I was deported from and banned for life from the USA. I have been traveling through South America seeing different countries. I'm currently living in Peru and want to travel to Europe. One way to travel would be flying through US airspace, to Canada.

My main question is: can I pass through US airspace on my way to Canada as part of a flight to Germany?

Are there are other alternatives to travel from Peru to Europe while avoiding North America all together?

  • 5
    Possible duplicate of Do I need a U.S. Visa if I'm traveling nonstop from Mexico City to Canada?
    – Giorgio
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:06
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    @Giorgio the history of deportation distinguishes this question from the proposed duplicate.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:07
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    @Richard That's a separate question, but the general practice is you wouldn't be allowed to leave the airport (i.e. pass through customs). While played up for drama, it was the plot of The Terminal which was based on a man stuck in a France airport for 18 years
    – Machavity
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 17:58
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    The history of deportation doesn't change the fact that the answer is the same.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 9:08
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    @DavidRicherby In the US we tend to use them interchangeably, since both immigration and customs are handled in the same area by the same government agency.
    – Machavity
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 12:10

5 Answers 5


The airline will collect Secure Flight information when checking you in, but there is no restriction preventing you from flying over US airspace just because you're inadmissible to the US.

So you'll be fine - you just need the documents for transiting Canada and entering Germany.

  • Interesting claim that Air Canada or LATAM or whatever would collect Secure Flight information on a flight that doesn't land in the US. I almost challenged you to provide a source, but my gosh, a little Googling says you're right, so you've got my upvote instead! I never would have guessed.
    – jackal
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 7:53
  • 1
    @jackal Russia does that too AFAIK
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 8:06
  • The US goes somewhat further than that.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 6:18

Flying over USA airspace is not a problem. What is a problem is that Canada, like the USA but unlike many other countries, requires you to have a transit visa in advance. Peru is not on the list of visa-exempt countries. The Canadian authorities may know that you were deported and banned from the United States, and if so, I think your chances of getting the Canadian visa are reduced. You should apply in advance, and as other answers mention, you should be prepared to book instead through airports where you will not have this problem.

  • 4
    And, even if your country were on the list of visa-exempt countries, you'd still need to get an eTA (similar to the US ESTA) before transiting Canada unless you're a U.S. citizen or fall under a few other minor exemptions.
    – reirab
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 21:06
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    Is a transit visa required (or easier to get) if you never actually enter Canada? Depends of course on whether the airport layout allows for that.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 11:10
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    Looks like it is: cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=420&top=16
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 11:11

You cannot land in the US (does not matter if it is only a transit). However, I am not seeing any issues with getting a flight to Canada. You need to have in the mind that you will need to land in Canada. So, maybe, you will need a Visa+ for that.

Could you go to Europe avoiding US or Canada?

Yes, you can... You could go to Brazil and get a flight to Portugal, for example.

  • 1
    yeah I read online that you can't stop at USA i don't want to stop i just want to fly pass, on my way to Canada. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 14:49
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    @peruviantraveler "for some reason the booking places just keep throwing USA my way": try excluding US airlines from your search, or limiting your search to Latin American and Canadian airlines. Also look for a way of eliminating codeshare flights.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:04
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    There are non stop flights from Lima to at least Amsterdam, London, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona. If you allow a single connection, you can probably get to every major European city without having to cross the US.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 16:25
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    This new "buy it online on booking engines" tomfoolery is not the only way... Try buying a ticket the old fashioned way, through a travel agent. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 20:00
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    ITA Matrix allows you to exclude operating carriers (even if it's marketed by another airline.) If you wanted to exclude American, United, and Delta, for example, you'd enter "-OPAIRLINES AA UA DL" in the "extension code" fields.
    – reirab
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 20:52

Personally I would fly direct from Guatemala to Madrid. Or From San Pedro Sula to Barcelona. Or from Panama to Amsterdam. I'm from the UK and can fly to the US without a visa, but due to bad mannered people in the US airports I now avoid flying through the US whenever possible. I'd rather invest my money in countries who treat me nicely. On the Spanish route I have never had any hassle from anyone. It's worth the extra cost.

Airlines you want to look at include KLM, Iberia, Air Europa, British Airways.

I've never had any difficulties in Canada and the people are friendly, but they can be quite strict and it adds an extra complication to your trip. As far as airspace is concerned it doesn't matter about the US at all. The Canadians have a deal with the US to manage those flights. Probably easiest to avoid US and Canada

  • 3
    Much of this answer seems to consist of personal opinions and anecdotes that are of no relevance to the question at hand.
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 10:18
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    @Mico OP explicitly asked for alternatives to a route over or through North American countries. John M's stated reason for knowing these alternatives adds credibility, even though no sources are cited. The reasons may not be relevant, but they explain a perfectly valid other reason why someone wouldn't want to travel there. Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 10:48
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    @AlexanderKosubek - Please re-read my comment. I would have thought that it was clear that my comment wasn't directed at the advice that the OP should look at the offerings of KLM, Iberia, etc. Instead, it was directed at JohnM's comments about how he [she?] feels about the treatment allegedly received at some US airports. That's what I believe falls in the category of "personal opinion and anecdote". I fail to see how personal, likely heart-felt but also utterly unverifiable, anecdotes make a positive contribution to the OP's understanding of his/her travel options.
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 12:04
  • Why not fly KLM straight from Peru to Amsterdam, or Iberia to Madrid? Why does everyone suggest going to another South American country first?
    – jjrv
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 15:58
  • @Mico I'm sorry for the harshness of my comment, you are correct in your original assessment. I've upvoted your comment, but I'll still let mine stand, as others might jump to the same conclusion I did - that you were criticizing the post as a whole, insead of the opinionated and anecdotal reasons for it. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 14:08

Personally I would avoid flying over US airspace at all costs. All it takes, is for the flight you're on to land in the US for whatever reason and your then in trouble. Trust me, I've been deported from the US to Canada (Canadian Citizen) and tried flying to Mexico, and was detained.

Follow the advice from John M, it'll be money well spent!

  • 1
    (-1) You were detained by: 1) whom 2) where 3) under what conditions? When an unforeseeable stopover occurs (force majeure]), inadmissible persons (assuming no arrest warrant exists) will simply be detained within the airport until the next possible flight which the airline is required to provide. One would not get into 'trouble' (as you claim) because there was no intention to enter the US. Kindly refrain from (wishful thinking) horror scenarios and rephrase your answer based on facts. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 17:14
  • @MarkJohnson The user is brand new to Stack Exchange, can you be a bit more welcoming and reasonable? The user does not need to say where they were detained and by whom. You can just say that you think the traveler will not get in trouble and that you think they'll simply be sent back home, and leave it at that. Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 2:35

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