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I am a US Permanent Resident(Green Card). I booked a ticket from China to USA. The flight is operated by Air Canada. It will have connecting flight wait time 11 hours 20 minutes in Vancouver. My question is that since the connecting flight wait time is so long, can I take a tour in Vancouver, I don't want to sit inside the airport, Is that possible?

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US green card means permerant resident in US, I guess that staying in Canada is fine. My question is that can I exit the airport and back? –  Love May 17 '13 at 14:13
    
My nationality is China, but I did a travel in Canada several years ago by my green card. No visa at all. –  Love May 17 '13 at 14:20
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Why would you think a US green card means "staying in Canada is fine" - they are separate countries. It's one thing to change planes staying airside and it's another thing to go out of the airport. –  Kate Gregory May 17 '13 at 14:25
    
Here "staying" is referring to a quick tour instead of living and working. Sorry for unclearness. –  Love May 17 '13 at 14:33
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@HaLaBi Nationality is not important for visiting Canada for US Permanent Resident. cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp#exemptions Exemption #2 –  Karlson May 17 '13 at 14:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes, you can leave the airport. Green card holders don't need a visa to visit Canada. You will need to go through Canadian immigration after arrival to Vancouver, no matter whether you decide to leave the airport or not. You should arrive at the airport in advance since you will need to clear the US immigration in Vancouver before the departure.

Update: If anybody can suggest how to spend time in Vancouver, please post a separate answer. But clearly if you take a cab to the city and back, you'll have at least 5-6 hours in Vancouver.

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This only answers immigration part. How about ability to do the tour of the city in 11 hours and 20 minutes? –  Karlson May 17 '13 at 15:02
    
Maybe only to visit a famous place and return to the airport. –  Love May 17 '13 at 15:06
    
Well, you will not see much in 11 hours and 20 minutes. But clearly you can take a cab to the city and back and spend at least 5 hours in Vancouver. –  R-traveler May 17 '13 at 15:08
    
@R-traveler You should update the answer. –  Karlson May 17 '13 at 15:18
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@R-traveler, are you certain that the OP will need to clear Canadian immigration? My understanding is that YVR (unlike U.S. airports) has holding pens for international transit passengers. Also, because YVR is a U.S. pre-clearance station, if the OP doesn't leave the airport, he or she may be able to clear U.S. immigration rather than Canadian (and will need to anyway if the flight to the U.S. is treated as domestic). YVR has a page that will say if one must clear Canadian immigration or not. –  jetset May 30 at 4:41

I'd suggest taking the Skytrain into town (perhaps Waterfront station) where you can walk around, have a nice meal, see the water, etc. If it will be summer time, you could even walk to a nearby beach. On the other hand, if you think you may be exhausted from the flight, you could book a day rate at a hotel near the airport and have a shower and nap and change of clothes.

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