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A Complete One-stop Guide About the Canada Transit Visa

Planning an international travel or holiday requires understanding the visa requirements laid down by the destination country’s immigration officials. If Canada is one such destination as a transit through your journey, you must familiarize yourself with the Canada transit visa requirements. This post will provide in-depth information about the Canada Transit visa that features or covers the eligibility, purpose, application process, and other critical parameters to be considered.

What is a Canada transit visa?

Canada Airport

This visa is issued to foreign citizens who intend to pass through Canadian territory to a third destination. This visa is mandatory for all travelers or visitors who are not nationals or citizens of any visa-exempt country traveling to or from the USA or St. Pierre and Miquelon.

48 hours is the validity of a Canada transit visa and cannot be extended under any circumstances. Therefore, if you intend to stay in Canada beyond 48 hours, you should apply for a new type of visa.

Who should apply for a Canada Transit visa?

Your eligibility for a Canada Transit visa can vary depending on your citizenship and the country from where you are traveling or to. However, for all visa-exempt country citizens, you need not apply for a Canada Transit visa to pass through the Canadian province.

The following countries are visa-exempt from applying for a Canada Transit visa:

  • United States of America
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Brazil

All the citizens or nationals who are not native citizens of the above countries need to apply for a Canada Transit visa to pass through Canadian land.

Understanding your eligibility criteria

Your Canadian Transit visa needs you to meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • A non-exempt visa country citizen requires a transit visa to enter Canadian territory. This would also include circumstances or situations where you are exempt from applying for a regular visitor visa.
  • Own a valid passport or travel document for traveling via Canada
  • Traveling to and from a foreign country apart from Canada.
  • Confirmed air ticket for traveling to your ongoing destination or country.
  • The transit time in Canada is at most 48 hours onward to your next destination.
  • No criminal proceedings or records mapped against you that will be deemed as a security risk to the Canadian province.

Purpose of a Canada Transit Visa

The Canada Transit Visa, also called a Transit Without Visa (TWOV), allows eligible foreign citizens to transit via Canada without obtaining a regular visitor visa. This is exclusively designed for travelers who need to travel via Canada to a third country or destination outside the Canadian provinces.

Applying for a Canada transit visa

Once you have checked about the visa-exempt nationality status, you will have to complete the following steps or actions:

  • Check your eligibility for a transit visa by visiting the Canadian government website. You must enter information about the destination country you are traveling from or to, along with your nationality.
  • A valid original passport or travel document
  • A letter of invitation from a native of the country you are traveling to or from
  • Confirmed air ticket to or from a third country
  • A completed and duly signed Canadian transit visa application form can be completed online or on paper. All online applications can be processed through the Canadian government’s website. You can download the application from the website or get a copy from the Canadian consulate or embassy in your region for all offline applications.
  • The Canada transit fee is Canadian dollars ($) 50. You can pay the fee online or offline at the Canadian embassy or consulate, depending on the type of application you are filing.
  • Submit your application form once you have paid the fees.
  • Certain cases require you to attend an interview at the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. This is to assess your application further if needed.

Processing time for your Canada transit visa

Once you submit your Canadian transit visa application form online or offline, your transit visa may be processed in varying timelines ranging from days to weeks. Therefore, always apply for your Canada Transit visa well in advance.

You will receive a visa letter or a stamped visa on your original passport as a confirmation of an approved transit visa. The visa will also indicate your approved dates of travel.

Key considerations

  • Ensure to provide only accurate, complete, and updated information in your visa application form.
  • There is no fixed time for processing your Canada transit visa. Hence, applying well in advance per your intended travel dates is advisable.
  • Travel and health protocols are bound to change dynamically. Do stay updated with the latest guideline for passing through the Canadian mainland.
  • A Canada transit visa only permits you to transit through Canada. It needs to comply with your visa or entry requirements for your destination.
  • The maximum transit time applicable per your Canadian transit visa is 48 hours. If your layover exceeds 48 hours, you must apply for a visitor visa.


The guidelines and requirements for a Canada transit visa are critical who want to pass through the Canadian mainland en route to their destination. Familiarizing yourself with the process, eligibility status, application procedure, key considerations, and the latest guidelines is essential for a smooth and hassle-free transit experience.

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