The Canadian authorities’ commitment to develop electronic visitor authorizations for visa-exempt foreign nationals was mentioned in the border safety plan collectively launched with the U.S. in 2011. The US government already had a similar system in place, called the electronic program for travel Authorization (ESTA). The U.S. was likely the “driving pressure with Canada getting on board with this,” said Chang. The concept was the two countries, with their shared border, should have the same level of protection screening for people coming into both nations.
How Does the System Work ?
The electronic travel authorization is a “computerized screening program at the first stage,” Chang stated, so people generally get their approval back via email proper away. But if there is a solution that triggers subject, such as a previous criminal offense, the application could be escalated to a “human officer” to make a judgment call and could take longer, he said.