I am a Jordanian citizen and have easily travelled to and from multiple destinations within Europe with relative ease. Most of my friends on this trip are naturalized Canadians who don't need a visa to Europe. The problem lay with my best friend who holds a Palestinian refugee travel document issued by Syria.

After a long application process, they returned his passport with a paper on the side that has a visa imprinted on it (not inside the passport!!). The paper is tiled "authorization in lieu of a visa". Within the passport itself, the same visa was stuck and then stamped with a huge “cancelled without prejudice”.

He inquired about all this. And they told him they had to do this since his travel document isn't recognized by the Dutch authorities and he will have to hold on to the visa printed on the paper for his travel to the Netherlands.

Of course this implies that he will be able to travel to the Netherlands with this paper. However the glaring question is: How will he enter the Netherlands if his travel document isn't recognized by the dutch authorities? Is there a chance they send him back?

1 Answer 1


I am not familiar with Dutch policies on this and I don't actually know if there is a (higher) chance they would send him back but I have some experience with other related situations.

For example, I know a number of countries that would let people holding a passport from Northern Cyprus enter their territory but still issue visas on a separate piece of paper and refuse to stamp their passport. The authorities of these countries do (sort of) recognize that passport in practice but make a point of officially demonstrating their lack of recognition of Northern Cyprus as an independent state by treating it differently than a regular passport.

Something similar could be going on here. Since he got an authorization from the Dutch authorities, I wouldn't be too concerned. It's possible that this is a separate document instead of a proper visa precisely to allow him to travel while still maintaining the appearance that his travel document is not officially recognized or something like that.

One thing you might want to check is whether the airline is familiar with the issue. I expect that a local airline would have seen such cases before but some other airlines might not. What you want to avoid is that your friend is denied boarding over concerns about the validity of this authorization.

  • Thank you for answering. We are keeping copies of the emails between him and the dutch consulate and presenting them to the airline in case they create an issue for boarding.
    – user19218
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 7:02

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