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My wife and I went through US customs at YVR and soon realized that we couldn't get to the aquarium. Is there a way to leave once passing through customs? I have a 6 hour wait until my next flight.

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    Anecdote: My wife and I were once flying from YYZ to the USA, and our flight was cancelled due to weather after we had gone through US pre-clearance. We were required to pass through Canadian customs before we could exit the airport and find a hotel for the night. I therefore suspect that at a minimum, you would need to pass through Canada customs to exit the pre-clearance area; and this may not be something that the airlines want to encourage. – Michael Seifert May 29 '18 at 18:57
  • @MichaelSeifert, Do you remember how you got back to Canada customs from the preclearance area? There's no apparent way to do that from the departure concourse other than by the airline opening several normally-locked doors to get to the arrival hallway so it seems like this might only be possible in special cases like your's. – Dennis May 29 '18 at 19:36
  • Why not try and report back? :) – JonathanReez May 29 '18 at 20:37
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    Basically, there's no exit to be found. Looks like I'm stuck here. Thanks everyone. – Rolan May 29 '18 at 22:19
  • @Dennis If the flight was canceled, there would presumably be a lot of passengers in the same situation. Worst-case, CBSA could send officers to escort passengers to the customs station. – cpast May 30 '18 at 0:30
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I remember last time I went through US preclearance in Toronto, that there was a sign that said something like, if you pass through preclearance, you must proceed on a flight to the US the same day; and if you leave, you must report to the Canadian Border Services Agency. (I can't find a picture or copy of the text, unfortunately.)

So I think basically, you would have to report to CBSA and go through Canadian immigration and customs to go back to the rest of the airport, and you would have to then go through US preclearance again when you want to board your flight later.

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