I'm legally banned from Canada and I need to get to Las Vegas. I can't find any direct flights and have to transit through Canada.

Will they arrest me if I land in Canada for a flight transfer?

  • 9
    Where are you coming from that requires transiting through Canada to reach Las Vegas?
    – user13044
    Feb 11, 2016 at 10:59
  • St Pierre et Miquelon perhaps. You have to transit through Canada to fly literally anywhere. :-) Feb 11, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    @DJClayworth which then raises the question of how he could have gotten there in the first place.
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2016 at 18:35
  • 3
    A good point. If he's in St Pierre and Miquelon and banned from Canada he's got way bigger problems than not being able to get to Vegas. Feb 11, 2016 at 18:47
  • What airport are you transfering through, and what are your arrival and departure airlines? Sep 16, 2016 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


Let's leave aside the point that there is nowhere in the world where transiting through Canada is your only option for a flight to Vegas.

When transiting to the US through Canada you are not required to clear Canadian customs or immigration. However it is made quite clear that you must comply with immigration and visa restrictions. This means you are not allowed to transit through Canada if you are banned.

You could try this and hope that nobody checks. However if you are not on a single ticket you will have to collect your baggage, which will entail clearing Canadian customs, and thus being denied entry. Also airlines submit passenger lists for various reasons and they are likely to detect a banned passenger. You would almost certainly attract a longer ban and arrest is not out of the question.

  • 1
    This is actually incorrect -- At least if the transfer is going through Pearson YYZ (Toronto). You will need to clear CBSA and pick up your luggage, take it through US Customs, and recheck it. This means you will need to enter Canada, however briefly, during the transfer. Sep 15, 2016 at 17:16
  • I've never tried to do it, but is there no way to US pre-clearance from airside? Sep 15, 2016 at 19:34
  • Nope. The Americans insist you carry your luggage through the Pearson pre-clearance. But your luggage pickup is after Immigration and customs declaration. (At Pearson, there's an customs agent right at the exit door who can decide to inspect). Sep 15, 2016 at 20:58
  • Note to others: Canadian International Airports USUALLY have US Customs and Immigration there. This makes any flight from Canada to the US a Domestic flight, and you can just walk off the plane when landing. So once you clear US Customs and Immigration in a Canadian airport, you have legally "entered" the US. Sep 15, 2016 at 21:00
  • 1
    @ChrisCudmore My understanding is that now the US preclearance in Canada shows you your baggage on a monitor, the same as preclearance in other countries. In the past, you had to actually claim it and carry it through US customs. In addition there is now a dedicated international transit lane to US preclearance, which bypasses Canadian immigration entirely. Sep 15, 2016 at 23:53

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