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I am a Turkish citizen, and I am flying from Frankfurt to New York via Toronto. There is a 22h layover. I was wondering if I can leave the airport on a transit visa, and I had so many different answers: some said no, some said yes, some said only for accommodation purposes. Let me add that many of the answers that I found weren't so up to date.

As far as I know, I have to go through customs, claim my baggage and re-check it since I am continuing to US. If I am going through customs, this means my passport will be labeled, and I will be in landside. If I decide to do the check-in later for my second flight, I think I am free to go? Is my reasoning wrong? Also, in the CIC website it says transit visas are for 48 hours, which makes me think that I am allowed to leave the airport as long as I leave the country within 48 hours...

I am pretty confused and I need experiences. Has anyone tried to do that? How did it go? If you could help me, I'd be more than grateful.

  • 2
    What is your citizenship? – JonathanReez Apr 3 '17 at 14:41
  • I updated the question accordingly. – Adastra Apr 3 '17 at 15:28
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Yes, someone on a transit visa can leave the airport -- some people transit between different airports, or between airplanes and another mode of transportation, which will definitely require leaving the airport.

Note that usually when someone does an international-to-US transfer in Toronto or Vancouver during business hours, leaving during the same day, you go directly to the US preclearance, without going through Canadian border controls first. Once you go through US preclearance, if you want to change your mind and go back out, you will need to go through Canadian border control again.

However, in your case, the length of the layover means you will be leaving the next day, I believe you cannot go to US preclearance immediately, and will have to go through Canadian border controls first anyway. And since you will have entered Canada, you are free to leave the airport if you want.

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