Visa for Halifax, Nova Scotia

Updated: Jan 10, 2024 | Tags: Canada eTA, Canada Visa

Visa for Halifax, Nova Scotia - Canada

This article provides information on getting a visa or an eTA for Halifax. A valid visa for Halifax, or eTA, will be required prior your departure to Canada.

Visa and eTA overview

Since 2016, even if you currently reside in a visa-exempt country, an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) visa will be required to enter Canada. Exceptions to this are if you are entering Canada by coach or car, or are ashore from a visiting cruise ship.

Exemptions apply to U.S. citizens and those travelling with a valid full Canadian visa. For a current list of requirements and other eligibility criteria, visit the Canada eTA requirements.

If you hold full Canadian citizenship, dual citizenship or permanent residency, you cannot apply for an eTA.

To apply for your eTA online, you will need your passport plus a debit or credit card and an email address. If you have any other paperwork you may think relevant, keep that by your side as well. From then on, the site will walk you through every step of the process.

Firstly, you will be asked for your status before proceeding to confirm the three-letter country code on your passport. Then you will be asked how you intend to enter the country. Steps are simply laid out and clicking the relevant link will take you to the next stage.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will be taken through the process, pay the application fee via debit or credit card and prepare for the eTA to be approved. In most cases the whole process will take just a few minutes. Should other documents be required you will receive an email within three days informing you of what is required and how to submit them.

Once you have your eTA it is valid for five years, or until your passport requires renewing. An approved eTA allows for short stays of up to six months’ duration in Canada.

Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

The Canadian eTA is an electronic travel authorization that is intended to simplify the process of entering Canada for common travel purposes such as tourism, business or transit. Individuals wishing to visit Canada for under six months, for the purposes of tourism, business, transit, or receiving medical treatment may be eligible. A Canadian eTA is issued for up to five years' from the date of approval, or until the date of passport expiry, whichever comes first.

The Canadian eTA enables passport holders of dozens of countries to apply online for travel authorization without the need of a visa for Halifax.

There are a wide variety of uses for a Canadian eTA, from attending family weddings to speaking at a business conference. However, there are limitations to using an eTA. If used in an unauthorized manner, an approved eTA can be revoked from an applicant. It is thus important to make sure eTA applicants understand the full scope of permitted travel uses of an eTA.

Approved business use

Although a Canadian eTA is typically thought of as a tourist travel authorization, it can also be used for business purposes.

With an eTA, travelers can visit Canada to meet with business associates, settle an estate or negotiate a business contract. Although it is not a work visa, a Canadian eTA can be used to conduct business meetings in Canada. If you plan to travel to Halifax for a business meeting using an eTA, you may be asked to provide additional documentation during your eTA application or at the Canadian border. You will likely be required to prove that your main source of income is received outside of Canada, and that your employer is also based outside of Canada.

You can also attend a business conference in Canada with a Canadian eTA. If you use your eTA for this purpose, you may be asked by Canadian immigration personnel to prove that you are not employed nor seeking employment in Canada.

Approved tourism use

Most people get an eTA for tourism purposes. Permitted tourism purposes include activities such as sight-seeing, and visiting with friends or family.

Approved transit use

A Canadian eTA can also be used for transit purposes, whereby a traveler is switching airplanes on Canadian territory while en-route to a non-Canadian destination.

Unauthorized use

Although there are many approved uses for a Canadian eTA, there are also some things you cannot legally do with an eTA.

You are not allowed to work in Canada with an eTA. Although you can use an eTA for some business purposes, you cannot hold or obtain employment in Canada using an eTA. Thus, you must apply for a work visa if you wish to be employed in Canada. This is true whether you want to move your career to Halifax or hope for temporary employment. You cannot accept payment for any work in Canada without a proper Canadian work visa.

You also cannot study in Canada using an eTA. You must get a Canadian student visa if you want to attend school in Canada.

Requirements affecting eTA eligibility

  1. You can only use an eTA for entering Canada via aircraft.
  2. You must not have any prior refusals to enter Canada and no prior deportation history in Canada. If so, you will likely be denied an eTA.
  3. You must have an electronic passport.
  4. You must not have any highly infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, at the time of your visit or at the time of your eTA application.
  5. You must not have been previously convicted of any crimes causing serious harm or damage to people or property.

Canada eTA application process

To apply for an eTA, you will need your passport and employment details. You should allow between 15-20 minutes per application. Applications are usually processed and approved within minutes for most applicants. However, due to enhanced and automated security screening, your application may be flagged and require a manual review. During a manual review, you will be requested to provide additional information or documentation to process your eTA application. Failure to provide this information or documentation in a timely manner during the manual review will result in a denied eTA application.

Types of Canadian visas and permits

Canadian eTAs are only for individuals from visa-exempt countries and permanent residents of the United States. If you are not from a visa-exempt country, are not a U.S. citizen, and are not a permanent resident of the United States, then you will need a visa for Halifax.

Tourist visa

A Canadian tourist visa is known as a Temporary Resident Visa, or TRV for short. Like an eTA, you can apply for this online. You can also apply using a paper-based application. The application requires more information and entails longer processing timelines than an eTA application.

Work permit

If you plan to work in Canada, either temporarily or indefinitely, you will need a work permit in addition to your eTA or TRV. Before you can apply for a work permit, you must usually have a job offer from a Canadian employer, although it is sometimes possible to waive this requirement depending on profession or the type of work an individual is able to do in Canada.

You can apply for a work permit either online or on paper. When you apply, you will need to certify that you will only work for the specific employer who has offered you a job, and that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment.

Study permit

Study permits are similar to work permits. To apply for a study permit, you must also have a TRV or eTA. All students need a study permit, with very few exceptions. Unless you will attend preschool, plan to apply for a study permit.

You can apply for a student visa online or on paper. You must agree that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies (unless you subsequently get a work permit), and you must show that you have adequate financial support to live in Canada.

Canadian visa application process

To apply for a Canadian visa, there are set number of steps which need to be followed. You can either apply online or apply on paper. For either type of application, you will be prompted to select the country where you are applying from as well as provide some information on your eligibility for your desired travel purposes.

Online application (eligibility restrictions)

The online application includes an instruction guide which is to be used to prepare the documents and forms needed to submit your Canada visa application. However, only eligible applicants can apply for a Canadian visa online. You can apply using the following link:

Paper-based application

To apply for a Canadian visa using the paper-based application, you will need to first download and print the application package, which includes all the relevant forms you will need to fill out. Once completed, you will need to pay a fee to process your visa application. Once paid, you can then submit your visa application for processing. To get started on your paper-based Canadian visa application, visit the following link

Halifax travel information

Every year Canada welcomes over 20 million tourists from around the world. Visitors flock to enjoy the history, culture, attractions, country-side and coast of this massive country – and yet one area is all too often overlooked.

The Province of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia attracts millions of business and tourist visitors a year. Its history of colonial immigrants’ dates back to the 1700s’, and its modern day education policy, culture, climate and landscape is equal that of anywhere else in Canada. While Halifax, the capital, is a major hub for both governmental and private businesses across Canada, it is also regularly featured in various magazines as one of the top three cities in Canada in which to work and live.

Halifax – A city of history

If you’re considering a tourist or business trip from outside Canada into Nova Scotia, there are several airlines, including Air Canada, that fly regular long-haul flights into Halifax Stanfield International Airport. From there one can fly internally to other Canadian airports; or via helicopter to other areas of Nova Scotia.

Are you visiting friends or relatives in Canada? Hire a car, take a few days out, and drive through to Halifax. Considered as a ‘humid continental climate,’ Halifax’s temperatures can drop to a few degrees below freezing during the colder months. With its frequent freeze-thaw cycles, the snow doesn’t last long, but when it’s there it is crisp, fresh and exhilarating. During the summer months, temperatures rise to the mid 70’s °F.

Things to do in Halifax

During your time in Halifax you can walk the Halifax waterfront boardwalk stretching right around the harbour. Visit Pier 21 and the Canadian Museum of Immigration. Browse the shops. Stop off for a coffee or snack in one of the waterfront cafes and restaurants. And look out for tall ships moored-up in the harbour.

Visit Fishermans Cove, a 200 year old restored fishing village. Enjoy the Maritime Museum and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Relax in Halifax’s beautiful public gardens before visiting the Seaport Farmers Market. Explore the breath-taking scenery on foot, bike, or by car. Make up your own itinerary or join your fellow visitors on one of the many organised tours.

In the evening dine in one of Halifax’s many international restaurants. With more bars and clubs per head than any other city in Canada you won’t have any problem finding somewhere to dance the night away. While you stroll back to your hotel grab a plate of Halifax’s donair. It is a mix of sweet and sour meats normally eaten late at night, and is Halifax’s official food.


If you are considering visiting Halifax, make sure you have either a valid eTA or visa before making an itinerary booking, or at least four weeks before your departure.