I am an Indonesian citizen, and will be travelling to the US through Toronto Pearson airport (I'll be arriving at 3pm, Saturday and my layover will be about 3 hours).

According to https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/transit/without-visa/eligibility.html it seems that I'm eligible for the "Transit without a visa" program.

There are a list of airlines that participate in the program, and for my trip I booked the ticket through United Airlines website. It is written that my arriving flight to Toronto airport is operated by Air Canada Rouge (which participates in the program) while my departing flight from Toronto to the US is operated by Trans States Airlines DBA United Express.

So, am I eligible for this "Transit without a visa" thing or should I get a transit visa?

Thanks for the help ...

  • Just to confirm, is your inbound flight to Toronto directly from an international origin or is it coming from a transit airport somewhere else in Canada? The confusing bit is that, as far as I know, Air Canada Rouge doesn't fly long-haul international routes (Air Canada does), they mostly fly on shorter-distance Canada domestic and US routes.
    – user38879
    May 15, 2018 at 18:37
  • @Dennis: Air Canada Rouge does fly to the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
    – user102008
    May 15, 2018 at 18:49
  • Based on the information you have given and this link: canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/…, it seems there are a lot of conditions you need to satisfy: 1) US visa: check 2) Indonesian passport: check 3) Transit through Toronto Pearson (Terminal 1 only!) 4) Travel on participating airline: AC Rouge (check), but NOT United Airlines 5) Arrive during CBP preclearance operating hours If you think you do not satisfy any of these please contact the airport and verify! (contd..)
    – AVJ
    May 15, 2018 at 19:23
  • (contd..) my cousin was traveling from US - Asia via Canada and the US airlines did not let her board since she did not have transit visa for Canada. You don't want to be stuck in that situation so please contact airport and/or airlines in advance to confirm. Even if an airline is operated by AC Rouge if it's a United Airlines' plane, it's still flying under the United Airlines flag. You need to verify this.
    – AVJ
    May 15, 2018 at 19:27
  • Since Canadian transit visas are free of charge, the cost to you of not worrying about whether you qualify is only the time required to submit the application. But if your flight is this Saturday, four days from now, your only option is probably to show up for the flight without a visa and hope for the best.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2018 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are stopping just once in Canada, and you are transiting through Terminal 1 only, Yes, I believe you are eligible for the Transit Without Visa program. It's the airline that you arrive in Canada on that needs to be in the approved airlines list. The airline that you leave Canada on does not matter. Since you are arriving on Air Canada Rouge, which is an approved airline, that should be enough.

Although the CIC page you linked to is ambiguous about which leg of the transit needs to be on an approved airline ("travel with an airline ..."), I have found that a section in the CBSA's guide for transporters, as well as an archived version of CBSA's page on the Transit Without Visa program both specify "travel to Canada on an approved airline". Timatic (you can use this interface, just enter nationality Indonesia and transit Canada, then click for details on the entry for transiting without visa through Toronto for a flight to the USA) also says "arrive on a flight operated by ...".

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