Comparing Travel Authorization Systems: ESTA, Canada eTA, and ETIAS

03 Oct 11:17

Knowing the country of your destination’s admission criteria is essential while making travel plans abroad. In a time when security is of the utmost importance, several nations have pre-screened visa-exempt passengers via the use of computerized travel authorization systems. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), and the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) are three well-known systems. An exhaustive comparison of different systems is given in this article.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!

Comprehending ETA, ETIAS, and ESTA

The United States’ Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA)

The U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), of which ESTA is a component, permits nationals of 40 participating countries to enter the US for up to 90 days of business or tourism without the need for a visa. In the event that the request is granted, applicants must submit it online. The authorisation is good for two years or until the passport expires.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system in Canada

With the exception of American citizens, travellers from nations free from visa requirements may use Canada’s eTA system for comparable purposes. Authorized eTAs provide up to six-month stays for transit, business, or pleasure, and are valid for five years after the passport expires.

European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)

When the ETIAS becomes live by the end of 2024, it will pre-screen visa-exempt visitors from more than 60 nations, including residents of the United States and Canada, who want to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area during a 180-day period. The ETIAS authorisation will be in effect for three years, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

Goal and Qualifications

These approaches work toward the same general goal, which is to improve border security by screening visitors from nations where visas are not required. The nations putting these systems into place and the list of those who qualify for them differ, however. 40 countries are covered by ESTA, most visa-exempt countries (except the US) are covered by eTA, and more than 60 countries will be covered by ETIAS.

Method of Application and Cost

Applications for ESTA, eTA, and ETIAS must be submitted online. Applicants must provide answers to a number of questions on their trip itinerary, personal information, health, and security-related issues.

The government ESTA application charge is $21 as of 2023; the eTA fee is CAD $7; and the projected ETIAS fee, for those aged 18 to 70, is €7. While ESTA and eTA fees are applicable to all applicants, there is no cost for candidates under the age of eighteen or above seventy-seven.

Validity and Stay Length

Two years for ESTAs, five years for eTAs, and three years for ETIASs are the durations of validity for each of the three systems, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

For business, tourist, or transit reasons, the maximum permitted stay per visit is 90 days throughout a 180-day period. This is also consistent among different systems. Nonetheless, visits of up to six months are permitted under Canada’s eTA.


While improving border security and streamlining the travel process for visitors exempt from a visa are the common goals of ESTA, eTA, and ETIAS, each system’s specifics—from eligibility to application procedures, costs, and durations of stay—reflect the distinctive immigration laws and security concerns of each implementing nation or region.

It is essential to thoroughly investigate the admission criteria of your destination well in advance of making travel plans abroad. Remember that while travel authorizations such as ESTA, eTA, or ETIAS facilitate travel, they do not ensure entrance, as border control agents have the last say over admittance.


Do You Have U.S. ESTA VISA Travel Authorization? If You Have ESTA Application, Check if it is Still Valid!