Updated: May 23, 2018
This article provides information on getting a visa for Niagara Falls, or an eTA, to individuals looking for the right travel authorization. A valid visa for Niagara Falls, or eTA, will be required prior your departure to Canada.
Visiting Niagara Falls as a foreigner requires a form of a visa, but travelers from many countries are now exempt from this requirement under the Canada visa waiver program. This is an agreement made between countries to facilitate greater ease of international travel for citizens. There's a long list of countries (including the UK, France, Poland, Japan, Greece, and many more) covered under this agreement, so check the full list here and see if yours is on it before you make any definite travel plans. Visitors from listed countries only need a valid passport to enter and leave Canada, and Niagara Falls by extension. Anyone coming from elsewhere, though, might need a temporary resident visa.
Because these visas are only intended to allow entrance to the country for tourist purposes, you will be asked certain things on the application forms to ensure that you really are on a temporary trip. These will include questions about the duration of your trip, whether you have the means to fund your stay, and where you plan to return to once your visit is over. The intention is to rule out all possibility that you will be conducting any kind of employment or extended business affairs in Canada which could be detrimental to the local economy. You must also be in relatively good health and have no criminal record of any kind in order to be issued a visa, and this pronouncement may be contingent on a medical examination if the staff see reason to believe you may be in worse physical or mental condition than you say you are.
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 Niagara Falls. A current list of eTA eligible countries can be found here: https://eta-for-canada.com/canada-eta-requirements/
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 Niagara Falls 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.
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 Niagara Falls 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
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.
If you are eligible for an eTA, get started on your application by visiting https://eta-for-canada.com/canada-eta-requirements/
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 Niagara Falls.
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.
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 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: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp
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: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp
For tourists looking for an exciting, attraction-packed Canadian destination, there's no better choice than Niagara Falls. It has an ever-growing reputation as being Canada's version of Las Vegas with a slightly more wholesome twist.
The most obvious attraction in Niagara Falls is, of course, the falls themselves. Visitors can observe the majesty of this natural phenomenon from the rock ledges around it or get an even closer look on one of the Hornblower Niagara cruise boats that circle the falls each day. You can also ride the Niagara Skywheel to get a bird's-eye view of the scene, day or night. If you still can't get enough of the view, you can head up the nearby Skylon Tower for dinner on its rotating top floor restaurant to keep taking in the sights while you eat - but be sure to call ahead to make a reservation!
Just like in Vegas, gambling is a popular choice for a night of entertainment. The Fallsview Casino offers a full complement of slots, poker and table games to let all guests find the game for them. Not in a gambling mood? Check out the perfect wax replicas of your favourite celebrities, rock stars or historical figures at any of the famous wax museums scattered around town. Chocolate lovers can visit the local Hershey factory and outlet store to learn more about the process of chocolate-making and stock up on some unique treats to take home. Many visitors also enjoy the Marineland aquatic complex and amusement park, particularly if they have young children with them.
If none of these options sound appealing to you, don't despair. A simple walk around the city will reveal dozens of different options, from haunted houses and indoor waterparks to botanical gardens. Most pockets of the city have something special hidden away somewhere if you take the time to look. When you get hungry, you can stop by the Hard Rock Cafe or the Rainforest Cafe for a unique dining experience you'll always remember. Have fun on your travels to Niagara Falls, and don't get too close to the water, nor forget to apply for your eTA or visa at least four weeks in advance of your departure.
If you hold a passport from a country that is eligible for the Canada eTA such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or many other eTA eligible countries, you will need to obtain an approved eTA before your tourism, business or medical visit to Canada. Get started on your application, otherwise, visit the FAQ to learn more about the Canada eTA