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I am traveling from US to India via Canada on December 11, 2015, and I am Indian citizen. I applied online for the transit visa on November 13 2015. I have the following questions.

  1. I wanted to know whether the visa will be approved before my travel date.
  2. I read somewhere that we don't need transit visa for an outbound flight from the US to India, only while coming back from India. If this is the case then I can book a different ticket while traveling back from India to US through other carriers.
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    Are you a permanent resident of the US ? – blackbird Nov 14 '15 at 1:08
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A transit visa is required if you are connecting in Canada to an international destination from the US, unless you're eligible for a visa waiver. Indian citizens are not.

Are you a permanent resident of the US (a green card holder)? If so, you may apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from the Government of Canada, which is approved in several minutes in most cases.

If you are not a permanent resident of the US, a normal visitor visa (which is what a transit visa is) application made within the US will take 42-52 days to process.

  • No, all people arriving in Canada who are not transiting to the US MUST pass through Canadian immigration. – user102008 Nov 14 '15 at 5:39
  • And Canadian visa rules apply to all people who transit Canada, regardless of whether they leave the airport or not, except for people from the few countries that are part of the Transit Without Visa or China Transit Program. – user102008 Nov 14 '15 at 5:45
  • @user102008 US green card holders can enter Canada without a visa, regardless of their citizenship. They do however need eTA if flying. See cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=593&t=16. – phoog Nov 14 '15 at 6:48
  • @phoog: Yes. Why is that a response to me? – user102008 Nov 14 '15 at 9:16
  • @user102008 Seems so. I've edited the answer. – TainToTain Nov 16 '15 at 20:11
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I called the immigration for Canada. I asked them whether I need a transit visa if I am not changing terminal. They answered I needed the transit or visitor visa no matter what.

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I think you got it backwards. On the US-to-India trip, you will need to pass through Canadian immigration when you transit Canada; on the other hand, on the India-to-US trip, you will not need to pass through Canadian immigration (you directly go through US immigration preclearance in Canada). So you would be more likely to run into problems not having a Canadian visa on the US-to-India direction than on the India-to-US direction.

Regardless, Canadian rules officially require a visa for you to transit in both directions. (Even though you won't interact with Canadian immigration on the return trip, Canadian rules still say you must have a Canadian visa.) And airlines are supposed to enforce these rules, so they may deny you boarding on either direction if you don't have a Canadian visa.

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