Short-term measure introduced for dual Canadian nationals

As of November 10, 2016, dual Canadian nationals will need a Canadian passport to board their flight to Canada, with the exception of American-Canadian dual nationals. However, under a newly introduced short-term measure, available until January 31, 2017, qualifying dual Canadian nationals may apply for a special authorisation to travel with their valid non-Canadian passports. 

This special authorisation is available to dual Canadian nationals whose: 

  • second citizenship is from a visa-exempt country; 
  • travel date to Canada is imminent (leaving in less than 10 days)
  • Canadian citizenship can be verified by Immigration, Refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

An individual can apply for a special authorisation online via IRCC's website. Each applicant's information will be verified in IRCC's electronic system to confirm Canadian citizenship. Each individual applying for a special authorisation must ensure that all information is entered correctly when applying for this authorisation, as mistakes in information can lead to a delay or refusal of this authorisation. Without this special authorisation, the individual will not be able to board their flight to Canada. 

In addition, it should be noted that a special authorisation is valid only for one person. If a family is travelling together, each family member will need to apply separately for their special authorisation. Once his/her application is approved, the special authorisation will be valid for 4 days from the date of travel indicated in the application. 

Given that applying for a Canadian passport can take time, particularly if the applicant is required to obtain proof of Canadian citizenship prior to applying for their Canadian passport, this short-term measure will help reduce travel disruptions for certain dual Canadian nationals travelling to Canada by air. 

What this means for you as an employer? 

Employers who are hiring dual Canadian nationals must ensure that in advance of flying to or transiting through Canada, travellers are fully aware of the eTA requirements that apply to their unique situation to ensure that they do not experience issues with reaching their destination.  


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