Transit Without Visa Program

China Transit Program

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have established the China Transit Program (CTP). The CTP allows eligible nationals from the People's Republic of China (China) to transit Canada on their way to and from the United States (U.S.) without having to obtain a Canadian transit visa if they meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • They are in possession of a valid passport issued by the authorities of China;
  • They are in possession of a valid U.S. visa;
  • They travel on one of the following approved airlines to Canada:
    • Air Canada rouge
    • Air Canada;
    • Jazz Aviation LP;
    • Sky Regional Airlines;
    • Cathay Pacific;
    • China Airlines;
    • Philippine Airlines;
    • Air China;
    • Air Georgian Limited;
  • They travel through one of the following approved airports in Canada:
    • Vancouver International Airport;
    • Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto) (Terminal 1 only); or
    • Montreal International Airport - Pierre Elliott Trudeau

      Notice: while travelling to or from the U.S., eligible CTP nationals are NOT permitted to transit Canada from Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto) Terminal 3;

  • They must depart on a direct, non-stop flight to Canada from one of the following six approved embarkation points in Asia:
    • Beijing;
    • Hong Kong;
    • Shanghai;
    • Guangzhou;
    • Manila;
    • Taipei.

Passengers travelling to the United States

In addition to meeting the conditions above, while travelling to the U.S., eligible CTP passengers must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • They hold a confirmed onward ticket for a direct flight to the U.S. leaving Canada the same travel day (no layover or overnight stay is permitted);

    Notice: eligible CTP passengers are permitted to travel to the U.S. from Canada (Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1 and Vancouver International Airport) on ANY air carrier;

  • They arrive in Canada during the hours of operation of the U.S. in-transit preclearance facility (CTP passengers are encouraged to check their flight connection schedule with the air carrier).

Missing a flight connection or arriving after hours

CTP passengers who miss their connecting flight to the U.S. from Canada or arrive after hours when the U.S. in-transit pre-clearance facility is closed are no longer eligible to travel without a Canadian transit visa under the CTP and must proceed to a CBSA officer for examination.

CTP passengers arriving from the United States

In addition to meeting the conditions above, when travelling from the U.S., eligible CTP passengers must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • They arrive in Canada from ANY U.S. embarkation point on a direct, non-stop flight on an approved CTP airline and proceed to the CBSA area for clearance or remain in a sterile transit area while waiting for a connecting flight (passengers that leave the sterile transit area must proceed to the CBSA area for examination);

    Notice: CTP nationals returning from the U.S. to Canada on a non-approved CTP airline are NOT eligible to travel under the CTP and require a valid Canadian transit visa to enter Canada.

  • They are not under a removal or deportation order from the U.S.;
  • They had a valid U.S. visa to enter the U.S. and have not overstayed the period of time they were authorized to remain in the U.S.;
  • They are destined for a third country, including their country of nationality, and have the required travel documents to enter that third country as well as the required travel documents for any countries they may transit through; and
  • They hold a confirmed onward ticket for a flight that will leave Canada on the same travel day (no layover or overnight stay is permitted).

Main goals of the China Transit Program

  • To facilitate legitimate travellers who are transiting Canada on their way to and from the U.S.; and
  • To support economic development by making Canadian international airports more attractive to airlines and to passengers travelling to and from the U.S.
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