Can I Transit to Canada Without Visa?

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One could have a privilege of transit without visa through the Transit Without Visa Program or TWOV program. This program allows certain foreign nationals to transit through Canada on their way to and from the United States without a Canadian transit visa.

Nationals from the following country are qualified for the TWOV program:

  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan (Taiwan passport holders who do not qualify for the visa exemption would still benefit from this program)
  • Philippines

Nationals who qualify for the TWOV program must also meet the following conditions:

  • They hold a valid passport or travel documents that is issued by the country that they are a legal citizen to
  • They hold a valid U.S. visa
  • They are travelling to Canada on an approved airline (they could be one of the following: Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air China, WestJet, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, China Southern, Jazz Air, Sky Reqional Airlines Inc., and Air Georgina)
  • They are transiting through an approved Canadian airport either from Vancouver International Airport or Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, terminal 1 only

It is to be noted that only airports and airplanes can submit an application.

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In line to this, nationals from approved countries should hold a confirmed onward ticket for a direct flight to the U.S. leaving Canada on the same travel day while travelling to the U.S. No layovers or overnight stays are allowed. Also when changing flights in Canada, you should arrived during the operating hours of the U.S. in-transit pre-clearance facility to avail for the TWOV program. For those who missed the operating hours of the U.S. in-transit pre-clearance facility, they are no longer allowed to the programs and should proceed to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer for an examination. The CBSA officer would then decide if they are going to issue a free-exempt temporary resident permit.

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When travelling from the U.S., nationals from approved countries should also meet the following conditions to travel as a TWOV passenger:

  • They should arrive in Canada from the U.S. in a direct, non-stop flight on an approved airline and should proceed to the CBSA area for clearance or have remained in an isolated transit area while waiting for a connecting flight. Passengers who left this isolated transit area should proceed to a CBSA area for examination.
  • They should not be under a removal or deportation order
  • They should have a valid U.S. visa to enter the U.S. and have not exceeded the period of time they are allowed to remain in the U.S.
  • They are going to a third country, including the country of their nationality and have the required travel documents to enter that third country and the required travel documents in any country they plan to transit through
  • They are holding a confirmed onward ticket for a flight that will leave Canada on the same travel day. No layovers or overstaying is allowed.
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