I have been living in Canada with a student visa for more than a year now. The government of Canada is announcing that from the 15 of March 2016, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be introduced.

From the government website I read

Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada.

Being swiss national, I am visa-exempt for visiting Canada as a tourist and would therefore fit this category. However, I have a Canadian visa and am not visa-exempt for living in Canada as I do.

Do I need an eTA for flying back to Canada after a visit abroad?

  • CIC has a FAQ on it: cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=494&t=15 It's a bit complicated and I don't have time to write up an answer right now.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 27, 2016 at 22:38
  • 4
    Off topic? I agree that it would be on-topic for expats as well, but seems like a travel related issue to me.
    – CMaster
    Jan 28, 2016 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


This CIC webpage clearly indicates the conditions of re-entry in Canada for international students

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:

  • a valid passport or travel document;
  • a valid study permit if you are returning to study in Canada;
  • a valid visitor visa, if you are a citizen of a visa-required country. You must - re-apply for a temporary resident visa (visitor visa) if:
    • your visa has expired; or
    • your visa was only valid for a single entry to Canada.
  • an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) by March 15, 2016 if you are from an eTA-required country and received your student permit before August 1, 2015 and you plan to travel from and return to Canada by air. Note: Students who get their study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit.

Having received my study permit before August 1, 2015, I will have to apply for an eTA. Here is the link to apply

Thank you to @mkennedy for the link.

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