I am a UK citizen flying into Toronto, arriving 4pm in summer and flying onto SAN Fran leaving at 7pm. Is this enough time to clear Canada immigration and catch the forward flight? Would I also need US immigration clearance before departure? Is three hours enough time?

  • Which airline(s) and where are you departing from? Are your flights booked on a single ticket (same e-ticket number, same PNR)?
    – Traveller
    Jan 19 '19 at 22:17
  • 2
    You should not need to clear Canadian immigration, but proceed directly to US preclearance.
    – Calchas
    Jan 19 '19 at 22:44

Air Canada's published minimum connection time from Canada to the US via Toronto Pearson is 1 hour 10 minutes. This may vary slightly for other airlines, but not by much. Quite a bit of that is the fact that you have a really long walk from your arrival gate to the transit corridor or to immigration.

With a three hour connection, you've got more than enough time to get to and through US preclearance. You'll probably spend most of the connection time bored out of your skull; there wasn't all that much past preclearance the last time I looked.

Note that it is no longer necessary for international transits going to US preclearance to clear Canadian immigration; most Canadian international airports (quite possibly all by now) now have a designated transit path from international arrivals to US preclearance that bypasses Canada immigration.

The airport website has a guide which explains exactly what to expect when you connect through Pearson.

  • 1
    There's a bit more past US preclearance in YYZ than there used to be. Given that the OP is flying to SFO, they'll probably be leaving from the "main part" of the pre clearance area, which has several shops & restaurants. There's also a separate wing that primary serves smaller planes going to the eastern US. It used to be dark & cramped & poorly serviced, but it was renovated in 2017 and is now bright & spacious & poorly serviced. Jan 20 '19 at 21:10

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