How To Enter A Name On The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Application

Updated on Jan 21, 2024 | Canada eTA

For all travellers who wish to fill out their Canada ETA travel authorization fully error-free, here is a how to guide on entering a name in the Canada ETA application correctly and other essential guidelines to follow.

All applicants of the Canada ETA are requested to ensure that every information/detail mentioned on the ETA application is 100% correct and accurate. Since errors and mistakes at any point of the application process can lead to delays in the processing process or a possible rejection of the application, it is necessary to ensure that all applicants avoid making errors in the application such as: Wrongly entering a name in the Canada ETA application.

Please note down that one of the most common and easily avoidable mistakes, made by most applicants in the Canada ETA application is associated with filling their first name and last name. Many applicants tend to have queries about the full name field in the ETA application questionnaire especially when their name contains characters that are not a part of the English language. Or other different characters such as hyphens and other queries.

For all travellers who wish to fill out their Canada ETA travel authorization fully error-free, here is a ‘how to guide’ on entering a name in the Canada ETA application correctly and other essential guidelines to follow.

How Can Applicants Of The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Enter Their Family Name And Other Given Names In The Application Questionnaire? 

In the application questionnaire for the Canadian ETA, one of the most important question fields to be filled error-free is the:

1. First name(s).

2. Last name(s).

The last name is generally referred to as the ‘surname’ or the family name. This name may or may not always accompany the first name or other given name. Nations that go by the Eastern name order tend to place the surname before the first name or other given name. This is especially done in the East Asian nations. 

Thus, it is highly advised to all applicants, while they are entering a name in the Canada ETA application, to fill the ‘First name(s) field with the name given/mentioned in their passport. This needs to be the applicant's actual first name followed with their middle name.

In the Last name(s) field, the applicant will be required to fill out their actual surname or family name that is mentioned in their passport. This should be followed regardless of the order in which a name is typically typed in.

The right order of name can be tracked down in the machine-decipherable lines of the biographical passport composed as chevron (<) surname with the shortening of the ethnicity followed by 02 chevrons (<<) and the given name.

Can Applicants Include Their Middle Name On The Canada Electronic Travel Authorization Application Questionnaire? 

Yes. All the middle names, while entering a name in the Canada ETA application, should be filled in the First name(s) section of the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization application questionnaire.

Important note: The middle name or any other given name filled out in the ETA application form should correctly and accurately match the name written in the applicant's original passport. It is also important to type in the same information regardless of the number of middle names. 

To understand this with a simple example: The name ‘Jacqueline Olivia Smith’ should be entered this way in the Canada ETA application:

  • First name(s): Jacqueline Olivia
  • Last name(s): Smith

READ MORE:
Most international travelers will need either a Canada Visitor visa which grants them entry to Canada or a Canada eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if you are from one of the visa-exempt countries. Read more at Canada Entry Requirements by country.

What Should Applicants Do If They Have Only 01 Given Name? 

There might be some applicants who do not have a known first name. And there is only a single name line on their passport.

In a case such as this, the applicant is recommended to enter their given name in the surname or family name section. The applicant can leave the first name(s) section empty while entering a name in the Canada ETA application. Or they can fill in FNU. This means that the First Name is Unknown to clarify it.

Are The Applicants Supposed To Fill In Decorations, Titles, Suffixes And Prefixes In The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Application? 

Yes. Applicants are recommended to mention different characters such as: 1. Decorations. 2. Titles. 3. Suffixes. 4. Prefixes in the Canadian ETA application questionnaire only if it has been mentioned in their original passport. If those special characters are not visible in the machine-decipherable lines in the passport, then the applicant is advised to not mention them in the questionnaire.

Some examples to understand this include:

  • # Lady
  • # Lord
  • # Captain
  • # Doctor

How To Apply For A Canadian ETA After A Change In The Name? 

In many cases, an applicant may apply for a Canada ETA after they have changed their name due to different factors such as marriage, divorce, etc. To make sure that the applicant is entering a name in the Canada ETA application according to the official rules and regulations issued by the Canadian Government, they will have to copy the exact same name written on their passport onto the application questionnaire for the Canadian ETA. Only then their ETA will be considered as a valid travel document for travelling to Canada.

After a short period of marriage, if the applicant is applying for a Canada ETA, and if their name on their passport is their maiden name, then they will have to compulsorily fill in their maiden name in the ETA application form. In the same way, if the applicant has been through a divorce and has modified the information in their passport after their divorce, they will have to fill in their maiden name in the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Application form.

What to note?

All travellers are suggested that if they have a changed name, then they should update their passport as soon as possible after the name change. Or they can get a new document made in advance so that their Canadian ETA application questionnaire contains details and information that are 100% accurate according to their amended passport. 

What Is It Like To Apply For A Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Document With Manual Amendment In The Passport? 

A passport will have a manual amendment to the name in the observation segment. If the applicant of the Canadian ETA has this manual amendment in their passport in regards to their name, then they will have to include their name in this segment.

If a visitor, who is currently holding a Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization document, updates their passport with a new name, then they will have to apply for an ETA again to enter Canada. In simple terms, before the visitor enters Canada after a new name, they will have to complete the step of entering a name in the Canada ETA application with their new name while re-applying for a new Canada ETA to enter Canada again.

This is simply because they cannot use their current ETA with their old name to stay in Canada. Thus re-applying with the new name filled in the application form is necessary.

What Are The Characters That Are Not Permitted To Be Filled Out In The Canadian ETA Application Questionnaire? 

The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization application questionnaire is based on: The letters of the Latin alphabet. These are also known as the Roman alphabet. On the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization application form, while the applicant is entering a name in the Canada ETA application, they will have to make sure that they fill out characters from the Roman alphabet only.

These are the accents utilised in the French spellings that can be filled out in the ETA form:

  • Cédille: Ç.
  • Aigu: é.
  • Circonflexe: â, ê, î, ô, û.
  • Grave: à, è, ù.
  • Tréma: ë, ï, ü.

The country that belongs to the passport of the applicant will ensure that the name of the passport holder is entered according to the Roman letters and characters only. Therefore, this shouldn't be a problem for the Electronic Travel Authorization applicants.

How Should Names With An Apostrophe Or Hyphen Be Filled Out In The Canadian ETA Application Questionnaire? 

A family name that has a hyphen or double-barrel is a name that consists of 02 independent names joined using a hyphen. For example: Taylor-Clarke. In this case, the applicant should ensure that while they are entering a name in the Canada ETA application, they are referring thoroughly to their passport and their name written in the passport. The name mentioned in the passport should be copied exactly on their Canada ETA application even with hyphens or double-barrels.

Apart from that, there might be names that have an apostrophe in them. A common example to understand this is: O'Neal or D’andre as a surname/family name. In this case too, the name should be written exactly as mentioned in the passport for filling out the ETA application even if there is an apostrophe in the name.

How Should A Name Be Filled Out In The Canadian ETA With Filial Or Spousal Relationships? 

The parts of a name where the applicant's relationship with their father is mentioned should not be filled in the Canada ETA application form. This applies to the part of the name that shows the relationship between a son and his father/any other ancestors.

To understand this with an example: If the passport of an applicant displays the full name of an applicant as ‘Omar Bin Mahmood Bin Aziz’, then the name in the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization application questionnaire should be written as: Amr in the first name(s) section. And Mahmood in the last name(s) section which is the family name section.

Other examples of similar cases, that should be avoided while entering a name in the Canada ETA application, can be the occurrence of words that indicate filial relationships such as: 1. Son of. 2. Daughter of. 3. Bint, etc.

Similarly, words that indicate an applicant's spousal relationships such as: 1. Wife of. 2. Husbands, etc should be avoided.

Why Apply For A Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization For Visiting Canada 2024? 

Seamless Entrance In Canada

The Canadian ETA is an incredible travel document that brings numerous advantages on the table when it comes to foreign travellers planning to visit Canada and enjoy an effortless and unproblematic stay in the country. One of the basic advantages of the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization is that: It enables seamless entrance in Canada.

When travellers decide to travel to Canada with an ETA, they will be required to apply for it online before they start their trip to Canada. And before the applicant's departure from their starting destination, they will be able to obtain an approved ETA digitally. This will expedite the procedures of entrance upon the landing of the traveller in Canada. The ETA for travelling to Canada will allow the Canadian authorities to pre-screen visitors. This will reduce waiting periods at the entry checkpoints and streamline the Immigration formalities. 

Period Of Validity And The Duration Of Temporary Residence

The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization allows travellers to reside in Canada for a period that is extendable to 05 years. Or it will remain valid till the traveller's passport remains valid. The decision about the extended validity period of the ETA document will be made upon whichever occurs first. During the entire period for which the ETA document will remain valid for, the visitor will be allowed to enter and exit from Canada multiple times.

This will be allowed only if the traveller abides by the rule of residing in Canada for a period not more than what is allowed on every stay or on every single stay. Generally, the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization will permit all visitors to reside temporarily in the country for a period up to 06 months per visit. This period is highly adequate for everyone to tour Canada and explore the country, conduct business and investment activities, attend events and functions and much more.

What to note?

The duration of temporary residence in Canada per visit will be decided by the Immigration authorities at the Canadian Port of Entry. All visitors are requested to oblige by the duration of temporary residence decided by the Immigration officers. And not exceed the number of days/months that are permitted on each visit in Canada with the ETA. The specified period of stay should be respected by the traveller and overstaying in the country should be avoided. 

If a traveller feels the need to extend their permitted stay in Canada with the ETA, they will be enabled to apply for an extension of the ETA in Canada itself. This application for extension should take place before the traveller's current ETA expires.

If the traveller is not able to extend their ETA validity period before it expires, then they are suggested to exit Canada and travel to a neighbouring nation from where they can re-apply for an ETA and re-enter the country.

Multiple Entry Electronic Travel Permit

The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization is a travel permit that will allow visitors to enjoy the benefits of a multiple-entry authorization for Canada. This indicates that: Once the ETA application of the traveller is approved by the concerned authorities, the visitor will be enabled to enter and exit from Canada multiple times without facing the need to re-apply for an ETA for each visit.

Please remember that the multiple entries will be valid to enter and exit from Canada multiple times only within the approved validity period of the ETA document. This benefit is an incredible add-on for all visitors who plan to keep entering Canada for fulfilling multiple purposes of visit. Different purposes of visit that are facilitated by the multiple-entry authorization are:

  • Travel and tourism purposes where the traveller can explore Canada and its different cities.
  • Business and commercial purposes where the traveller can conduct business trips in the country, attend business meetings and meet-ups, attend conferences and workshops, etc.
  • Visiting friends and family members who are residents of Canada, etc.

Summary

  • The Canadian ETA requires all travellers to complete the step of entering a name in the Canada ETA application correctly as mentioned in their original passport.
  • The first name(s) and the last name(s) field should be filled by the given names of the traveller as mentioned in the machine-decipherable lines of their passport.
  • If the applicant does not have a first name or if their first name is unknown, then they are suggested to fill out their given name in the family name section and leave a note of FNU in the first name section of the ETA application form.
  • Please remember that a traveller should not mention words such as: 1. Son of. 2. Daughter of. 3. Wife of. 4. Husband of, etc while filling out the full name field in the Canadian Electronic Travel authorization Application questionnaire as only the given first name and the given family name should he mentioned in this field. And such words should be avoided to be filled in.
  • The Canadian ETA is highly beneficial for all visitors who wish to enter and exit from Canada multiple times on a single travel authorization without re-applying for an ETA for every visit they make.

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