For most, an eTA will take a few minutes to register. The process is done online. For others unlucky enough to have ever been arrested in their lifetime, a problem will occur. Other “problem” candidates will include those with an immigration violation in Canada, or who were previously removed, excluded or deported from Canada.
Out of the “problem applicants”, a few will be able to continue with their plans to travel to Canada, but will be referred to “secondary” upon their arrival for additional screening. For others, an eTA application will be refused and the traveler will not be able to travel to Canada, let alone obtain a boarding pass, until the matter is cleared before the Canadian consulate or embassy.
We suspect that the vast majority of denied, or “secondary referrals” will stem from a criminal conviction that occurred in the past (regardless of how long ago the offence occurred). Information about how an arrest or criminal conviction can render you “inadmissible” to Canada can be found here. Information about ways to overcome your inadmissibility, both temporarily or permanently, is also found on this website.
If you have a criminal record, or if you’ve ever been arrested (even if charges were subsequently dropped or dismissed), we urge you to consult an admissibility specialist such as our firm before applying for your eTA.