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For my country of citizenship, I do need tourist visa for Canada. However, all I need to do (for the sake of arranging my immigration status in USA) is leave USA and come back, so I will not even leave the terminal area in Canada, just fly back the same day to make a fresh re-entry in USA. Will I need a Canadian visa for this? Is there anything to stop my flying out to Canada, provided I do not leave the terminal area?

  • Where are you located? Presumably close to the Canadian border. Would a flight to Mexico be feasible? Their migration rules are generally more relaxed, and there are some pretty cheap flights (although they might take longer if you're in the northern US). – Flimzy Apr 7 '14 at 19:22
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It is possible to do a visa entry without flying (to Canada). For example, wherever there is a bridge to Canada (Detroit, Buffalo, etc) you can go partway across the bridge, turn around, and come back through US immigration.

The trouble you will have with a flight to Canada is the airline will want to be sure you have the right to enter Canada first (especially since you require a visa to enter Canada). Without a visa, you probably won't get on the plane.

  • This sounds great. Is there any way where I can find more detailed information on how to do this across one of those bridges? Can I do Niagara Falls for example? – Baron Apr 7 '14 at 18:56
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    You know, on further reflection, I'm not sure I would recommend this approach for you. This is a common technique for Canadians, but Canadians can always just continue back to Canada if something goes wrong at the US entry. If something were to go wrong with the US entry for you, you would be stuck with nowhere to go (not a good position to be in). – Greg Hewgill Apr 7 '14 at 20:12
  • I do not believe you can "turn around" in the middle of a major international bridge. – user102008 Apr 8 '14 at 4:23
  • @user102008: Well, not the middle of the bridge, but there exist places between the border checkpoints on either side where you can do so, which people use specifically for the purpose above. – Greg Hewgill Apr 8 '14 at 5:37
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    You can turn around in the middle of a major international bridge if you are walking across it! The Rainbow Bridge, for instance, has pedestrian access. And you don't even really need to go across the bridge to do this. Just go through the turnstile as if you're starting across the bridge to Canada, then turn around and enter the CBP office. This can also be done at the Peace Bridge. The other two bridges don't have pedestrian access. – Michael Hampton Apr 2 '16 at 3:22
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I’m not sure I fully understand your question and situation, but it sounds like you are staying in the United States with a valid visa (multiple entry visitor’s visa?) and must leave the USA briefly and then return in order to satisfy the requirements of your US visa regarding how long you can legally remain in the US on any one visit. Since you mentioned that your country of citizenship requires a Canadian visa for entry to Canada, and assuming that you are not a US citizen or US Green Card holder (based on what you said), you may need to have a valid Canadian visa even for a brief transit through Canada. Even if you are from a visa-exempt country, unless you have a valid Canadian visa or are a citizen of the USA, you will likely need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to visit or transit through Canada.

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You can buy a same-day return ticket on Air Canada, Air Canada rouge, Jazz Air, Air Georgian, Sky Regional or WestJet, to Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto Pearson terminal 1, and bypass Canadian immigration altogether, because these airports have direct corridors to US preclearance.

In practice, you may have a hard time convincing the airline to let you board without a Canadian visa, as this technically wouldn't count as a connection, but a return trip.

Nevertheless, try asking any of the above airlines whilst explaining your situation, and remember, if any of them agree to transport you, they must put SSR TWOV in the PNR

  • Even if you travel to one of the listed airports and such hallways exist without an explicit Canada immigration check, you still have to have permission from the Canadian government in order to do so in the form of a Transit Visa, ETA, etc. If you lack this permission either the airline or the US pre-clearance agents might flag you for this. – Jacob Horbulyk Mar 22 '17 at 19:04

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