Tue | Sep 27, 2022

Immigration Corner | Travelling to Dubai via Canada

Published:Tuesday | June 28, 2022 | 12:07 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I am a Jamaican. I am fully vaccinated and would like to visit Dubai for vacation. I’m trying to find the fastest route and least number of transfers. I noticed that I could travel via Canada, as there is a direct flight from Toronto. Could you tell me if I need a Canadian visa? I’m not staying in Canada; I’m just changing planes and going to Dubai. Thank you.

– PT

Dear PT,

Jamaican citizens need a transit visa to connect to another international flight via Canada. A transit visa is an official document granted by the Canadian government that indicates that you meet the requirements to travel through a Canadian airport for up to 48 hours. You may request a single- or multiple-entry visa, depending on if you intend to return via the same route.

You should ensure that your connecting flight leaves Canada less than 48 hours after your arrival at a Canadian airport. If your connecting flight departs more than 48 hours after your arrival, or you plan to leave the airport, then a regular visitor’s visa or temporary resident visa will be required.


You can apply online or submit a paper application or online application via www.canada.ca. For faster service, we recommend that you apply online. To apply, create an account via Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s website. You will be asked a series of questions. Be careful to provide accurate answers based on your background and travel plans. A document checklist will be created after you have answered the questions. Follow the instructions, scan, and upload the required documents.

Although this is a transit visa, it is your responsibility to clearly show that the purpose of your trip is genuine and that you have sufficient ties to your home country. Your application will be examined to see evidence that you will be motivated to return to your home country at the end of your trip and not attempt to stay in Canada illegally.

You must include documents such as proof of employment, proof of funds, an itinerary, hotel, and tour bookings. If you are meeting friends, you should provide proof, such as an invitation letter.

The UAE can be expensive, so it is imperative that you provide a bank statement that shows that you have the resources to cover your expenses while you are on vacation. This amount must exceed the cost of your travelling and accommodation expenses without causing financial hardship on you and your family. You must also provide proof of ownership of property, such as land, house, motor vehicle.

You must also have a valid passport that will not expire within the next six months. Your travel history will be examined to see if you have visited other countries and not exceeded the time that you were granted.

Another important requirement is that you must submit properly completed application forms and explanations, where necessary. If you doubt your ability to prepare an accurate application with the correct supporting documents, I suggest that you book an appointment with an immigration lawyer to assist you with your application.

The success of your application depends on your ability to satisfy a Canadian visa officer that you are admissible, have the resources to afford your trip, that you will respect the terms of your visa, and that you are not a threat to the people in Canada.

Travelling at this time can be challenging, so 72 hours in advance, you should go online and complete the mandatory health-screening questions, as well as provide proof of vaccination via the ArriveCan application. I would also recommend that you also complete the customs declaration online as well. This will reduce the time it takes to process your Canadian Border Security screening.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator and notary public with office in Ottawa, Ontario. Connect with her via www.deidrepowell.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or call 613-695-8777.