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I am from Pakistan and hold a Pakistani passport. I have a B1/B2 visa and want to travel to the USA.

Because I want to see a friend of mine in a Canadian airport for a short period of time (e.g. 1 hour), I want to transit through Canada and then travel to the US. So my route would be Islamabad - Dubai - Canada - USA.

For this, do I need a visa for Canada?

  • What exactly is your question? – drat Aug 6 '15 at 7:39
  • I want to visit US and have b1/b2 visa. Can I transit Canada? In other words, Islamabad - Dubai - Canada- US. Is it possible and what are the requirements? – Iqball Aug 6 '15 at 7:42
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    Okay, then you can click on 'edit' and add this information to the question itself, that will make it much clearer. – drat Aug 6 '15 at 7:44
  • Do note that Toronto Pearson Airport (which is the only Canadian airport with service from Dubai, so I assume it's the one in question here) is not terribly easily accessible from the city center; it's 31 km away, and the only public transportation to the airport is by bus. It can easily take 40–60 minutes each way. Unless you have a really long layover, you should probably stick with your plan of staying at the airport and having your friend visit you there. – Michael Seifert Aug 11 '15 at 20:28
  • ... and then I find out that a rail connection from the airport to downtown opened in June 2015 (two months ago.) I haven't taken it myself, but they claim to be running trains every 15 minutes and that the ride is 25 minutes one way. – Michael Seifert Aug 11 '15 at 20:34
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It is possible, but it is not straight-forward.

Canada's visa requirements for citizens of Pakistan state that you require a visa to visit or transit in Canada. If you do still decide to visit your friend, you will have to apply for a tourist visa. If you simply want to transit in Canada ( less than 48h ) then you can apply for a transit visa. Applying for a transit visa is free of cost. However, it is very likely that you will not be able to leave the airport on a transit visa.

The only time a US visa will help you is if you have a green card. A B1/B2 visa does not grant you any exemptions in Canada.

Based on the comments below, it seems like you are allowed to exit the airport and the only restriction on your transit visa is the time limit - 48 hours.

Here is a link that should give you more information: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

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    Canada is much like the US in that there is no "international" transit area in airports. So everyone must pass through immigration and customs. If you are officially admitted for any purpose, you will be able to leave the airport. – Michael Hampton Aug 6 '15 at 20:21
  • Plus US has preclearance in Canada anyway. – Karlson Aug 6 '15 at 21:28
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    "However, it is very likely that you will not be able to leave the airport on a transit visa." I don't think so. Transit means go through Canada; it doesn't mean stay in the airport. – user102008 Aug 7 '15 at 7:00
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    @user102008: Some countries do have a particular type of transit visa which permits you to land in the country to change planes, but not to leave the airport (you cannot pass immigration). But I think you're right, Canada doesn't seem to have this. – Nate Eldredge Aug 7 '15 at 17:46

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