Yes. Transiting passengers are expected to have the necessary authorization to make the connecting flight and complete their movement to the final destination. To disembark from an aircraft at a Canadian airport, you need either a visa or an eTA.

The exact authorization you need will often depend on your nationality and other surrounding circumstances. Travelers transiting through Canada who are eligible for a Canada eTA are not expected to obtain any extra documentation to continue their journey, other than the online visa waiver.

Citizens of many other countries do not benefit from this visa exemption for Canada and therefore are not eligible for the eTA. Most often, travelers who fall into this category will need a visa for Canada to board a plane and pass through a Canadian airport to catch an onward flight.

It is also important to note that the type of Canadian visa you need to transit through Canada will vary based on certain circumstances. Most often, you will either need a Transit visa or a Visitor’s visa. If you are from a visa-required country, you have to obtain a Canadian transit visa to move through the country and board a connecting flight to another country all within 48 hours of landing.

If the period or the time spent in Canada between connecting flights will be more than 48 hours, you will be expected to obtain a visitor visa instead of a transit visa. If you intend to transit through Canada by land or sea, you will also need to obtain a visitor visa rather than a transit visa. Regardless of the period or the time spent in Canada, you will need a visitor’s visa to transit through Canada by land or sea.

Citizens of the United States of America are not required to obtain an eTA or a visa to transit through Canada as long as they have the right travel documents. This will most often include a form of ID such as a US passport. Citizens of other countries coming from the US to Canada by plane will need to show a valid eta.

In addition, you will be exempted from testing and quarantine requirements, as long as you remain in the secure transit area to complete your connection within 24 hours. If you want to leave the secure transit area may be owing to a flight cancellation or delay, you are expected to be eligible to enter Canada.

How to Obtain a Transit Visa to Transit Through Canada

There are two ways you can apply for a Canadian transit visa: mail or online. However, Immigration experts advise you to apply online to avoid processing delays and additional courier fees. The transit and visitor’s visa you need to transit through Canada is classified under Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

To apply, you just have to complete the two-page application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada or reach out to your nearest Canada Visa Office. At the top of the application, you have to select the box noted “Transit.” You can choose to mail this completed form to a Canada Visa Office or fill it out online. Also, note that this visa application is free and at no cost.

To be granted the visa, you will have to provide your travel plans either from the Transportation Company (airline, train, or bus) or travel agent. Always make sure you provide all the necessary documents stipulated on the transit visa application and then submit them to the officials.

As soon as your application is sent, officials will review the documents attached to it. If they feel it is incomplete, they will reject your application and send your documents back. If your application is complete, you will be sent an update asking that you submit a Police clearance, a medical exam, and also choose an interview date.

To fulfill all these processes and on time, it is advised you apply for your transit visa for Canada at least 30 days before your departure date and not less than that. In terms of where you can apply, you can apply for your transit visa from your country of residence.

How Do You Obtain an eTA to Transit Through Canada?

An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is needed by most visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to or transiting through Canada by air. To obtain your eTA to transit through Canada, you only have to provide your details by completing the Canadian eTA application form online.

Have it in mind that this process only takes a few minutes and ensures you don’t have to go to an embassy or consulate. The eTA is processed quickly and is often received within 1 to 3 business days. It is electronically linked to the individual’s passport, and this allows for a faster and more convenient entry through border control upon arrival in Canada.


If you land in Canada without the necessary authorization, you may not be allowed to continue your journey until you have obtained all the required authorizations. This simply means that without a transit visa, you could miss your connecting flight and be left to pay no-show fees.

Also, even if you don’t require a transit visa, you may be expected to obtain an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). f you are not certain of the exact authorization you need, consider filling out the visa survey on the Government of Canada website.