eTA and Canada Visum extension

In this article, you will learn how uncomplicated it is to enter Canada and how you can extend your stay if, like me, you are enchanted by the beauty of the country. With a step-by-step guide and practical tips on applying for the Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) and the Visitor Record, I invite you to be inspired and embark on the adventure of Canada!

Sunset in Saskatchewan, campsite on a green field surrounded by trees. Georg is lying on the rooftop terrace, enjoying the rays of the sun.

I am in love with Canada! A country with breathtaking nature, warm-hearted people, and endless expanses. That’s why I want to strongly encourage you today to travel to Canada at least once!

The great thing is that the entry requirements are surprisingly uncomplicated, even though it’s not in the EU. And extending your stay, in case you fall in love with Canada just like I did, is also not a significant challenge. In this article, I will explain to you how the entry process works, what you need, and most importantly, what you don’t!

Basics: eTA

Contrary to what most people think, you don’t need a visa for Canada (if you have a valid German passport). BUT: you should still not travel to Canada unprepared. ETA stands for Electronic Travel Authority, and you can apply for it online. It involves answering a few simple questions. Once you have filled it out and submitted it, you should receive your confirmation in a few minutes.

The eTA costs 7 Canadian Dollars, which is approximately €4.81. A real bargain. Here is the official website with all the necessary information about eTA:

By the way, the eTA is valid for 6 months, even if you cross the border during that time.

For example: If you enter Toronto on May 1st, you are officially allowed to stay in Canada until November 1st. However, if you decide to take a short trip to New York and then return to Canada (remember that you will need an ESTA for the USA), re-entry with the eTA is possible, BUT your clock keeps ticking. This means your departure date does not change and remains November 1st!

Extending the Stay

But what if you want to stay in Canada longer? After 3 months, we had an idea. Why not spend the winter in Canada and experience a real winter?! We found a small house that we could occupy during the winter months. To implement this plan, we also had to extend our residence permit.

Visitor Record

Since you already have an eTA, you cannot apply for another eTA but must apply for a Visitor Record.

Here is the official website with all the information. To apply for the Visitor Record, click on “How to Apply” at the bottom.

The Visitor Record costs 100 CAD and has a longer processing time. (On the website above, you can see the approximate processing time at the moment.) So, it is advisable to plan some time for the processing.

Step 1

If you have a passport with stored biometric data, the registration is done online. So, you can save yourself a trip to the consulate.

Step 2

You need an account. Be sure to save all passwords!

Step 3 - What You Need

For the Visitor Record, you need a few (digital) documents that you may want to prepare in advance.

  1. Application Form
  2. Schedule 1 (Application Form)
  3. Passport photo
  4. Photocopy of your passport
  5. Proof of your finances

Additionally: 6. Letter (Here you can explain why you want to stay longer.)


When you have all this together, you upload all the documents… AND YOU CAN PAY! :-)

Step 4

You will receive a confirmation email that you have uploaded everything. Then it’s time to wait.

You will always receive a confirmation email when the status of your application changes.

Step 5

For us, the processing took 2 months, and Georg received his confirmation 2 weeks before me. After the status changed to approved, we received the Visitor Record by mail a few days later.

All’s Well That Ends Well…

It may sound like a lot of paperwork, but I don’t think it really was. The whole application cost us at most an hour (and 100 CAD), which is not much for an extension of stay.

All in all, we can only encourage you to extend your stay if you feel that time might be too short to explore this beautiful country. We found it definitely worth it!