Canada eTA for Transit Purposes

Updated: Jan 04, 2024 | Tags: Canada eTA Transit, Canada eTA Requirements

Canada is a popular destination for business and tourist travel. However, there are some travellers who have no intention of visiting Canada for either purpose but find themselves needing to use a Canadian airport or city as a as a stopover destination en-route to a non-Canadian destination. In these instances, eligible travellers can apply for an eTA for transit purposes.

Canada eTA for Transit Purposes
Canada eTA for Transit Purposes

Examples of using an eTA for transit purposes

Example 1

You are a Swedish passport holder, and you are transiting through the airport in Vancouver on your way to Mexico. In this case, an eTA would be a suitable travel authorization.

Example 2

You are a Mexican passport holder. You are spending a few days in Toronto until the next flight back to Mexico City. In this situation, an eTA would be a relevant travel authorization.

Other eTA Requirements

Travelers wishing to obtain an eTA for business purposes should review the eTA requirements before applying. The basic requirements for any traveller visiting Canada are as follows:

  • Have a passport or other travel document
  • Have no communicable diseases such as tuberculosis or syphilis, nor untreated conditions such as an alcohol or drug addiction or psychosis.
  • Have no previous criminal history, and if so, be able to provide a spent conviction or clear Police certificate showing no criminal record
  • Have no previous immigration issues such as visa refusals or border denials
  • Demonstrate strong links to their home country, such links include employment contracts, mortgages, considerable financial assets such as bank accounts, or relatives.
  • Demonstrate intention to leave Canada after the purposes of the visit have been fulfilled, examples include booking a return flight to your home country or other non-Canadian destination.
  • Demonstrate sufficient funds to support the duration of visit within Canada, or demonstrate your employer is covering the costs of your visit. The duration and locations visited in Canada, as well as type of accommodation, will determine what amounts to being as a sufficient level of funds. For example, staying at a family or friends house for a one month visit in Toronto will require considerably less money than staying at a hotel in the city centre.

Canada eTA refusals

If IRCC determines an applicant to not be eligible to receive an eTA, the eTA application will be refused. The most typical reasons for refusal are due to not responding to an IRCC GCKey request prior to the deadline, thus many refusals can be avoided as long as applicants monitor their emails for communication from IRCC. Applicants will receive notification of the refusal via email, as well as on the GCKey account dashboard for the relevant case file.

Reapply after an eTA refusal

Applicants who have been denied eTA can reapply if they feel the conditions of the refusal no longer apply, or they realize they have made a mistake on their application which may have resulted in the refusal. Applicants can clarify their circumstances on the subsequent application in regards to specific background questions which may have resulted in the initial refusal.

Appealing a refused eTA

eTA refusals can be appealed. To an appeal an eTA decision, an application would need to make a request to the Federal Court of Canada to review the case. An applicant would need to hire a Canadian Immigration lawyer to help initiate the process. The lawyer will then document the history of the applicant’s immigration history up until the point of receiving the eTA refusal, including any relevant communications between the applicant and IRCC. The Canadian immigration lawyer would request for a judicial review, which the Federal Court will review and decide upon. If the Federal Court decides on the applicant’s favour, the eTA refusal would be overturned.


An approved eTA does not guarantee admission into Canada for transit purposes. IRCC has the authority to deny any eTA approved traveller entry into Canada. Denials at the border could be due to reasons such as failing to provide documents requested by border officials, such as a passport, or involvement in criminal, or terrorist activities. Furthermore, approved eTA applicants can be denied entry into Canada for posing health or financial risks.


Canada has many airports that service flight connections to hundreds of major cities around the world. It has thus become a convenient destination for travellers wishing to utilize Canadian airports or cities for stopover destinations en-route to a traveller’s final destination.