Transit Without Visa Program: Find out if you’re eligible

If you plan to fly through Canada on your way to or from the United States, you may be able to transit through Canada without a Canadian visa.

As a traveller, you don’t need to apply for the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) Program. But you do need to meet all the conditions below.

Note: Your airline must verify that you’re eligible for the program before you board your flight to Canada.

What to do if you’re not eligible

If you don’t meet all the requirements below, you need to apply for a transit visa.

If you plan to travel to the United States via Canada

To be eligible, you need to

  1. have these documents
    • a valid U.S. visa
    • a valid passport from
      • Indonesia
      • Philippines
      • Thailand
      • Taiwan (this must be a passport without a personal identification number)
    • a confirmed airline ticket for a flight to the United States that leaves Canada within 24 hours of your arrival
  2. travel with an airline that participates in the TWOV
  3. travel through specific Canadian airports
  4. not leave the Canadian airport during your stopover, except to board your flight
  5. depart Canada within 24 hours of arrival
    • if your flight is cancelled or delayed and your layover is more than 24 hours, you’ll no longer qualify for this program. You’ll have to go to the Canada Border Services Agency for examination. You should check your flight connections with the airline.

If you plan to connect through Canada on your way from the United States to an international destination

To be eligible, you need to

  1. have these documents
    • any documents you may need to enter the country you’re going to, such as a valid visa
    • a valid passport from
      • Indonesia
      • Philippines
      • Thailand
      • Taiwan (this must be a passport without a personal identification number)
    • a confirmed airline ticket for a flight that is
      • direct and non-stop to Canada
      • on the way to the country you’re going to
      • leaving Canada within 24 hours of your arrival
    • You must also meet U.S. immigration conditions
      • you entered the United States with a valid visa, and did not stay longer than you were authorized to
      • you are not under a removal or deportation order
  2. travel with an airline that participates in the TWOV
  3. depart from any city in the United States
  4. travel through one of these Canadian airports
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1 only
      • if you’re flying through Terminal 3, or need to change terminals between flights, you’re not eligible for the Transit Without Visa Program
    • Vancouver International Airport
    • Calgary International Airport
    • Winnipeg International Airport
  5. not leave the Canadian airport during your stopover, except to board your flight

What to expect during your connection at the Canadian airport

You must remain in a sterile transit area within the Canadian airport while you make your connection to or from the United States. This sterile transit area physically separates you and your baggage from other passengers and goods.

If you need to leave this area for any reason, you’ll need to see a Canada Border Services Agency officer for examination.

Travelling through Canada on your way to the United States

When you arrive, you’ll go directly from your arrival gate to the U.S. connection area at the Canadian airport.

You and your baggage will be re-screened for security.

You’ll then go to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where a border officer will process you for entry to the United States.

Once cleared, you’ll be allowed into the departures area to proceed to your flight.

Travelling through Canada on your way from the United States to an international destination

When you arrive, you’ll go directly from your arrival gate to a primary inspection kiosk in the connection centre.

The location of connection areas and the hours of operation may be different in each airport. Check with your airline if you have questions about the connection process for your trip.

After scanning your passport at the kiosk, you’ll wait in the international departures lounge until you leave the Canadian airport.

Missing a flight connection or arriving outside the hours of operation for U.S. Preclearance facilities

There may be situations that disrupt your travel while you are in Canada. These can include

  • missing your connecting flight at the Canadian airport
  • being refused entry to the United States

In each of these situations, you’re no longer exempt from needing a visa under the Transit Without Visa Program. You’ll need to see a Canada Border Services Agency officer for examination before you can continue your travels.

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