The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol - Official Visits Division) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada and has the honour to clarify requirements for temporary resident visas (for all countries requiring visas), for all passengers, including high level visitors, travelling on dedicated private or government aircraft during technical/refuelling stops, as well as commercial aircraft during transit stops at all Canadian airports. This note supersedes the Department’s note number XDV-0068 of December 15, 2006.
This note serves to remind that since June 28, 2002, under Section 16(1) of Canada=s Immigration Refugee Protection Act, every person entering or landing in Canada from countries requiring visas to visit, must hold a valid Canadian temporary resident visa, even for a brief technical/refuelling and commercial transit stop. The exception to this would be if the travellers have either departed directly from the USA, or are en route to the USA and are in possession of a visa to enter the USA.
It should be noted that ten (10) working days may be required by the Canadian mission overseas to prepare the visa. Applications should therefore be made in a timely manner. The Department also wishes to advise that the website for the list of countries that require visas to enter Canada may be accessed at: CIC Visit visas website.
Courtesy Clearances for high level visitors entering Canada during these technical/refuelling stops will still be prepared in the usual manner. In this regard, the names and titles of the VIP delegation and crew, their dates of birth and their passport numbers and expiry dates must be submitted to the Department by way of diplomatic note along with the itinerary, aircraft details (type, registration number and call sign), and confirmation of overflight and landing clearance. For more information, please see circular note number XDV-0093 of June 14, 2012.
The Department further wishes to clarify that in almost all cases, a private aircraft cannot land at a commercial terminal. Therefore the Embassy must provide the Department with the name and address of the Fixed Base Operator, at which the plane will land.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol - Official Visits Division) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada the assurances of its highest consideration.
OTTAWA, June 14, 2012