I will be traveling to Ghana, but I will have a layover in the Netherlands. As the holder of a Canada travel document, do I need a transit visa? I already have a Ghanaian visa.

I do have a Canadian permanent resident permit. My flight route: Vancouver transit Schipol-Accra. Returning: Accra-transit in Paris-Vancouver. I have a Ghanaian visa in my travel document because Ghana is my destination

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    And what's your nationality?
    – Kuba
    May 19, 2017 at 21:52
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    @Kuba nationality is irrelevant because the holder of a refugee document travels without the protection of her country of nationality.
    – phoog
    May 20, 2017 at 13:22
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    @phoog Nothing indicated they are are refugee and hold a refugee travel document. At least not in the original post. A passport for example is a travel document as are other documents. May 20, 2017 at 13:25
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    @THELMAEKHATOR If you could let us know exactly what documents you hold, that would help us answer. Do you have a Canadian passport, Canadian permanent residence and a Refugee Travel Document or Certificate of Identity, or just a Canadian Refugee Travel Document or Certificate of Identity and no permanent residence? May 20, 2017 at 18:51
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    @SheikPaulofOsawatomie Technically yes, but people seldom use the phrase "travel document" when they have a passport.
    – Relaxed
    May 21, 2017 at 7:08

2 Answers 2


According to the Schengen visa code:

5) The following categories of persons shall be exempt from the requirement to hold an airport transit visa provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2:


(b) third-country nationals holding the valid residence permits listed in Annex V issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States of America guaranteeing the holder’s unconditional readmission;

(c) third-country nationals holding a valid visa for a Member State or for a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or when they return from those countries after having used the visa;

So the answer is yes, you may transit the Schengen area visa-free if you have a Canadian residence permit or visa. The same applies if you were to have a residence permit or visa from USA or Japan.


As Canadian citizen you don't need to apply for a visa to enter the European Schengen area, if you're a tourist and stay for no more than 90 days. See https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/schengen-area

And if you don't leave the airport's transit area, i.e. don't go through the border control, there's no need to bother anyway.

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    I don't believe the OP is a Canadian citizen. A "Canadian travel document" usually means a refugee travel document issued by Canada. And a visa is absolutely required for citizens of certain countries even if you don't leave the transit area. I believe one is required in this case, but I don't have a reference right now, as the best one I can find is in French, which I don't speak. May 20, 2017 at 9:42
  • @ZachLipton people holding visas from Canada are exempt from the ATV requirement. This includes people with residence permits, which a travel document holder probably has, but even if she doesn't, the travel document itself ought to suffice.
    – phoog
    May 20, 2017 at 13:19
  • @phoog I think I found the right reference. As I read this, it's only allowed if they have a Canadian permanent residence permit, an onward ticket, and they take the "the same or first connecting aircraft." Do you agree? I'll try to get the OP to clarify what documents they hold exactly? May 20, 2017 at 18:49
  • @ZachLipton your link doesn't work for me, but I doubt permanent residence is actually necessary because even a visitor's visa exempts its holder from the ATV requirement.
    – phoog
    May 20, 2017 at 21:43
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    @THELMAEKHATOR And just to make sure, you hold a Canadian refugee travel document, right? May 21, 2017 at 3:15

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