On 19 August 2015, I applied for an eTA on the cic.gc.ca website. I encountered technical difficulties when applying. I contacted customer support, who suggested I try reprocessing the application (I think, but am not sure, that it was still cost-free at the time). The eTA was finally approved, but the system registered my Italian passport only as AA, not as AA0123456. (Basically, it forgot about the digits.)
Nonetheless, I was not fussed—this was before eTAs became mandatory. On 23 August 2015 I flew to Canada, which I left when my vacation ended on 1 September 2015.
Months after I returned home, I received emails from cic.gc.ca stating that the passport number was incorrect and urging me to correct it. At first I was suspicious ("Is this genuine?" After all I had already gotten back home), so I contacted customer service again, who kind of confirmed the issue by copying and pasting the same text. I attempted to correct it, but to no avail. Further emails to cic.gc.ca went unanswered. I kept receiving the same email (Correct your passport number) years after I ended my trip. However, I had no plans to travel to Canada, and the passport subsequently expired in 2018, so I just let it be.
My questions are:
- Will my previous technical difficulties cause me problems, either technical or with immigration, if I apply for an eTA now with a new passport (of a new nationality)?
- When applying for an eTA now, should I include the number of the August 2015 eTA application, even though it is linked to a wrong passport number? Or just write N/A?
I have tried to check the status of that eTA on the online status check tool, and what I get is "No matches were found using the criteria provided" if I input my correct passport number. If I just input AA, I get an error message "The form could not be submitted because errors were found. Passport number - must only contain alphanumeric characters or a space."
What should I do now? I have no imminent plans to visit Canada, but would like to travel in the next couple of years, and am worried this past glitch will cause me problems, either by making my application remain stuck or worse causing me to get it declined. Should I take the issue proactively and apply even before I begin to think of a trip to Canada, so I can attempt to solve the issues well in advance? It seems that the eTA website is plagued with technical problems, which is incredibly frustrating.