I would like to travel to Canada for holidays. I'm holding a refugee passport from the Netherlands, and I have already applied for eTA and received confirmation.

I am not a permanent resident of The Netherlands. I have temporary permission to stay for 5 years on my asylum ID.

Can I just book my ticket and go to Canada? Or do I need to request a visa beforehand?

  • 27
    If the embassy says you need a visa, why do you still ask us?
    – gerrit
    Oct 20 '15 at 13:18

Yes, you need a visa. Canada requires all persons traveling on refugee travel documents to obtain visas, regardless of which country issued the document.

Note: Holders of Alien’s passport and Stateless individuals need a visa to visit or transit in Canada.

(Note that "Alien's passport" means any travel document issued by a state to a non-citizen, including 1951 convention refugee travel documents, 1954 convention stateless person's travel documents, and non-convention travel documents. Your Vluchtelingenpaspoort is a 1951 convention travel document.)

I can't say how you managed to get an eTA from Canada, and even if you manage to convince the airline to allow you to board with it, CBSA officers at the port of entry in Canada will not be amused, and will likely detain and remove you, if you attempt to travel there on the eTA. It is possible to withdraw your eTA application, but no refund is issued.

In your case, I would withdraw the eTA application, and then apply for a visa. You can apply online for the visa. Note that Canada has no Visa Application Centres in the Netherlands. It will process your visa application through its Vienna, Austria, visa office, and you will have to visit a Visa Application Centre elsewhere in Europe to give your biometrics and submit documents; as far as I can tell the nearest one will be in Düsseldorf, Germany.

  • 4
    "CBSA officers at the port of entry in Canada will not be amused, and will likely detain and remove you" - in the nicest and most polite way. This is speaking as one who had to jump through a few hoops to visit Canada while I was unemployed in the past. It was much nicer getting into Canada for two weeks than it was getting back into the US (as a US citizen).
    – user13097
    Oct 20 '15 at 19:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.