I am travelling to America next month, and have not booked a returning flight. I have read online that this is needed otherwise I will not be able to board the plane in the UK.

I will be in the US for 1 month travelling up the west coast and the staying with some friends in Canada for 2 months.

I do not really want to book my return flight to the UK just yet, as I would prefer to book that when I arrive at Vancouver. Once I get to CA I doubt I will be back to the US.

Would a bus ticket from say, Seattle to Vancouver count as an onward ticket out of the US, instead of booking a flight?

  • Do you guys have US customs in the airport like here in Canada ? Do you want to know if the US will let you in or if the airline will let you board ?
    – blackbird
    May 25, 2014 at 0:36
  • It ought to be enough. But I don't know how much is up to the interpretation and mood of the person doing the checking. If it's the person at the airline check in desk then they are pretty nice compared to some immigration officers. I used a printout of a $10 train ticket as proof when I flew one-way to Malaysia recently and it was accepted. May 25, 2014 at 0:40
  • @Blackbird57: According to this, the only US Border Preclearance facilities in Europe are in Ireland, at Shannon and Dublin. May 25, 2014 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


Yes, the U.S. accepts bus tickets as onward travel. I've used it myself. They were even OK accepting a bus ticket from Seattle to Vancouver when I flew into Boston.

The trick you'll have though is that you're running very close to the 90 days limit on the VWP, which does not reset if you go to Canada. As a result, if you stay any later than three months in total in North America, you'll have to ensure your flight out of Canada does not go through the US - you'd need a direct flight to the UK for example.

As for needing a return flight, another time I went to Canada from the UK (Gatwick -> Edmonton -> Vancouver) I had a one-way ticket. I also then purchased a bus ticket from Vancouver to Seattle as my onward travel - remember, Canada will also want to know how you're getting out.

What I've found though is you do want printed proof of this travel. I tried flying to Argentina from New Zealand (I had a weird combination of tickets) and it looked like I only had a one-way in, and even though I suggested I'd just grab a bus to Chile, they wouldn't accept that - I had to go and print out my other flight that I had out of Argentina.

Evidence of planning, dates, and bookings is what they're looking for.

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