Vancouver airport immigration and customs

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#41
Sacramento, California
863 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by cuterlmt
I think the one concern I had and why I asked the question earlier was how difficult it is to get through customs, etc. And thinking it was easier to do the train back to the U.S.
Going through US customs on departure from YVR (and other major Canadian airports) is no more difficult than going through customs on arrival at a US airport. If anything, it is easier. Other than first thing in the morning when customs opens, you don't get the bunching up and long lines that occur when large trans-oceanic planes land at the same time.
#42
YVR & PDX
3,830 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by cuterlmt
The plane trip to Vancouver has 2 stops with changes and long layovers, and the plane trip to Seattle is non-stop. I think I'd prefer that. The trip back from Vancouver is one stop, and not hours and hours of layover, so I think that option is more reasonable.
That's actually a good point to clarify from my note above - it's not just whether the train/bus time & cost still saves you enough to be worthwhile, it's the end-to-end flight AND land transport (if any) times. A non-stop to SEA then a train may actually be just as fast as a 2 stop flight!

Customs/Immigration at the train station is more pleasant, and much more consistent in timing, than at YVR. If you're in business class you get priority disembarkation so you'll be off the train and through CBSA within 2-5 minutes; even the last coach carriage (which we inevitably get, since we roll into the station minutes before departure on the US end since we've seen the view so many times) is consistently around the 20min mark from train stopping to getting through CBSA. Airport is always dependent on how many other flights get in about the same time as you - you may breeze through, you may take an hour - while that single Amtrak train is literally the ONLY job the CBSA folks have to do, as buses all stop at the border.

A single-stop from YVR, unless the layover is ridiculous, should be the fastest way home compared to any method of going to SEA for even another non-stop flight. And as was said above, seeing US CBP here rather than on touchdown is more efficient - and the kiosks make it even smoother for US/CAD citizens these days.
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#43
297 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Thank you so much martincath. That is the info I was looking for. Hubby really doesn't want to stay in Seattle, but I think it might be fun to do a few hours while we're waiting for the evening train. Neither of us has ever been.
I just don't think either one of us would be happy about 12 hours and two stops and lots of layover on our way to our vacation. And adding a train to the first part of our vacation will make hubby very happy, and make him feel like he's starting his vacation.
Thank you again for all your wonderful advice. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful city.
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#44
Georgia
8,906 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Just testing my knowledge after reading this very informative thread:

Outbound we're flying ATL>SEA>YVR. If I understand correctly, we will clear Canadian customs and immigration as we deplane in YVR.

The next day we're cruising to Alaska. If I understand correctly, we will pre-clear US customs and immigration at the cruise port before embarkation.

A week later we're back from the cruise. If I understand correctly, we will clear Canadian customs and immigration at the cruise port on debarkation.

That evening, we're flying YVR>ATL nonstop. If I understand correctly, we will pre-clear US customs and immigration in YVR before getting on our flight.

4 out of 4?
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#46
Canada
18,811 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by bUU
4 out of 4?
Yep!

I love this. You deciphered everything very well - there is a lot of information in this thread.

Have fun.
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Already Cruised - listed not to brag, but so you can ask me a question if you'd like:
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RCI - Explorer Nov 2014 Repo/S. Caribbean - 40 ft. rogue wave, lifeboat damage

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RCI - Serenade Feb 2014 - Bahamas - a celebration cruise indeed!
*RCI Scandinavia 2013 - nope - cancelled due to my illness. ~ Maybe next year, God willing.
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RCI - Jewel Repo Oct/Nov 2012 Boston to Tampa - Hurricane Sandy
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#47
Georgia
245 Posts
Joined May 2014
Originally posted by bUU
Just testing my knowledge after reading this very informative thread:

Outbound we're flying ATL>SEA>YVR. If I understand correctly, we will clear Canadian customs and immigration as we deplane in YVR.

The next day we're cruising to Alaska. If I understand correctly, we will pre-clear US customs and immigration at the cruise port before embarkation.

A week later we're back from the cruise. If I understand correctly, we will clear Canadian customs and immigration at the cruise port on debarkation.

That evening, we're flying YVR>ATL nonstop. If I understand correctly, we will pre-clear US customs and immigration in YVR before getting on our flight.

4 out of 4?
Yes on all 4.

We flew from ATL to YVR Clear customs in YVR
Before boarding the ship we cleared customs at Canada Place

We flew back from Anchorage to Atlanta so we didn't have to go through customs again but what I have read you will clear customs at YVR before boarding the plane to Atlanta
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