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I will be laying over in Vancouver airport at the start of June on my way to Brisbane (from San Deigo). I am flying Air Canada for both legs of the trip but will have a 4.5 hour layover in Vancouver and am wishing to briefly meet a friend inside the airport.

What are the steps I will need to take to make this happen? Are there any related fees? I am a poor university student :( I know I will have to go through customs twice (getting out airport and getting back in) will 4.5 hours be enough? I will be travelling on a New Zealand passport, not sure if that helps. I also have a Taiwanese passport, not sure if that helps?

  • There are no fees but your friend should get inside airport instead of you going out, that's just logical time wise. Your friend should buy any ticket within 24 hours of your meet, go through security and then cancel the ticket. Instand refund. Do ask the airline before doing this but I believe even after check in you can cancel. – chx Feb 2 '16 at 9:21
  • I see what you mean, but I think both of us are too poor to risk that :( Thanks for the suggestion though! – Gibson Lu Feb 3 '16 at 10:06
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Starting from the 15th of March 2016 you'll need an eTA to transit or stay in Canada. This is true for nationals travelling on New Zealand, as well as Taiwanese passports. Quoting from the Canadian CIC website, below is the information for New Zealand citizens:

Canada eTA for New Zealand citizens requirements

and for Taiwanese citizens:

Canada eTA for Taiwanese citizens requirements

You'll therefore need to secure an eTA to be able to layover in Vancouver airport, regardless if you are wishing to meet your friend or not. The cost of the application is 7 $CAD.

With the eTA you should be able to leave the transit area of the airport and meet them. If you are looking for inspiration on where to meet your friend, note that the Vancouver airport website has a dedicate page on meeting places.

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