Find out if you’re eligible – China Transit Program

You may be able to transit through Canada without a Canadian visa if you:

  • are from China and
  • plan to fly through Canada to or from the United States.

As a traveller, you don’t need to apply for this program. But, you need to meet all the conditions below.

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

What to do if you aren’t 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

To be eligible, you need to:

  1. have these documents:
    • a valid U.S. visa
    • a valid passport from People’s Republic of China
      • (Note: not issued by Hong Kong or Macao Special Administrative Regions) and
    • a confirmed airline ticket to the U.S. that leaves Canada the same day you arrive
  2. travel with an airline that takes part in the program
  3. depart from certain cities in Asia
  4. travel through specific Canadian airports
  5. not leave the Canadian airport during your stopover, except to board your flight
  6. arrive during business hours (hours may vary at each airport) for the preclearance area run by United States Customs and Border Protection
    1. if you arrive outside of these hours, you will no longer qualify under this program. You will have to go to the Canada Border Services Agency to be screened. You should check your flight connections with the airline.

If you plan to arrive from the United States

To be eligible, you need to:

  1. have these documents:
    • a valid U.S. visa
    • a valid passport from People’s Republic of China
      • (Note: not issued by Hong Kong or Macao Special Administrative Regions) and
    • a confirmed airline ticket for a flight that is
      • direct and non-stop to Canada
      • on the way to the country you are going to
      • leaving Canada the same day you arrive
    • You must also meet United States 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 takes part in the program
  3. depart from any city in the United States
  4. arrive in Canada through one of these airports:
    • Calgary International Airport
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1 only
      • if you are flying through Terminal 3, or need to change terminals between flights, you are not eligible for the China Transit Program
    • Vancouver International Airport
  5. not leave the Canadian airport during your stopover, except to board your flight
  6. arrive during business hours (hours may vary at each airport) for the preclearance area run by United States Customs and Border Protection
    1. if you arrive outside of these hours, you will no longer qualify under this program. You will have to go to the Canada Border Services Agency to be screened. You should check your flight connections with the airline.

What to expect at the Canadian airport

If you are on a flight that will continue to your destination (United States or international) after a stop in Canada (while you stay on the same airplane), you will stay in a sterile transit area within the Canadian airport.

  • a sterile transit area in an airport is where passengers and goods that are in transit are physically separated from other passengers and goods
  • if you need to leave this area, you will need to go to the Canada Border Services Agency to be screened

Travel through Canada to the United States

  • When you change airplanes, you will go directly from your arrival gate to the United States connection area at the Canadian airport.
  • You and your baggage will be re-screened for security.
  • Then you will go to United States Customs and Border Protection, where a border officer will process you for entry to the United States.
  • Once cleared, you will be allowed into the departures area to board your flight.

Travel through Canada to another international destination

  • When you change airplanes, you will go from your arrival gate to the Canada Border Services Agency area for international connections. A border officer will screen you before you can access the international departure lounge.
  • Where connection areas are and the hours they are open may be different in each airport. Check with your airline if you have questions about the connection process for your trip.

Missing a flight connection or arriving after hours

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

  • missing your connecting flight at the Canadian airport (for example, your flight arrived outside of the United States Customs and Border Protection hours described above) or
  • being refused entry to the United States

In each of these situations, you are no longer exempt from needing a visa under the China Transit Program. You will need to go to the Canada Border Services Agency to be screened before you can arrange to keep travelling.

Features

Date Modified: