application after that time. The multi-entry visa lasts ten years.

It is often easier to get a AVE than a visa. If you are a national of a country that requires a visa, you are subject to a longer and possibly more frustrating process. This may seem excessive if you are only planning to go to Canada once. The visa application is not as painful as it looks, but it still requires a lot more paperwork than an AVE, and takes more time to be treated. Wait times vary depending on the case, but expect a two-day to one-month delay to receive your travel visa for Canada. Depending on your case, you might even get a single entry visa rather than the more frequent multiple visa. That is a lot of money for a single entry into Canada.


Now that you know the differences between the AVE and the visa, all you need to know is what option applies to you. You can consult on-line the list of countries where nationals are eligible for an AVE for Canada. Although both options have their pros and cons, they both offer excellent travel opportunities without having to go through a challenging procedure. Good luck with your request and enjoy your stay in Canada.

The following countries require an eTA to enter Canada

  • Andorra
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • British citizens
  • Citizens of the British Territories Overseas
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Swiss
  • Permanent Resident of the United States

We provide a comprehensive service that includes


Custom step-by-step support for preparing your eTA application in full compliance.


Email notifications and updates of all regulatory changes.


Application prepared by a professional agent.


24-hour assistance in case of emergency.

Appointment possible

In the event that your eTA request is declined, we can schedule an appointment at the nearest Canadian visa processing center.

Online help

Access to online help through our fast and easy service.