Transit Without Visa (TWoV)

Transit Without Visa (TWoV) allows citizens of several visa-required Asian countries to transit through Canadian airports if they possess a same-day airline ticket and valid visa for the United States, without the need of a Canadian visa. This greatly reduces the administrative barriers to using a Canadian airport as a connecting point on a voyage to the United States.

While the program is operational at several large Canadian airports, to fully leverage its potential, government needs to make investments in the backbone IT infrastructure. The program should also be expanded to include other low-risk nations. In addition, airports urge the government to explore ways to leverage Canada’s new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program and International Advanced Passenger Information (IAPI) requirements to make transiting through Canada’s airports without a visa a simple and efficient choice for travellers.

One Stop Security (OSS)

One Stop Security (OSS) is a series of agreements between nations recognizing the strength and equivalency of one another’s aviation security programs and eliminates the need for security rescreening when connecting. Canada and the European Commission have OSS agreements in place and Canada unilaterally recognizes the strength of security screening for passengers arriving from the United States.

International-to-International (ITI) Connections

This pilot program, currently underway at several Canadian airports, allows passengers to connect from one international flight to another international flight using a border clearance kiosk. This permits passengers who are simply transiting through Canada to quickly and efficiently move from one aircraft to the other without needing to clear Canadian customs/CBSA. The program also allows airports to leverage Canada’s One-Stop Security (OSS) agreements that exempt passengers originating from certain countries from rescreening at security checkpoints. Accessing both programs, passengers are able to connect in a nearly seamless manner. Using ITI and OSS also reduces resource strains on CATSA, CBSA and airport infrastructure by reducing the number of travellers that need to be interviewed by agents, screened or wait in-line at customs halls.

International-to-Domestic (ITD) Connections

International-to-Domestic Connections is a risk-based change in process that allows passengers on certain flights from specific jurisdictions to connect from an international or transborder flight without being required to collect their baggage before clearing customs. Instead, the baggage is connected directly onto the domestic connection unless CBSA wishes to inspect the bag. At present the program’s applicability is jurisdiction-specific, but industry is urging government to take an “ITD by default” approach.

To accommodate ITD, airports have invested significantly in baggage processes and CBSA infrastructure so that baggage may be recalled and inspected within a prescribed service level standard.

ITD, when combined with One-Stop Security (OSS), allows for travellers to connect to their domestic flight without having to retrieve luggage or being rescreened at security. This makes for a nearly seamless connection process when transiting from an international to a domestic flight and reducing the strain on government services and airport infrastructure.

Recommendations:

  • Expand and improve visa-free transit programs for low risk travellers to the U.S. and overseas.
  • Provide funding for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and CBSA technology requirements to operationalize visa free transit at Canadian airports.