Starting March 15th 2016, all incomers from countries which do not require to obtain a temporary resident visa (for example, French, Belgium and Italian citizens) must acquire an electronic travel authorization (eTA) in order to take a flight going to Canada. An eTA is not necessary if you arrive in Canada by another transportation mode such as car, bus or boat.
This authorization covers a 5-year period or ends with your passport, whichever event comes first. Thus, the authorization duration is not related to your student status.
If you are wondering if you need a VRT or an eTA, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website and select your country/territory of citizenship. American citizens are not asked to get any of these authorizations. However, American permanent residents must acquire an eTA.
* Incomers from countries which request a VRT to enter Canada are invited to consult our dedicated page concerning this matter.
How to request an eTA?
The eTA application must be completed online and paid by credit card. A 7 $ fee will be charged to you for this operation. Approval of this application is generally processed rapidly, but sometimes requires a couple of days. It is thus important to avoid waiting at the last minute to fill out this request.
Please note that a study permit renewal produced in Canada does not include the eTA. The eTA has to be requested aside from the study permit application. In the case that you are outside the country when you renew your study permit, your application will include an eTA if your form is processed by a Canadian Visa Office abroad.