Belgian citizens are required to apply for a Canada eTA visa to enter Canada on a short term basis (under 90 days) for general tourism, business, transit or medical purposes. The eTA program was introduced in 2016 to screen travelers arriving from overseas as a response to the global increase in terrorist activities.
The Canada eTa program was approved in 2012, and took 4 years to develop the required systems that would tie in with existing immigration databases and other security data to provide a seamless new screening tool.
Citizens from Belgium along with other European Union members are required to complete this electronic visa application prior to boarding an aircraft for Canada, and this includes travelers who will only be transiting in Canada en route to other international destinations.
Any Belgian citizen that wishes to enter Canada for over 90 days, or for other purposes than those allowed under the eTA program will need to apply for a different visa. Further details can be found by visiting Canada Immigration Visa Advice
and using the free "do i need a visa tool".
It is advised that Belgian citizens complete their eTA application 72 hours prior to their departure date. Full details can be found by visiting eTA requirements
or Canada eTA FAQ's
. It is advised to review these pages prior to starting an eTA application to avoid any delays or the risk of an eTA being refused.
It is a requirement to be a full Belgian citizen before applying for a Canada eTA, so travelers holding a passport or travel document with a different status, such as refugee, will be required to apply for a full Canada visitor visa, and not an eTA.
Belgian citizens can expect their eTA application to normally be processed and approved within 5 minutes, and the authorization is sent by email in the form of a PDF document. There is no need to print or present any documents at the airport, as the eTA is stored electronically against the passport in the Canada Immigration system.