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This question follows on from my previous question (see here for background). After having my ESTA (US visa-waiver) application declined, I did not apply for a full B-1/B-2 visa in order to attend the previous conference in the US, owing to time and money constraints.

Fast forward to now: I am (a British citizen) applying for a Canadian eTA in order to attend a conference later this year. Towards the bottom of the page is the following question:

Have you ever been refused a visa or permit, denied entry to, or ordered to leave Canada or any other country/territory?

My question is therefore: does a US visa-waiver application being declined count as refused visa or permit?

Thanks for your time!

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I think ESTA counts as a permit. I doubt you will be able to establish otherwise with any degree of certainty.

In that light, you should certainly disclose the denial. In other words, err on the side of caution. I suspect that Canada will not be terribly concerned about the reason for your denial, but if you answer "no" and they find out about your denied ESTA -- which they probably will -- then you risk a serious loss to your credibility and possibly serious difficulty with future visa applications.

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