I'm planning to go to Canada in 2 months. I'm currently an asylee and I have a Refugee Travel Document issued by the USA, however I don't have my Green Card yet. I know that Green Card holders don't need a visa or even a passport to enter Canada on land. Does this apply for Travel Document holders as well? Do I need to apply for a visa or can I just go to Canada without a visa? Almost everything I saw online is about air travel, but I didn't see anything about crossing from land.

  • 3
    I'm pretty sure you need a visa, but I don't have time to look up an authoritative reference right now.
    – phoog
    Sep 23, 2019 at 2:22
  • Will your green card arrive before you travel? Sep 25, 2019 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


Canada has a quick web form which will tell you whether you need a visa based on your travel documents.

By filling out the form with having an I-571 refugee travel document, but not a green card, the site says:

You need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You don’t need an eTA.

If you tried to travel by air without one, you would be denied boarding at check-in. But you propose to travel to Canada by road. Nothing stops you from actually doing this; you can reach a CBSA port of entry at the Canadian border.

If you do this, you are guaranteed to be detained. It's also likely, but not guaranteed, that you would be refused entry. CBSA border officers can issue temporary resident permits which serve in lieu of visas for a single entry, in limited circumstances. If you had some overriding reason to try to travel, such as a family member's illness, then you might be able to do this. But with two months before your trip, you should have plenty of time to get the visa if you start the application now.


If you are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and don’t have a passport, you can apply for an eTA with a valid U.S. Refugee Travel Document (I-571). No mention of a green card requirement.


  • And if not? Asylees aren't LPRs until after they adjust status (which they are supposed to do after one year). And even if OP is an LPR, how does an LPR prove that status without a green card?
    – phoog
    Sep 23, 2019 at 4:14
  • If not, they will need a visa - as stated in the given link.
    – PeteCon
    Sep 23, 2019 at 4:18
  • 1
    "No mention of a green card requirement." lawful permanent resident = has green card
    – user102008
    Sep 23, 2019 at 15:47
  • 1
    @user102008 of course, an LPR might not in fact have a green card if it is lost, stolen, or simply forgotten at home. But then Canada would probably not recognize the person's status as an LPR.
    – phoog
    Sep 25, 2019 at 15:49

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