USA and the UK
What is the Canadian Transit Visa?
The Transit Visa to Canada is a visa that some travelers need to travel through Canada to reach another destination abroad. Holders of the Transit Visa are allowed to stay at an airport in Canada for up to 48 hours while waiting for their connecting flight. However, they do not have the right to leave the airport unless they have another Canadian visa such as the Visitor Visa.
Foreign citizens of visa-required countries must obtain the Transit Visa if the following apply to their circumstances:
- Their flight stops in Canada on their way to another international destination
- They intend to board another international flight that departs from Canada
- They plan to transit through Canada within 48 hours
- They do not have a valid Visitor Visa.
Those who plan to leave the airport and visit Canada must apply for a Visitor Visa rather than the Transit Visa.
Who Needs the Canadian Transit Visa?
Not all foreign citizens need a visa to be able to transit through Canada.
Those who come from visa-exempt countries must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead.
And, citizens of Canada, as well as citizens and permanent residents of the United States do not need a Transit Visa.
Those who come from visa-required countries, however, must obtain the Canadian Transit Visa to be able to pass through a Canadian airport on their way to another country.
In some circumstances such as when a traveler plans to continue their journey by means other than a plane, for example, by bus, train or boat, they might have to obtain a Visitor Visa rather than the Transit Visa.
If you are not sure whether you need a Transit Visa to Canada, get in touch with our lawyers.
They will assess your circumstances and help you find the right permit based on your travel plans.
What is the Application Process for the Canadian Transit Visa?
Applications for the Transit Visa must be submitted online.
Exceptions can be made if someone is unable to submit an application online because of a disability or if they are traveling with a document confirming their refugee or stateless status.
When submitting an online application, foreign citizens must sign in to their Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Portal account, or create a new one.
Then, they must complete an online application form in which they indicate that the type of visa they want to obtain is the ‘Transit’ one.
After filling in the form, they need to provide a number of supporting documents. These include:
- Copy of an identity document
- Travel itinerary
- Previous travel history
- Family information form
- Use of a representative form if someone is applying on behalf of their family member.
Once the applicant submits the online form and all the documents, the Canadian government will process their application and determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria for the Transit Visa.
What are the Costs and the Processing Times?
The Canadian Transit Visa is free to obtain so those who need to pass through Canada do not have to worry about incurring additional costs.
As for the processing time, the Canadian government aims to review Transit Visa applications within a few weeks, sometimes sooner. However, the waiting time can vary depending on the workload of the local visa office in the applicant’s home country.
And, if the applicant is asked to provide additional information or documents, the processing time can take longer.
To avoid delays, it is advisable that you hire an immigration lawyer who can review your application and make sure you included all the necessary details and evidence.
What Happens After the Application is Submitted?
After a foreign citizen who plans to transit through Canada submits their application, immigration officials review it and verify whether it is complete. If any documents are missing, they return the application to the applicant so that they can correct it.In addition, applicants might be asked to get a medical exam, obtain a police certificate, or attend a visa interview. And, often they need to schedule an appointment to give their biometrics information. This typically concerns individuals who have not previously applied for any Canadian visas. If the application is approved, the foreign citizen will have the Transit Visa placed in their passport and will get their original documents back.
If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant will be notified of the reasons for the refusal. While there is no appeal process, the foreign citizen can try to submit a new application.
How Can IAS Help?
At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can help you ensure that your journey goes smoothly and that you do not encounter any problems when transiting through Canada.
They can help you gather all the necessary documents and correctly complete the application form. They can also answer all your questions and explain to you in detail what the conditions of the Canadian Transit Visa are.
And, if you wish to visit Canada, they can tell you what other permit you have to obtain.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our team can help with your visa application.
Last modified on August 25th, 2023 at 7:20 am
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If you are a citizen of a country included on the visa-exempt list, you do not need to apply for the Transit Visa to be able to transit through Canada. However, you must obtain the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). You can apply online and get it within just a few minutes.
If you are not sure whether your country is on the visa-exempt list, get in touch with our lawyers. They will help you determine whether you need to apply for a visa to transit through Canada.
There is no fee for the Canadian Transit Visa so, if you need it, you can obtain it for free. Similarly, if you get a notification saying that you have to give your biometrics information, you do not have to pay a fee for the appointment.
The Canadian Transit Visa is issued to foreign nationals who need to pass through a Canadian airport on their way to another international destination. Holders of the Transit Visa can spend up to 48 hours at the airport while waiting for their connecting flight but, unfortunately, they are not allowed to leave the airport during that time.
If you want to leave the airport and explore Canada, you need to obtain a Visitor Visa. Contact our lawyers and they will explain to you in detail how you can apply for one.