Temporary residents: Transit Without Visa Program

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Certain foreign nationals may be eligible to transit through Canada without a visa if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • are a citizen of
    • Indonesia
    • Thailand
    • Taiwan (must be a passport without a personal identification number)
    • Philippines
  • hold a passport or travel document of the country of which they are a citizen
  • hold a valid visa to enter the United States (US)
  • have not overstayed the period of time they were authorized to remain in the US
  • are not under a removal or deportation order in the US
  • are destined for a third country, including their country of nationality
  • have the required travel documents (such as a valid visa) to enter their country of destination as well as the required travel documents for any countries through which they may transit
  • are travelling on an approved airline
  • are transiting through a participating Canadian international airport
  • hold a confirmed airline ticket for a flight that leaves Canada within 24 hours of arrival

On this page

Connection time for travel through Canada

TWOV travellers who miss a connection or require a layover have up to 24 hours from the time of arrival before they must see a border services officer for examination to continue travelling.

Passengers refused entry to the United States

TWOV travellers who are refused entry to the United States must immediately report to the border services officer for examination.

Current Canadian participating airport

At present, the TWOV Program operates at the following airports:

  • Calgary International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (Terminal 1 only)
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

Note: Flying through Terminal 3 or needing to change terminals between flights at Toronto Pearson International Airport does not qualify passengers for the TWOV Program.

In order to be eligible for the TWOV Program, airlines must meet specific criteria, including the following:

  • meet all requirements to fly into Canada and to operate in Canadian airspace
  • fly to a TWOV-approved airport
  • have access to US in-transit pre-clearance (USITPC) facilities at the airport or to a sterile transit area for Fifth Freedom Right flights
  • hold a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that is in good standing, per section 280 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (this MOU outlines the requirements for transporting passengers to Canada)
  • have signed a TWOV Program MOU with IRCC and the CBSA

Note: To exercise the Fifth Freedom Right, the airline’s home country must have obtained the necessary Fifth Freedom Right in its air agreements with both the bilateral partner country and the third country involved. For more information, contact Transport Canada.

Currently, the following airlines are eligible to transport passengers under the TWOV Program:

  • Air Canada
  • Air Canada Rouge
  • Air China
  • Air Georgian
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Jazz Aviation LP
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Sky Regional Airlines Inc.
  • WestJet
  • Xiamen Airlines
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