I'm passing through Canada, on my way to somewhere else. I'm staying only a short time.
Is there a website, or some other way of find out out if I need a visa?
Here is a Canadian government website that will lead you through the steps of discovering whether you need a visa to visit Canada, whether briefly in transit or for a more extended visit.
You can enter your country of citizenship and all other information about your trip, and it will tell you if you need a visa, and what visa you need.
Some general rules:
You can apply for a transit visa by filling out the application for a Temporary Resident Visa and selecting transit visa from the list of options on the form. You may not need a transit visa if you are travelling to or from the United States.
If you are in doubt about your eligibility you can contact your nearest Canadian embassy by email or otherwise.
Whenever I had similar doubts, I always wrote a short email to the embassy of the country in question (Canada in your case) in my country. The embassy officers have been very helpful in most cases and answered promptly. Additionally I printed these emails and took them with me on my trip. While I don't think a piece of paper will be of any help in a difficult situation, it made me sleep well :)
F1 visa holder transited through canada just today.
After going through neumerous research. Pretty much everyone told me I do need to get a TRANSIT VISA.
After going through the painful process of applying, sending my passport and spending almost $50 and waiting for 15 days, Got a transit visa for 2 entry.
The twist comes now.
I have been handed a immigration form to fill up in flight connecting Dallas and Toronto. Filled it up. However no one from my arrival gate to the departure gate asked me to see the form, or I did not go through immigration. One lady asked me if I am coming from United States and then another asked where my next destination was, and just checked my boarding pass and passport. and opened a barricade and let me in. After going through that barricade, I was right at Gate E78.
Feel such a waste of time and money after going through the transit visa process. But there was no other way of knowing, as the cic website, canadian consulate told me I need a transit visa. Called Air Canada and not sure if they understood me.
Following this Transit without a visa , everything applied to me except I wasn't a citizen of Indonesia Philippines Thailand or Taiwan
But still never got asked for neither my immigration form nor my transit visa. Felt as normal as transiting through any other airport I have been to. The cic website is really outdated and needs to be change.
My conclusion is, no matter what passport you have, as long as you are going throgh Terminal T1 at Toronto airport and not changing your terminal, you don't need a transit visa. As you are not going outside the airport. But please do your research.
Also if your experience is similar as mine. Please share it, it will result in other people saving their money and energy.