Glossary of terms related to the Canada eTA

Updated: Oct 11, 2023 | Tags: Canada Electronic Travel Authorization, Canada Visa

Understanding Canada eTA and Canadian visa processes can be complex, especially for first-time travelers. Knowing the terminology is a crucial first step to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey. This glossary offers a comprehensive breakdown of the most common terms, providing clear definitions and insights into their relevance to Canada's immigration procedures. From the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to various types of visas, permits, and immigration programs, these terms serve as a valuable guide for any international traveler intending to visit or immigrate to Canada.


Protection given by a country to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.


Measurements of physical characteristics used in identification processes, such as fingerprints and photos.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The CBSA is the agency responsible for border enforcement, immigration enforcement, and customs services.

Canadian visa

Official document showing permission to enter Canada.


A place where a consul, a representative of one country, works in another country.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Required for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air.

Express Entry

An online system to manage applications for skilled immigrants who want to become permanent residents of Canada.


An official allowance for a visitor to stay longer in Canada.


GCKey are the username and password access credentials visa or eTA applicants need to submit documents and correspond with IRCC.

Immigrant Investor Program

A program for experienced business people who can invest in the Canadian economy.

Immigration officer

A government official who enforces laws regarding immigration, borders, and customs.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

The IRCC is the Canadian federal department responsible for immigration and citizenship.


NEXUS is a streamlined border management and Trusted Traveler initiative, collaboratively managed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency. Its purpose is to enable faster border transitions for pre-certified individuals who are deemed low-risk travelers.


A government-issued document verifying identity and citizenship, required for international travel.

Permanent Resident (PR)

Someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada.

Port of Entry (POE)

A place where one may lawfully enter a country.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

A program through which Canadian provinces can nominate individuals for immigration based on the province's needs.

Quebec-selected skilled worker

A program for skilled workers selected by the Quebec government to settle and work in Quebec.


A person who is outside their home country because they have suffered (or feared) persecution.


A process by which a Canadian citizen or PR can bring a family member from abroad to live in Canada.

Study permit

A document allowing foreign nationals to study in Canada.

Super Visa

A type of long-term visitor visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or PRs.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

This is a formal document, issued by an overseas visa office and inserted into an individual's passport. It signifies that the person has fulfilled the necessary criteria for entry into Canada as a temporary resident.


Foreign nationals from countries that do not require a visa to enter Canada.

Visitor record

A document that shows the date by which a visitor must leave Canada.

Visitor visa

A visa for people traveling to Canada for a temporary purpose.

Work permit

A document that allows a foreign national to work in Canada.