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US Visa On Transit To Canada  
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3488 posts, RR: 6
Posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Is a US visa required if someone travelling from Tunisia, is on transit through Chicago to Saskatoon, SK, Canada ? Is it like in CDG for example where you need no transit visa ?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

US State Department seems to say you do need a visa.if you are a Tunesian national. Tunesia isn't on the Visa Waiver Program.

See this page: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_4383.html


User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3488 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Thanks, but are facilities and architecture at ORD for example are made so one traveller do not need to exit the terminal and remain at the transit area so we require no visa and no customs check  

User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3682 times:

There is no such thing as sterile international transit in the US (except for a few exceptions at LAX). You have to have documentation that enables you to enter the US in order to transit.

User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3669 times:

My understanding is that EVERY person arriving in the USA, even in transit MUST clear immigration.

And that is certainly what the page I linked says also.


A citizen of a foreign country traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States (U.S.) in route to a foreign destination requires a valid transit (C) visa. Exceptions to this requirement include those travelers eligible to transit the U.S. visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or travelers who are nationals of a country which has an agreement with the U.S. allowing their citizens to travel to the U.S. without visas.


User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3652 times:

Even at LAX (for instance the NZ flights 1/2 AKL/LAX/LHR) passengers must clear immigration (not Customs). Are there specific flights or carriers where this is not so?

User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3488 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3634 times:

Understood   in that case better to transit through Calgary   it's a pity that US airports are "sterile" as said ! Travelling via CDG, FRA, or AMS does not require me to have a Schengen visa although in the best fare i had found on Amadeus i will need to wait for more than 18 hours at FRA to get my flight to YYC !

User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3599 times:

The airports do not have any choice. It is US law.

User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

There are lots of reasonably priced/timed flights via FRA and YYZ (unless you really want to go to YYC)....

User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3561 times:

Quoting Seat55A (Reply 7):
The airports do not have any choice. It is US law.

Who's against changing this law? And why? Not needing a visa works fine in so many places.

The same goes for rechecking bagage.



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3488 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

Indifferent if it's YYZ or YYC or any other airport as long as it is in Canada, but Amadeus only gives me flights through FRA and YYC ! The others are through FRA and ORD or CDG and MSP and that is not suitable...

User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3520 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 9):
Who's against changing this law? And why? Not needing a visa works fine in so many places.

The same goes for rechecking bagage.

I would quite happily change it...and I am in fact a US citizen so I probably have the right to an opinion. But your question cannot be serious.  


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1089 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3483 times:

My understanding is that you will need a transit visa. I see absolutely NO reason for this other than just another knee-jerk policy created after 9-11. As much as we would like to see you spend some money here, our "leaders??" don't seem to want it.

These are the same people who don't seem to realize that when we raise our visa fees, other countries will do the same for US passport holders. Woah, don't even let me get started on what I think of our post 9-11 policies!

Not sure if or what they charge for a transit visa, but let us know if you come through Chicago. Maybe some of us can meet you there.


User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3475 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 9):
Who's against changing this law? And why? Not needing a visa works fine in so many places.

The same goes for rechecking bagage.

non visa-waiver International transit passengers are such a miniscule segment of the passengers that redesigning airports to accommodate this would not be cost-effective. Additionally, it is further complicated by the US' lack of exit controls. There is no way of segregating transit pax unless you put them in a separate holding room, which would limit their access to airport amenities and generally be unpleasant.

As for the baggage, there are some airline and airport specific routings that don't require baggage recheck (mainly on from Mexico and Latin America to Europe on UA via IAH). They have a waiver from customs. However, there is not alot of interest from the airlines in getting certified to participate in this program since the passenger volume that would be affected is so low that it is not worth the cost.

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 10):
Indifferent if it's YYZ or YYC or any other airport as long as it is in Canada, but Amadeus only gives me flights through FRA and YYC ! The others are through FRA and ORD or CDG and MSP and that is not suitable...

You might want to try something other than amadeus because I see tons of routings on expedia involving LH, AC, TS, or AF for around $1400 via YYZ and FRA/CDG that are around 20 hours total travel time.


User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3446 times:

Quoting Seat55A (Reply 11):
I am in fact a US citizen so I probably have the right to an opinion. But your question cannot be serious.

I'm also a US citizen, but my question is serious.

I think that US citizens are very lucky that other countries don't make visa requirements for them stricter to be on par with what their citizens have to do to enter the US.



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3435 times:

Oh yeah, Canada also has the same issue. They tried implementing sterile transit to the US at YVR in the 1990's at it was a disaster. People kept booking flights to the US via Canada and when they got to YVR they would claim Asylum. It got to the point where Canada discontinued the program from the early 2000's until recently and even now it is very restricted...

User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3415 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 13):
non visa-waiver International transit passengers are such a miniscule segment of the passengers that redesigning airports to accommodate this would not be cost-effective.

It doesn't matter if you're non visa-waiver or visa-waiver. Either way, you have to go through an unnecessary US immigration check as well as go through the hassle of getting a visa or an ESTA.



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3393 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 15):
Oh yeah, Canada also has the same issue. They tried implementing sterile transit to the US at YVR in the 1990's at it was a disaster. People kept booking flights to the US via Canada and when they got to YVR they would claim Asylum. It got to the point where Canada discontinued the program from the early 2000's until recently and even now it is very restricted...

This doesn't make sense to me. How can you claim asylum if you're in "no man's land"?



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3316 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 16):
It doesn't matter if you're non visa-waiver or visa-waiver. Either way, you have to go through an unnecessary US immigration check as well as go through the hassle of getting a visa or an ESTA.

Yes it does matter. The US does not have exit controls therefore there is no way of separating domestic and international departures. Because of that, everyone arriving in the US has to clear immigration. For visa waiver countries, that is not a huge deal but for non-visa waiver countries that generally means they won't (or can't) transit the US. My point is, there are not alot of places for which transiting the US is really geographically convenient, so it is not high on the list of things US carriers and airports want to use their political capital to try and change...

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 17):


This doesn't make sense to me. How can you claim asylum if you're in "no man's land"?

Simple. Follow the signs to enter Canada during your transit and claim Asylum when the immigration officer starts to process you.


User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 14):
I'm also a US citizen, but my question is serious.

I think that US citizens are very lucky that other countries don't make visa requirements for them stricter to be on par with what their citizens have to do to enter the US.

So write your congressman.

As for the other countries, good on them for not playing tit for tat. Also, the added OPEX of enforcement would probably be enough to put them off it.


User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3107 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3282 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 17):
This doesn't make sense to me. How can you claim asylum if you're in "no man's land"?

Asylum seekers don't wait for a "sensible" situation to occur.....they are driven more by desperation to either get away from a country where they are oppressed or to get into a country that is a highly desirable place to live in (such as Canada or the US).......we've been facing this issue for a long time now and that's one of the main reasons why the requirement for a transit visa is there......


User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3245 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 9):
Who's against changing this law? And why? Not needing a visa works fine in so many places.

The same goes for rechecking bagage.

The people it inconveniences are not US citizens (and therefore don't vote) so congress could really care less. Only way it would change is if airlines and airports put pressure on on congress but this issue is not very high on their list of priorities...


User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3243 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 18):
The US does not have exit controls therefore there is no way of separating domestic and international departures.

You would physically have to separate domestic and intl. flights, thus creating an international and a domestic hall. Yes, you would have to remodel the airport a bit, but not drastically. Separating a pier/concourse (whatever) at one end of the airport from the rest by immigration would be enough.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 18):
Follow the signs to enter Canada during your transit and claim Asylum when the immigration officer starts to process you.

If you can claim asylum when they start to process you then Europe should have a massive problem in situations like this which I'm not aware of.

Anyhow, I prefer how it's done over here. And I guess there's no point in going through all the possibilites as we know nothing will change.



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3219 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 18):
My point is, there are not alot of places for which transiting the US is really geographically convenient,

  

Yes it is inconvenient and probably more costly for the OP, but the number of passengers the rule really impacts is very small each year.

Also as noted above - US airports are simply not built to provide the transiting international passenger any access to food, shops or other airport passenger services.

It would be a much worse experience to be forced to remain in one area without any amenities than a restroom for a couple hours at ORD than to spend 18 hours at FRA with access to food, etc.


User currently offlinejrodATC From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3197 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 14):

I think that US citizens are very lucky that other countries don't make visa requirements for them stricter to be on par with what their citizens have to do to enter the US.

While most don't force US Passport holders to go through a formal visa process (interview, etc.), many countries, especially in South America per my readings charge reciprocity fees equal to the amount a citizen of X country would have to pay to enter the United States. I know for a fact this is the case in Chile and a number of other countries. I just did a search and there are a bunch of stories detailing how Americans touring South America end up paying upwards of US$500 in said fees.

Here's an article I just found on the subject:
http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/us-...erican-visas-and-reciprocity-fees/

For many countries, tourism is a big chunk of their economy so making it difficult for travelers, not just US passport holders, to enter is counterproductive even if our exceptionally onerous visa process is unfair.


User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3240 times:

As a matter of historical interest, which actually came first - the decision to have a visa requirement for transits, or the decision to have Immigration checking only on entry?

This must have happened many decades ago.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 26, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3162 times:

Quoting Seat55A (Reply 25):
which actually came first -

For the US - immigration checks at entry only came first.

In the US, international flying is a very small percentage of the total flights. Even at gateways like JFK and LAX and SFO - the great majority of passengers are not flying international.

Our domestic only traffic volume is far higher than the combined total domestic and international traffic of several nations combined.

It simply wasn't efficient or cost effective to build a separate departure area, a separate set of amenities, for transit international passengers.

For example - DFW built a new international terminal a few years ago. But at least half of the departures from that terminal at any time of day are domestic. One gate will depart an international flight to Mexico at one hour, and a domestic flight the next hour. DFW simply does not have enough international traffic to justify a sterile international transit area.

So doing a separation of international passengers and using a physically separate area of the airport for departing international passengers isn't practical.

An as mentioned above - geography has a lot to do with it. With today's aircraft, carriers don't need to stop in the US if they are headed for non-US final destinations.

Perhaps if we were in a world where 5-6,000nm flights were not common, it would be different. Where a flight to Mexico or Cuba or the Dominican Republic had to stop in the US for fuel - there would likely be sterile transit areas in the US.


User currently offlineSeat55A From New Zealand, joined Jan 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3142 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 26):
Quoting Seat55A (Reply 25):
which actually came first -

For the US - immigration checks at entry only came first.

In the US, international flying is a very small percentage of the total flights. Even at gateways like JFK and LAX and SFO - the great majority of passengers are not flying international.

But did it pre-date the era of international aviation? Apart from the obvious statistical or practical facts, there's a legal issue and when was that legislated?


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3380 posts, RR: 9
Reply 28, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 10):
Indifferent if it's YYZ or YYC or any other airport as long as it is in Canada, but Amadeus only gives me flights through FRA and YYC ! The others are through FRA and ORD or CDG and MSP and that is not suitable...

You have many option from FRA to Canadian airports as AC/LH fly to YUL, YOW, YYZ, YYC, and YVR.

Perhaps you can look at BA to YYZ or YYC through LHR as IIRC BA as a code-share agreement with WS who have flights to YXE from both YYZ and YYC.

If you can't get something that suits you on one literary I would book something to a large Canadian airport that avoids the US and if necessary get a one way domestic flight on a separate itinerary.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3101 times:

Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 22):
If you can claim asylum when they start to process you then Europe should have a massive problem in situations like this which I'm not aware of.

That is why many (most?) nations' travellers have to get european transit visas even if they use the sterile transit facilities.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7704 posts, RR: 21
Reply 30, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3002 times:
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Quoting FlyingHollander (Reply 17):
This doesn't make sense to me. How can you claim asylum if you're in "no man's land"?

The UK, for example, requires many nationalities to obtain a direct airside transit visa even if they don't intend going anywhere near immigration during their transit. It's because it certainly still is possible to find ways to claim asylum.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3822 posts, RR: 51
Reply 31, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2998 times:

The one place that would really benefit international sterile transit is MIA (American Airlines). They could build MIA into a hub of connecting Europe with Central and South America. The inhabitants from these countries have a hard time getting a US visa, so only Europeans can efficiently use MIA to connect internationally nowadays as they can get a visa waiver.

So AA could really benefit from this. I understand that the connecting traffic between Europe and Latin America through the US is low, maybe too low to justify the cost in implementing this, but you have to realize that the traffic is low BECAUSE of the US visa requirement for the passengers.

Give AA the possibility of sterile transit, and they'll develop MIA into the Dubai of the Americas.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3380 posts, RR: 9
Reply 32, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 31):
So AA could really benefit from this. I understand that the connecting traffic between Europe and Latin America through the US is low, maybe too low to justify the cost in implementing this, but you have to realize that the traffic is low BECAUSE of the US visa requirement for the passengers.

MIA's loss is YYZ's gain.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

If the OP is interested, QR is selling TUN-YUL via DOH for $650 right now. Just add YUL-YXE flight and you are all set and don't have to worry about transit visas...

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25356 posts, RR: 22
Reply 34, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2918 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 33):
If the OP is interested, QR is selling TUN-YUL via DOH for $650 right now. Just add YUL-YXE flight and you are all set and don't have to worry about transit visas...

YUL-YXE could well be more than TUN-DOH-YUL. Checked a few random dates in February and March and the lowest round trip fares including taxes/fees YUL-YXE are in the $600-$750 range.


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