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If I arrive at SFO from New Zealand and then have a connecting flight to Calgary, will I still have to collect my luggage, go through immigration, then re-check in my luggage, go through security?

Is 2.5 hours enough time for this? Do I need a USA visa even though I'm just in USA for 2.5 hours?

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    What is your country of citizenship? – Zach Lipton Jun 3 '17 at 7:39
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Yes. Airports in the USA don't have sterile transit areas, so you need to technically enter the country and depart an hour later. Depending on what country you're from, you'll need a visa if you don't qualify for ESTA/VWP.

  • Nothing "technical" about it: it's the same full-sized immigration rumba as for entering the US for any other reason. – jpatokal Jun 3 '17 at 10:35

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