Canada’s New Entry Requirement: A Valid Canadian Passport is Mandatory for all Canadians including Dual Nationals to fly to Canada!

With the new implementation of eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) in March 15, 2016, the Canadian government strengthened border security and exit controls.

This has impacted visitors to Canada, as tourists from visa-exempt countries are now required to obtain an eTA to board their flight to Canada.


However, these travelers do not need an eTA if entering by land or sea (i.e. driving from the US or coming by bus, train, and boat or cruise ship).

The impact of eTA on dual citizens

Starting November 10, 2016, Canadian citizens with dual citizenship are now required to travel with their Canadian passport to fly to Canada.

Exemption applies for Canadian-American dual citizens.


For now, dual Canadian American citizens are exempt from this regulation and can still use their US passport to fly to Canada.


Until November 9, 2016, there was a leniency period and dual citizens were able to fly to Canada with their foreign passport from visa-exempt countries and apply for an eTA to enter Canada.

But after November 10, 2016, this is no longer possible and instead, you will need a valid travel document to prove your citizenship.


If the child was born abroad and never registered as a Canadian with the Canadian government?

The child is automatically a Canadian by birth if one of the parents was born or was naturalized in Canada before the child’s birth.

If you have doubts, you should check the child’s citizenship by clicking here.

So, it is not a matter of registering your child as a Canadian but rather, the child is automatically a Canadian if born under a Canadian parent.


What do I need to do?

In order to obtain a Canadian passport, you will need a proof of Canadian citizenship first.

If the time is an issue, you can apply for the Canadian citizenship certificate and Canadian passport at the same time but the Canadian passport will be a limited validity passport of two (2) years.

What happens if you travel without a valid Canadian passport?

Worst case scenario, if a child with dual citizenship does not have a valid Canadian travel document to fly to Canada, the child may be denied to board the flight.

It is quite obvious that the child is a Canadian if the child is travelling with a parent who holds a Canadian passport.

If the airline refuses the child to board the flight, the whole trip needs to be rescheduled or even cancelled and there will be additional charges to reschedule flights and so on.

To avoid any disappointment, make sure that dual citizens have a valid Canadian passport to fly to Canada!


Find out if you are eligible for “special authorization” to board your flight to Canada

Special authorization is a lenient measure for those who were unaware of the new regulation that started in November 10, 2016.

You can apply for a special authorization if you:
●have a flight to Canada that leaves in less than 10 days, and
●have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country.

And one of the following:
● have previously received a Canadian citizenship certificate, or
● held a Canadian passport in the past, or
● were granted Canadian citizenship after having been a permanent resident of Canada.

Make sure that you and your child have a valid travel document before flying to Canada to avoid any disappointments or boarding refusal.


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